Well finally we have a working solar powered automatic chicken door! Just in time for the egg laying to begin.
I posted a couple of months ago how excited I was to install our automatic chicken door. If you read the post, it was only a few days after installation that a big storm hit us and the chicken door got fried.
The company, CoopTender, just outside Pittsburgh, was extremely helpful in trying to resolve the issues. They first had me send back the face plate which they replaced, but then found that the inverter, solar panel and battery were also fried. They ended up sending me a completely new door with all the add-ons.
I installed the new door 4 days ago and it has worked like a charm each and every night. Although we are in a very shaded area, the panel gets enough daylight to keep the battery charged, so far. It is nice not having to run to the coop each morning and evening to make sure the girls are all tucked in.
Of course the other excitement around the coop is most of the girls have started laying. I wrote a few days ago about our first eggs and how small they were, but production has increased along with the size of the eggs. We are currently getting 6-7 eggs a day.
Our first flock was all production reds, so we only got brown eggs. This flock is a mix of easter eggers, leghorns, production reds, and a buff orpington. We are starting to get a real nice mix of white, tan, brown, blue, and green eggs.
It is pretty neat to see the variety of colors, but I am surprised at the amount of our neighbors that are “afraid” of the eggs , especially the blue and green. Inside they are the same color and texture as any other egg, but I guess as the old saying goes “people are afraid of what they don’t understand”.
I guess I will just have to schedule a community breakfast and invite everyone down for some eggs and bacon. Once they taste non-store bought eggs, they will truly understand the difference between store bought and free range, not to mention notice no difference in flavor because of the color of the shell.