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First Fully Automatic Temperature and Light controlled Chicken House Door with direct drive locking door, automated reentry, and more.
First Fully Automatic Temperature and Light controlled Chicken House Door with direct drive locking door, automated reentry, and more.
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31 backers pledged $5,599 to help bring this project to life.

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The Hatch: The World's Best Automatic Chicken Door

$5,599

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What is a prototype?

A prototype is a preliminary model of something. Projects that offer physical products need to show backers documentation of a working prototype. This gallery features photos, videos, and other visual documentation that will give backers a sense of what’s been accomplished so far and what’s left to do. Though the development process can vary for each project, these are the stages we typically see:

Proof of Concept

Explorations that test ideas and functionality.

Functional Prototype

Demonstrates the functionality of the final product, but looks different.

Appearance Prototype

Looks like the final product, but is not functional.

Design Prototype

Appearance and function match the final product, but is made with different manufacturing methods.

Production Prototype

Appearance, function, and manufacturing methods match the final product.

E29d0be5301bcf3155a807aa506f1232 original.png?ixlib=rb 2.1

Prototype Gallery

These photos and videos provide a detailed look at this project’s development.

The Hatch: Fully Automatic Chicken Door

Introducing the first fully automated chicken door on the market with temperature and light controls, a direct drive locking door, lighted adjustment area with magnetic access door, automated No Hen Left Behind system, and optional Solar/Battery off-grid kit. 

No more stressing about coming back late at night, or having to find someone to lock up your chickens when you leave for a few days. You no longer have to brave the elements to visit the coop at night when the weather is poor. The Hatch does it all for you. 

After 2 years of design we are presenting a door that is not only feature rich, but incredibly simple. While the door offers a manual up/down option, the open and close times can be totally automated, without having to set complex timers or long instruction manual to read through.

Prototype Circuit Board
Prototype Circuit Board

The doors will come calibrated with our optimal light and temperature settings to ensure your door opens and closes at night and in the morning, and won't let the feathery flock outside if the weather is too cold. If you do want to adjust the settings, just turn the two knobs, its a simple as that! 

Features

Unlike other doors on the market, the Hatch uses a direct drive system with a geared DC motor and a leadscrew that guarantees an open and close. Most other types hang the lightweight door from a string that winds up and down to open and close. The Hatch will power its way through ice, snow, debris, or any other blockage to ensure that the door closes and protects the chickens at night. Furthermore, the 3/16 solid Plexiglas door locks down with over 40 pounds of force, so even the craftiest of predators could never lift it up to access your precious birds. 

The door will stay closed, even with 40 pounds of leveraged force
The door will stay closed, even with 40 pounds of leveraged force
The door will easily lift a 3L Juice Bottle
The door will easily lift a 3L Juice Bottle

Chickens run on an internal clock based on sunlight, not the clock on the wall. So why would you want your door on a timer? Not only do you have to constantly change the timer as the daylight changes, your chickens will want to observe their internal clock for bedtime, not the ticking time on the screen. With our light sensor, you don't have to adjust anything for changing daylight conditions, and your chicken's internal clocks will mesh perfectly with the sun and the sensor. 

Lets be real, chickens aren't the brightest critters on the planet. They don't always know enough about weather to know if they should go outside and play or stay inside. So we implemented a user adjustable temperature cutoff to be sure that if it's too cold, your chickens stay inside and don't go out where they can freeze their feet and combs. 

Frozen Comb (Credit: raising-happy-chickens.com)
Frozen Comb (Credit: raising-happy-chickens.com)

In every flock there are those stragglers that just can't seem to get with the program and don't go inside with the other birds. For these fine feathered friends we include the No Hen Left Behind system on every door. After the door closes, it will wait 20 minutes, then open up briefly for 5 minutes to allow any stragglers to enter the coop, before closing down like an impenetrable chicken fortress until morning. 

If you want total control over the door, you can set it to manual mode and use a simple switch to run the door up and down. In case you want to adjust your temperature and light cutoffs or actuate the door as night falls, the control area is backlit with bright LEDs. All the controls are accessed through a sleek and convenient magnetic door that seals tight when closed. 

All the doors are build to operate from a standard 110v wall socket, drawing less than 1/4 watt of power. However, if you want to run your door off-grid, we offer a solar panel and battery add on with a 3W panel and 4.5Ah 6V battery that will run your door for 4 days without a bit of sunlight to recharge the system. 

Construction

The Hatch is build to last using 3/4 in. PVC plank for the edges that won't chip, fade, or peel, and 3/16 in. Acrylic for the front, back, and door. It's extremely durable exterior design is complemented by a quality DC motor with built in gearbox, a stainless steel leadscrew that will never rust or bind, and automatic PTC fuses that act as circuit breakers and will automatically reset if overloaded, so no blown fuses to mess with. The door is water proof in any weather and the circuit board is double fuse protected and sprayed with a silicone conformal coating for additional waterproofing. 

Weatherproof
Weatherproof

Growing up on farms and ranches we know what it means to build something strong and to last. We incorporated these same principles into the Hatch, and will stand behind our promise of quality should there by any complaints about the functionality or build quality of the unit. 

Rewards

Short and Sweet. No Gimmicky mini rewards, we want this simple like the controls. If you want anything not listed here please contact us and we will accommodate your request. 

Follow Along $1

Earlybird standard $150 + Shipping ($215 Retail + Shipping)

Standard $175 + Shipping ($215 Retail + Shipping)

Battery/Solar $225 + Shipping ($265 Retail + Shipping)

Double Standard $325 + Shipping ($430 Retail + Shipping)

Fulfillment

With 3 previous Kickstarter campaigns, products on Amazon Prime, and over 2500 products shipped to date, we know what it takes to bring a quality product to market. We already have long term, working relationships with numerous suppliers for components. Furthermore, we will be manufacturing all the units ourselves, giving us complete control over assembly and quality control. Each door will be fully tested prior to shipment. 

While we have a functioning, 6th iteration prototype that has been through the ringer with literally thousands of up/downs and countless other tests, we want to ensure quality with a short run batch of 10 units to send out for user feedback for a few months before we start to manufacture on a larger scale. These units are are on order and will be built and sent out for testing as this campaign runs. We anticipate to fulfill all the rewards by or before October 2018. 

About Us

It all started in a small town community. Jason Smith and Weston Downs, two members of a five person high school class, have been designing products for use in agriculture their entire lives. After combining their talents, CowTech Engineering was born. Combining innovative engineering and an irrepressible work ethic, CowTech strives to develop high quality products for people like you. Based on a Montana farm and cattle ranch, we are looking forward to continuing to deliver new, high quality products through practical innovation.

Risks and challenges

With any campaign or new product there are a host of challenges. With 3 campaigns under our belt, we know this all too well. However, the experience of previous campaigns has taught us a lot about many of the issues. By building several working prototypes using sample parts from the same manufacturers we will order our production run from, we are confident in the quality of our components as well as the speed and reliability of our manufacturers. We have used numerous manufacturers before and have long term, working relationships.

The most likely issue we foresee is a delay in shipment. This is an issue that plagues many Kickstarter campaigns, and can be challenging to avoid if even just a few small things go wrong. We have tried to mitigate this issue by doing most of the legwork of part sourcing ahead of time, and listing a realistic delivery date on the rewards rather than an optimistic one. In 2 of our previous 3 campaigns the rewards were delivered weeks ahead of schedule.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    Follow Along

    Follow along with the campaign and get all our updates and emails!

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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    Earlybird Hatch

    Our basic door, discounted price.

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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $175 or more About $175

    Hatch Auto Chicken Door

    Basic Door

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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $225 or more About $225

    Hatch Auto Chicken Door W/Off Grid Kit

    Basic Door w/Solar+Battery

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    10 backers
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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $325 or more About $325

    2x Hatch Auto Chicken Door

    Extra for a friend!

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Funding period

- (30 days)