How does it work?
A solar panel charges the batteries and doubles as a light sensor. It detects the amount of light and will close the door when it gets dark and open it when it gets light.
Will the door open or shut due because of lighting, full moon, passing lights, cloudy days etc.?
No, none of those situations would enable the door to open or close. The amount of light during a full moon is vastly less than daytime, likewise the opposite is true for cloudy days and night time.
How softly does the door close?
The door travels very slowly and won't break an egg. Upon first closing, the motor will reverse and go back up a few inches two times before finally closing for good on the third time. This gives chickens a chance to move out from the doorway.
How much Sun is needed to charge the batteries?
A few hours of direct sunlight is needed. The batteries will still charge in light shade. A 15 foot cable is attached to the solar panel so you have some flexibility in where you can mount it.
Is there anything else needed to buy?
No we keep it simple with offering all the features on one product. The manual override switch comes with a 6 foot cable. It uses a standard telephone cable so if you want a longer one you can just buy one locally and attach it to your switch - even 100 feet!
How much is shipping?
$19 for UPS 3 Day Select shipping in the contiguous United States which is 2 to 3 days for most locations.
Will it work on the inside of the coop?
Yes! It will work as well on the inside as the outside. This is because the solar panel has a 15 foot cable and it is used not only to charge the batteries, but it is also the light sensor.
Does it work in cold climates?
Yes it does. There are Ladies First Chicken Doors in every state and Canada. If the temperature drops to negative teens or colder the batteries will likely need to be brought inside and recharged with a charger.
What maintenance is required?
Door is unresponsive and neither switch works
Please do a hard reset by doing these steps in order:
The door goes up and down when closing
This is on purpose in case there is a chicken in the doorway and gives it two chances to move out of the way.
The auto feature doesn't work
Check the solar panel cable carefully to see if there are any nicks or cuts or if mice have chewed it. Make sure there are no outside lights that are on at night near the solar panel. The auto feature can be tested during the day by covering the solar panel with black plastic or thick towels and face it away from the sun. If you need a replacement cable or you need an extension, search for 5.5mm x 2.1mm extension cable on Amazon
The door won't close at night
Make sure there are no outside lights that are on at night near the solar panel.
Green Light is constantly flashing and door won't open or
The fuse is probably blown. Remove the fuse from the upper left corner of the circuit board and wrap completely in aluminum foil and put it back into the circuit board. Do this as a test to see if the fuse is blown. Please check for extra fuses that were shipped to your door. These are specialty type slow blow fuses that you won't likely be able to get locally. Fuse part number 0213001.MXP 1 Amp slow blow. Buy from either Digikey, Mouser, or Arrow. If not, email us at [email protected] and we will send you some new fuses. Check to see why the fuse could have blown. Check the threaded rod for any feathers or dirt on it. You can clean and lubricate the threaded rod with WD40. Check to make sure no dirt is in the tracks the door slides in.
The batteries don't seem to charge
Make sure the solar panel is in full sun and angled up towards the sun and not just flat on a wall. You can screw the solar panel to your coop and then bend the bracket so it is faced up towards the sun. If you need a longer solar panel cable, search for a 2.1 x 5.5mm extension cable on Amazon.