New chicken coop

Recently I wrote about how I had designed an automatic door opener for our chicken coop by modifying an alarm clock.  Refer to this posting for more details of the design:

We've now replaced the old chicken coop with a much larger one.
Note the chicken coop is a one-off, home-made design purchased off eBay, which we've then modified to suit our needs.

There's plenty of space in the nesting boxes for our hens.  In fact it's probably too big now, so we'll definitely have to get some more girls.

Plus the most important thing, I've converted my automatic door opener to suit.  Now it operates vertically, and hence why the clock is on a 90 degree angle.
The operating mechanism is much less prone to error.  Specifically there is less friction, and dirt/grit doesn't collect in the tracks.  It may also be less prone to forced entry by cunning animals (e.g. raccoons) that you have in other countries.

Here's a video of the automatic door opener in action. Our three hens come out in the order Dora first, then Dotty the bantam and then finally Edna pushes past.


Anonymous said…
This is really neat.

Does the door close automatically at night?

Why not create a push-button door opener and train the chickens to open the door themselves?

Thanks - Tony at
Anonymous said…
@tonydarnell: I close the door manually at night. (At least I'm awake then.)

That's a nice idea of training the chickens. I've seen videos like that on YouTube, where people teach chickens to do lots of things. They are very intelligent.

They might push the button to open the door at night, so they would need another button to close the door. There might be a stand-off with one chicken wanting the door up, and another one wanting the door down.

GraGra said…
Great work. Simple is best. I've seen such complicated ones on the net. One had a wifi connection to a website and the builder was sent an sms on the door opening and closing. Congrats.
Warren said…
Hi Mark,
How are your chickens a few years on? I've just been searching google for a solution to my early morning chicken noise problem and came across your posts. Also turns out that i have a similar alarm clock in the house but looking on ebay, I can buy a multi-channel 12VDC wifi controlled switch, a 12VDC 10RPM hi-torque motor and a micro-switch all for around $30 shipped so this looks much more hi-tech and appealing. The multi-channel switch also says that it supports reversing motors by using 2 output ports.

My question is that if the micro switch cuts the power when the door reaches its limit, do you have any suggestions as to how I get it to activate the motor again when it switches on in reverse in the evening to lower the door?

In case you're interested, this is what is in my ebay cart:

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