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Raspberry Pi Protects Chickens Via Automated Coop

Raspberry Pi
(Image credit: Rgtj)

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.

Raspberry Pi

(Image credit: 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.

Raspberry Pi

(Image credit: Rgtj)

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.

  • Darkbreeze
    THIS, is what is wrong with this world these days. When walking outside and spending literally ten seconds to open the coop in the morning and close the coop in the evening is too much work, it speaks volumes about the laziness of our society and especially when it has trickled down to those working types who actually HAVE things like chickens and other livestock.

    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.
    Reply
  • Paul Jay
    I disagree. We have just one coop, 2chickens and 6 more on the way. We lost 4 chickens earlier this year to racoons who got in the fenced yard. I've added an electric wire to the fence, and also my own design and coce for an automated door that uses photosensor to detect dawn and dusk and it uses a linear motor and vertical sliing shutter type door. If you rasise chickens and also do other things, you'll understand. We cannot always be home to close the door at dusk, and we often don't get up at dawn, depending on the time of year. In our northern lattitude summer dawn is very early (4:00am to 5:00am) and dusk is very late (10:00 pm). In the winter dusk is 4:30 pm and dawn 8 or 9 am.) So timing one's entire days around the time of dusk and dawn is not practical. For example, going out to dinner, visting friends and family, shopping, work, etc. So, there are many times when we just can't open and close the coop at dusk and dawn. Automating the door is better for the chickens who get to free range more and also stay safer. We know our very secure coop is closed at dusk. But, we always go check to ensure there are no chickens stranded outside the coop before it gets too late. This is a real help for people who want to raise chickens but are not a full time farmers.
    Reply
  • Darkbreeze
    As mentioned in the article, the chickens aren't always going to automatically already be IN the coop at the time you might have the timer set for, and if you have it set late enough that they WILL for certain already be in there, then it's already past the time when predators might have already been prowling around. So you might either end up with chickens that are locked out of the coop, or a closing time that really doesn't eliminate potential problems.

    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.
    Reply