Alarm clock learns new trick, opening doors

Waking up at 5:30 in the morning. [Mark Stead] didn’t like the idea either when his chickens started crying to be let out. One simple solution obviously is to eat the chickens build an automatic door opener. The mechanism starts out with an old style mechanical alarm clock, add a geared motor with some creative switch work to pull open the door, weather proof the entire thing, and done. [Mark] even modified the setup later to work with vertical doors. No MCU required for either.

Pair this with an automated feeder system, egg gathering and cooking setup, and you’re half way to having your breakfast ready for you when you wake up in the morning – around noon like the rest of us.

[Thanks MS3FGX]


  1. zigzagjoe says:


  2. Mr. Sandman says:

    eat the chickens


    (Original recipe please)

  3. dhinkle9 says:

    Love it!

  4. Cluck House says:

    Are these ‘battery’ hens?

  5. Dark Sakul says:

    Talk about having your [s]cake[/s] eggs and eatting it too.

    Lets add a automatic coffee maker, and a cow milker machine, and we can have Breakfast Doc Brown/ Jetsons style.

  6. Dark Sakul says:

    Err… the word CAKE was supposed to be strike though.

  7. vonskippy says:

    Chickens are oh so spoiled these days. Back in the day, the chickens would let themselves in and out by walking thru the doorway in the coop.

  8. Kyle says:

    _That_ is a hack. Very cool way to do it.

  9. Abbott says:

    Well done sir. I love me some MCU hacks, but this is such a simple and elegant solution without the need for anything overkill.

  10. jeditalian says:

    eat the chickens eating the chickens could have been a great example of hatchet hackery

  11. jeditalian says:

    pass the axe

  12. Frank says:

    @vonskippy In old Mother Russia, the chickens let YOU out.

  13. MS3FGX says:

    Very nice hack with excellent documentation and pictures.

    I was a bit surprised to learn that these sort of clocks now use an electric motor to strike the bells, I suppose I am just too used to the idea that they are wind-up mechanical. Now that I see how easy these are to repurpose, I can think of a few applications for it.

  14. Spoonman says:

    Collecting and frying eggs!! think Dick Van Dyke has the patent on that one in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

  15. Mufti says:

    What if one of the chickens is standing at the door step when its time to close the door ?…

  16. Drone says:

    Finally a hack worthy of an Arduino. Add a solar cell to power it. Don’t forget the blinking LED.

  17. Peter says:

    Now if he could only train the chickens to wind the clock, he’d be done.

  18. Meh says:

    Holy crap, and he didn’t even use a stinkin’ arduino!

  19. cgmark says:

    Rube Goldberg would be proud !

  20. Jac says:


    Next step: rooster sound effects! :-)

  21. fastjunk says:

    Chickens waking you up too early?

    Turn the joke on them by setting up an alarm clock and opening the blinds on them every morning.

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