Author Topic: Chicken Coop Automation  (Read 2535 times)

Offline scoob

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Chicken Coop Automation
« on: February 18, 2016, 03:05:02 PM »
So, I was goofing around and researching automated chicken coops, specifically the automatic doors, but I thought a renewed discussion on chicken coop automation in general would make a great topic to revisit.

Now that the idea has been out for a while, and more people are getting into homestead automation,
what have you done?
What would you do differently? 
What have you seen done? 
What do you plan to do?
Related vendors?
Do you know of any cool links for more info?  Link to your project?
YouTube video links?
If you haven't done it yet, do you know where to start?

I stumbled on to this fairly detailed series of blog posts, and it inspired me to start this thread:

I searched for previous threads here, and was going to revive a 2010 thread, but this is intended to be more generalized than previous threads.

Here's a roll-up of some links and threads I've found on the topic:

I keep this TSP episode bookmarked just for the comments...
Episode-1551- Eric Escobar on Automation

TSP Forum posts:
Automated Chicken Coop Door

do you have an automatic chicken door

Automatic Chicken Waterer

black soldier fly auto chicken feeder

Others: My DIY Arduino automatic coop door opener Forums: Chicken Coop Door open/close

Arduino Chicken Coop

For Projects-Arduino Chicken Coop Controller chicken door version two

The Walden Effect-Solar powered automatic chicken coop door opener (might be a duplicate)

Prototype Robotics-Projects / Chicken Coop

Pullet-Shut Automatic Chicken Doors

Automatic Chicken Coop Door

Offline I.L.W.

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Re: Chicken Coop Automation
« Reply #1 on: February 18, 2016, 05:56:54 PM »
I have the coop door set on a servo motor to open and close when powered.
The motor is connected to a Belkin WeMo Insight switch
The Switch is connected to IFTTT to open at sunrise, and close 1 hour after sunset.
It can also be controlled from my Amazon Echo... I can say "Turn on the chicken coop", the doors open, interior lights go off. "Turn off the chicken coop" closes the door and the interior lights turn on.
Heat lamps are controlled similarly via weather reports for the area.
The feeder is a 55 Gallon drum (holds 200lbs of feed). I can open that (manually) when I'm going out of town, so no need to feed them.
Water is always on in a reduced pressure drip line with chicken nipples.

Yeah, it's overkill, but it beats having to get up early to let the chickens out. I can walk away for 2 weeks and not have to worry about the chickens, even in the winter when they can't free-range.

Lots of automation with hydroponics and seed starting. Auto-nutrient feeds and water changes, timed lights in differing spectrums. The usual.

I have a smart thermostat for the house, but never use it (I heat with a wood stove).

Drip irrigation is timed, controllable via smartphone and IFTTT.

Don't forget natural automation. Succession planting of forage crops is an automated livestock feeder. As one item goes out of production, another feed crop is entering production. If you can close all the gaps, your animals always have food without you having to feed them.  You could make the argument that swales are a form of automation as it removes the labor and energy expense in irrigation. I do a lot of programmable automation over the internet, but that's not the only way to go. There are lots of low tech ways to do this stuff.

Offline kames

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Re: Chicken Coop Automation
« Reply #2 on: March 29, 2016, 01:59:43 PM »
We have had the automatic chicken coop door (second one listed under vendors) for a couple of years now.   It works pretty well.   The spring breaks typically once a winter when the door gets frozen shut (good thing the string is meant to break so it doesn't burn out the motor).

One of these days we will get around to building a bigger overhang over the exterior of the door so it is less likely to get frozen shut.