Instead of buying and installing an automatic door, I rigged up a cord to the living room window upstairs. Simple and easily maintained. This saves me having to go downstairs and outside at night and in the morning every day.
Automatic solar powered doors cost from $140 (made in China) to $350 (made in Australia). These stand alone doors can be connected to the house via a usb port and I have PVs on the roof of the house. However, I’m not an electrician and I wanted something I could fix myself. The only drawback to this mechanical door is I have to remember to close it after dusk and open it at dawn before the hens stress out in the confines of the coop. Rising with the sun is healthy practice, so I’m happy with this beyond measure.
The reason for protecting the hens in an urban environment is the danger of dogs, foxes, cats and snakes. Also rats can get in to eat the pellets from the hen’s feeder. The dangers are not great. I had hens for 8 years before foxes throttled them during the bush fires of 2019. They must have come out of the forest looking for something wet and juicy. So it won’t matter if I have a late night out or need to sleep in occasionaly [sic].
This mechanical door wouldn’t be possible if the block of land was larger and the coop too far away from the house. Much can be done on a 800 square meter block of land.