Farm Happenings

Changes for a more efficient chicken coop…

I’m really working to fine tune efficiency in the chicken coop right now. I’ve got about a month before it’s time to start working in the CSA garden and I’m on a mission to get things working as efficiently as possible before our busy crop season starts.  We’re several hatches in with our 2018 chicks and soon I’ll be working on juvenile chicken living quarters but for now I wanted to take a fun concept to completion in the adult chicken coop:

Chicken Powered Automatic Coop Door

This concept doesn’t require electricity or harnessing solar power. It doesn’t use motors or gears… It’s very simple and anyone can set this up in their own chicken coop. It’s just a pulleys, rope an lever system that operates using the weight of your chickens. I made a video of how it works so that anyone could use the system in their own chicken coop.

Watch the video below to see exactly how my Chicken Powered Automatic Coop Door works:

I started this project fully prepared to have lots of fiddling, tweaking & fine tuning time before it was functional because I did zero calculations or on paper plans for the project. I know there are mathematical formulas I could have done on paper to fine tune the mechanics before I starting cobbling stuff together but I didn’t learn that stuff too well in school. I’m more of a visual/ work it out in actions kind of person it seems.

Turns out I was lucky to have landed on the right weight and lever length via some initial fiddling! Last night after dark I went in the coop to see if anyone was on my lever roosting bar. As stated in the video, I had my doubts about my chickens being able to get on the roost. I was pleasantly surprised to find my lever roost fully occupied and my sliding door had closed on it’s own. Getting the door to close was a great success!

The next morning when I went out to feed I realized no chickens had exited the coop! I Knew there had to be a door opening issue so I went out to record a video and to investigate. Turns out my chickens don’t want to leave their roosting bars until they have and open door.

I’ll have to provide the chickens with some incentive & training to leave the roosting bar so that their door can automatically open. It’s a work in progress, just like our coop and many other projects on the farm. Next I think I’d like to add a treadle feeder to the inside of my chicken coop. 

What are your favorite ways to increase efficiency?

<p>A city girl turned farmer. Yes women do farm ;) Owner and operator of direct to consumer, Ryder Family Farm in Southern Illinois.<br /> Wearing many hats I'm also a mother to 3, a wife, a yogi, a farmer, a 4-H & Girl Scout leader & hospitality manager.</p>

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