Raspberry Pi Controlled Chicken Door

We’re not sure if the Chickens know it yet, but they could be one of the reasons for all this IoT craze now a days. Look for chicken coop, and out come dozens of posts from the Hackaday chest.

Here’s another one from self confessed lazy engineer [Eric]. He didn’t want to wake up early to let his chickens out in the morning, or walk out to the coop to lock them up for the night to protect them from predators like Foxes, Raccoons and Opossum. So he built a Raspberry-Pi controlled chicken coop door that automates locking and unlocking. The details are clear from his video which you can watch after the break. The door mechanism looks inspired from an earlier anti-Raccoon gravity assist door.

The hardware (jpg image) is simple – a couple of hall sensors that detect the open/close status of the coop door that is driven by a DC motor via a bridge controller. The whole setup is controlled using a Raspberry-Pi and this is where the fun starts – because he can now add in all kinds of “feature creep”. Motion sensor, camera, light array, and anti-predator gizmos are all on his drawing board at the moment. Add in your feature requests in the comments below and let’s see if [Eric] can build the most advanced, complicated, gizmo filled chicken coop in the Universe. Combine that with this design, and it could even turn out to be the most beautiful too.

18 thoughts on “Raspberry Pi Controlled Chicken Door

  1. Suggestions: 1. Lose the wifi adaptor. Powerline ethernet would likely be better, unless you have an outside AP. 2. I didn’t see a night/day sensor in the setup. One of these would be a simple add, with a minimum sctivation time so the door doesn’t open on a flashlight – and a failsafe of ‘open 12hrs after close if no sun detected, something is broken.’ 3. IR Motion sensor for the run/pen. Activate it when the door begins to close, so you can raise an alarm if there are any predators or silly chickens who didn’t go to bed on time. 4. IBM industrial touchscreens are about $30 on eBay, and Androids tablets start at $50. Put one on your kitchen wall to control the wider home automation system.

    1. A full-blown RPi seems a wee bit overkill for what essentially boils down to a stepper motor, a sensor and an RTC, yes. But then, maybe he wanted to include it all in some kind of home automation, with webcams and chicken/egg/fox/elephant image recognition, NFC tags for late entry, RGB light control for the shed and the yard, and some light good night Jazz music for the chicken?

    1. I think you’re right: he should add a keypad for late comers.
      I also think that this system is not secured enough and can be easily bypassed by any foxy fox. So I suppose rather than a keypad, the safer approach would be to use a biometric featherprint reader instead.

      1. Agreed I’ve owned chickens for several years, they are simple creatures and their behavior is extremely predictable. If their run is dark they will go inside. Make sure no artificial light source illuminates the run, and you are good to go. If you have a usually stubborn chicken that refuses to go inside side when it’s suppose to, they will learn after a few nights in the cold.

  2. OK. My RasPi has a temp/humd sensor and a sonic sensor in my greenhouse. Running Mochad with X10 scripts runs a small pump for the lettuce in a gutter and another pump to water the tomatoes Another script checks the depth of “soup” in the sump, the temp & humd, inside and out and records it in a Mysql DB viewable via Phplot. The script also X10’s a heater on & off for cold nights.

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