Intro: Robot Chicken Door
I need a new chicken coup as the old one was to close to the house we kept getting visits from chickens who would crap everywhere. Also, I'm lazy, so this is how I made a chicken coup with a remote control door. I was surprised that it even worked, the coup is over 100 meters from the house, and the remote works reliably.
I wasn't going to write this project up, but there is a misuse comp, and I've misused a number of items so I thought what the hell, may as well show off my lazy mans chicken coup.
Step 1: Caravan Mods
This caravan was caught up in a flood we had a few years ago and is completely stuffed and the owner was glad to be rid of it. All I did was gut the inside and cut a hole in the side of the cladding so the chickens can get in and out. The side of the van was strengthened with a bit of angle that I had lying around.
I also screwed a piece of tin on the top to stop the rain from coming inside, and gave the van a clean with a pressure washer
Step 2: Find a Car Door
So next I found an old car door with an electric window, and after a bit of fiddling, I was able to find the 2 wires the made the window roll up and down.
I then had to decide which way to put the door and I found upside down worked the best for me. (I did make a decision before I cut the hole in the side) I screwed it into place with tech screw and some scrap metal I had.
It a bit hard to see in the photos but the glass does block off the hole, and it hilarious watching chickens crash into it.
Step 3: Adding the Remote
This is the only thing I paid for on this project, one cheap door lock remote from ebay,
All of $15. The nice thing about these, apart from the price, it there is a jumper on the back so you can change the amount of time the internal relays stay on. You can increase the time to 4 seconds which is long enough for the window to roll up or down.
The wiring is quite simple and the remote works from 150 meters away, so I can sit on the couch inside and let the chickens out.
Its power from an old car battery that won't start a car anymore, and I found an old solar panel and regulator to keep everything charged up.
Step 4: The Wiring
The wiring is a little confusing but you won't need to worry about the coil side of the relays the car controlled by the remote and are inside the case. You will have six wires and as long as you wire them up as shown in the diagram the window will roll up and down.
I've lost the original wiring diagram that came with the remote, but you only need to deal with 8 wires, 2 are power and earth, and 3 are for the lock relay, and 3 for the unlock relay .
There are another 5 wires to make the horn, headlight, and other nonsense flash, they can be left disconnected.
Those five wires are on the left side of the remote if you look at the photo
Step 5: Add Chickens and Nest Boxes
The nest boxes are old steel framed tables which have had the legs cut down and the tops removed. I made a basket from chicken wire to hold the straw and chickens in place.
The chickens love their new home and it is far enough away from the house that the chickens don't come to visit and crap on my doorstep anymore.
There is also plenty of room in the van to keep the chickens food, bails of straw, and other chicken-related paraphernalia.
Second Prize in the
Creative Misuse Contest