The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Cheaper chicken door contraption

cheaper chicken doorHow can I make a cheaper chicken door opener with parts I can find around my neighborhood?

Tom: Ashland, OH.

A car lock actuator is what Rob from uses. He found two electric car lock actuators on ebay for 11 dollars shipped, which is a lot cheaper than the drapery motor controller.

A junk yard might be a good place to find cheap actuators.
Automatic chicken door

Edited to add:

After years of research, Mark eventually settled on
this automatic chicken door.

You can see a summary of the best chicken door alternatives and why he chose this version here.

If you're planning on automating your coop, don't forget to pick up one of our chicken waterers.  They never spill or fill with poop, and if done right, can only need filling every few days or weeks!

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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Hey WaldenEffect, I too am looking for a cheap/effective auto opener. I found the same designs you have, but getting 120v to my coop is impractical, and I want this to be seriously cheap. I'm collecting the parts to try this one out:

As long as you counterbalance the gate, the motor shouldn't have to work very hard, so this batter-operated motor should have no trouble. I like the added convenience of the light detection as well. This is well beyond my tinkering experience, but it looks doable. I'll let you know how it goes. Good luck! _david

Comment by David M Fri May 1 12:40:13 2009
That sounds really interesting! Please do update us on how it goes!
Comment by anna Fri May 1 19:53:36 2009

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