NFU Mutual Smallholding Insurance

Author Topic: Do automatic poultry door openers/closer cope with ice and snow in Scotland?  (Read 1110 times)


  • Joined Aug 2012
I'm thinking of installing a battery operated automatic door opener/closer for my hens. Living up a hill in the Highlands of Scotland  I suspect it will work very well until the low temperatures and snow comes along.  If you have any experience of this I would be grateful to know what you think or if you have any tips.
Voss Electric Fence


  • Joined Mar 2009
  • Stirlingshire, Central Scotland
Hi Kasia,
I've had a VSB opener for a couple of years now, and yes, I have had problems with snow and ice!
I had it mounted on the inside of the coop, with the external light sensor stuck through a hole in the wall, just underneath the 'eaves'. This bit worked fine - the electronics were kept nice and dry, and the sensor never got covered in snow.
What I think may have killed it was ice forming overnight in the slidy track of the pop-hole. Basically if the door jams before it's all the way up, the motor will keep on trying. The symptoms for me were that the (new) batteries were completely flat, and although the motor still worked, the electronic controller was dead. Importantly, the unit was replaced by the manufacturers under warranty without quibble (it was only later I made the connection with the icing up).
To solve this, I've now put a three-sided 'porch' around the pop-hole. This keeps all the wet and snow off it, and I've had no further problems.  Likewise, if you install your system with some careful thought, I'm sure you'll be fine too  :thumbsup: .
"All fungi are edible. Some fungi are only edible once." -Terry Pratchett


  • Joined Aug 2012
  • Cupar. North East Fife
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We where wondering the same as we get it tight here in north east fife too.
Maybe I will construct a wee porch on the inside and outside of our fence from the yard to the lade to keep the snow and ice off. I have heard alot about these VSB units... Unless we can find better one is defo on the shopping list when the ducklings start to venture down to the lade.
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