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There is only one way Lara and that's to go and check and then you need to check it has opened in the morning, because they do fail. Although our coop pop-holes are made to be able to fit an automatic unit we have never bothered, because if we have to check we may as well open and close them ourselves.

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13 hours ago, Lara Sinclair said:

How do you ensure chooks are in their coop before the automatic door closes for the night? 

Ours is set to close an hour and a half after it has got dark so the chickens should definitely have put themselves in the coop by then.

We always use the timer and not the light sensor part.

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We use the light sensor setting, slightly adjusted to close when it is darker than factory setting. Only once did it shut out one unfortunate lady which was when I accidentally covered the sensor with a semi-transparent rain cover. Poor thing, she didn't want to know me the next day!

I now check they are all inside when I am able to do so, but the door has operated faultlessly so far. (Tempting fate here).

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Ours is setup on the timer too, we also have the omlet light connected which turns on a little before the door is due to close to encourage the girls to bed. Have had this setup for a couple of months now and they all make it up every night. I rarely check anymore. 

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