Over the last few years my family has been keeping ex-battery hens - they are about 18 months old and have lived their entire lives within a caged environment. As much as we love these little bundles of joys and eggs it can be a drudge getting up in the early morning letting them out to roam the garden because the sun is up and bright at 5.00am!!
It would be great if we could have an automated door that could open just after sun rise and close half an hour after sunset where hopefully they are all cosying up to each other in the coop. Sadly there have been times we have forgotten to lock them safely away and discover the horrible consequences when a fox has attacked and killed some of them.
This instructable brings together a number of ideas I have seen on the web to create an Arduino Chicken Coop Controller (ACCC) to automate a chicken coop door and where possible I will give direct credit to those people designs/code I have adapted to create this personal sleep saving device. Many thanks to those who have shared their great ideas which has spawned this device.
The main features of the ACCC:
- Based on the Arduino architecture for easy prototyping and adaptation to your coop requirements
- Uses common parts easily found at you local DIY/hardware store/shop such as cheap electric screw drivers
- Uses a real time clock to maintain time even when the device is temporary disconnected from power
- Adjusts the opening and closing times of the door according to the current month - you can set it to your own timezones
- Provides a manual override just in case one of your lovely darlings misses sunset!
- Provides a min and max temperature reading inside the coop from midnight so you can keep an eye on your brood's welll-being
- A display which can be switched on and off to read out the current ACCC status and will not disturb your feathered friends sleep at night
Most of the electronic components were sourced from eBay and I estimate the whole device excluding the wood was under £30