Who knew Python could protect your chickens? This maker, known on Reddit as Rgtj, created an automated chicken coop with the help of a Raspberry Pi.
The coop uses a Raspberry Pi to control the opening and closing of the coop door. It uses a system of timers that initiate once in the morning and once in the evening.
The timers call a systemd service that sends a signal to open or close the door using an MQTT message. MQTT is a messaging protocol which can be used to send messages to devices which are listening for a specific topic. A Python script is used to translate the MQTT message into a specific action for the door to take. Each interaction is logged and can be monitored remotely by Rgtj.
The pictures show the door mechanism which raises and lowers to open and close. According to Rgtj, the door moves very slowly and takes a few minutes to fully open and close so no chickens are harmed.
It is possible for a chicken to become stranded but they're usually really good about going inside when the sun goes down. Plus, helping the stranded chicken is easy—Rgtj can open or close the door remotely to let our feathered friend inside for the night.
If you want to read more about this project, check out the original thread on Reddit. Visit our list of Best Raspberry Pi Projects for more cool creations from the Pi community.
On the other hand, it's an incredibly neat usage and I could totally see it for somebody with MANY such coops, such as a medium to large free range farm. But for just one coop? Layseeeee. LOL. Still neat though.
I guess if going out to dinner is more important than making sure the chickens are put up first, then they aren't all that important to you. And for the record, I grew up and lived a good deal of my life on a farm and ranch environment, plus have owned chickens (Some of which were very expensive) even in my in-town life as an adult, so I'm quite aware of many of the concerns regarding these operations. But if it works for you (Or whoever) then that's great. I have no disagreements against using solutions that work for you at all. I just think that "in general" it's kind of lazy. But it's not my chickens or my operation, so it really doesn't matter what I think.
I can certainly see some situations where it might definitely be beneficial though now that you mention it, like for example if you have a few chickens, not enough to really require any "hands" on the property beyond the owners, in the even they were to need to leave on vacation or something and only have somebody stopping by during the day for a quick check and throw some feed, etc. So yeah, I can see some usefulness I guess.