Battery and Power Information

What type of batteries work with the ChickSafe openers?

We recommend that you use 4 AA alkaline batteries, but Zinc Chloride batteries will work fine but have a shorter life. Lithium or rechargeable batteries are not recommended.

How long do the batteries last?

The batteries that come with the ChickSafe opener will last between 6-12 months. This depends on the weight of the door you are using as well as the average ambient temperature.

How will I know to change the batteries?

The indicator light on the opener will start to flash faster (every 10 seconds) to indicate that the batteries are low.

I just replaced the batteries, why is the light still flashing every 10 seconds?

The indicator light flashes based on voltage, so check to make sure all the batteries you placed into the opener are new.

I changed the batteries but now the screen is blank (Advance) or there is a red light (Eco), what do I do?

First check that all of the batteries have been inserted correctly. If so, check that the connector to the battery holder is fully secured. If the problem continues, try changing all of the batteries to a new set. 

Can I run the opener off of grid or solar power?

No, the opener is only designed to run off of 4 AA batteries. 

What temperature range will the ChickSafe work in?

The openers have been tested at temperature ranges between -4°F and 122°F. It should be noted that extremely cold conditions will shorten the battery life.

Mounting the Opener

How much should the door weigh?

The door needs to weigh between 11 oz and 8.8 lbs. Anything lighter will not be detected by the internal mechanism, and anything heavier will overload the motor.

Can I put the opener inside the coop?

Yes, but this can only be accomplished with the Advance model by using the timer. The Eco model uses a light sensor to open and close so it would not work inside of a coop.

Where can I mount the ChickSafe?

The ChickSafe opener can be mounted on a variety of materials, including plastic coops. The opener will not work if fixed to a horizontal sliding door, a hinged door or a ramp.

Can I extend the string from the opener to the door?

If necessary, yes, you can extend the string. Do not tamper with the cord already attached to the opener; simply tie the extra string onto the end. You can always purchase additional string from our website.

I can’t mount the opener directly above the door, what do I do?

If you have an Advance model you could mount it inside the coop. Otherwise there are a few possible solutions using pulleys that allow you to mount the opener in a few creative ways. 

Opening and Closing the ChickSafe

Can I set the ChickSafe Eco to open and close at certain times?

It is not possible to set the time that the Eco model opens or closes, that option is only available with the Advance model.

Can I manually open or close the door?

With the Advance model you can simply press on the up or down arrows. If you have an Eco model you will need to disconnect the battery and either manually lift the door (to open) or untie the string (to close). 

What happens during Daylight Savings?

For the Eco model you will not need to worry about this, as the opener is based on light and not the time. For the Advance model you will need to manually change the time for Daylight Savings Times starting or ending.

Your Flock and ChickSafe

Does the ChickSafe work with young chickens?

We recommend allowing young chickens to get into a routine before switching them over to an automatic door. Once you are sure that they can reliably get into the coop before dark it should be safe to add the ChickSafe. The noise from the motor does not cause any issue.

What happens if a bird sits in the doorway as it closes?

Our openers have a safety feature that will not allow the door to close completely on a bird. If the door senses that something is obstructing its path it will stop and wait 30 seconds before trying to close again.

I want to keep my birds in. How do I stop the door from opening?

With the Advance model you will need to change the opening settings to “manual,” which is covered in the user instructions. With the Eco model you can simply remove the batteries while the door is shut, or remove the batteries and untie the string from the door to close it. 

ChickSafe Operating Questions

Why can’t I see the display on my Advance?

The display is not back-lit, so it should be visible in most conditions but you may need a flashlight in the dark. The display automatically goes to sleep after two minutes of inactivity, which is to conserve the battery life. Pressing the OK button will turn the display on.

Why is the red light flashing?

The red LED will flash every 30 seconds to let you now that the door is open. It increases to once every 15 seconds when the door is closed. Flashes every ten seconds mean that the batteries need changing. Flashing more frequently than every ten seconds means that the door is jammed or obstructed in some way.

Why did my light sensor stop working?

The sensor reacts to gradual changes in light, so check to make sure that any light change lasts longer than 3 minutes. Placing the coop opener in an area with street lights or flood lights may interfere with the function, so this should be taken into consideration. Also, simply covering the opener with your hand may not trigger the mechanism to close. Check the user manual for light sensitivity adjustments.

Why is condensation forming inside of the ChickSafe?

This is normal in certain conditions and the ChickSafe was designed to handle this. The electronics are sealed and coated so they will remain unaffected by the moisture.

Why did my door not close all the way?

This could be due to the door itself not sliding smoothing. This is common with wooden doors that can swell or become warped. We recommend using the 2-piece door kit that is made from alloy with high-grade plastic runners to ensure smooth operation. 

My door keeps getting stuck in ice or mud. How do I prevent this?

Wooden doors are susceptible to this problem, so you may want to put a small screw in the bottom of the door. That way the door will come to rest on the screw head so there is a much smaller chance that it will get stuck.

Why did the opener do a short movement up and down when I connected the batteries?

This is part of the self-calibrating procedure that the door goes through.

Spare Parts and Maintenance

Can I buy replacement parts for my opener?

Yes, we do have spare parts available. If you can’t find what you’re looking for on our website, please contact us via phone at (888) 667-7009. 

Can I purchase a longer cord for my opener?

Yes! You can purchase additional string on our website.

I’ve followed the instructions and my ChickSafe isn’t working. Can I get it repaired?

Yes! All of our products are covered under a 1-year warranty from the date of purchase (or date of receipt if purchased via pre-order). If registered online each product has a 3-year warranty. Please contact us to get more information on repairs.

Is there general maintenance that I should be aware of?

Yes. Here is what we recommend:

  • Check that your door and runners are free-running and unobstructed.

  • Check that your door and runners have not become warped, especially under certain weather conditions.

  • Check that the coop itself hasn’t sunk to one side, because this can cause the runners to become twisted.

  • For the Advance model, check that the open and close settings are still appropriate for your location and season.