Automatic chicken coop door powered by arduino

As Farm Hackers Louis, RJ and Ben work on the Wireless Greenhouse Monitor project, which is powered by an open-source Arduino circuit board, we have come across yet another great use for the Arduino on the farm:

Check out this Instructable for an programmable, self-locking chicken coop door, whose Arduino microcontroller tells the unit under what conditions to open and close the coop.  It’s just one of many possibilities for open source electronics project on the farm.  

The Poultry Feeder Challenge

At some recent FarmHack workshops, participants shared great ideas for building affordable waterers + feeders for poultry.

Share your farm-made waterers and feeders with FarmHack!  Link in the comments or write us at FarmHack and we’ll help you put up a post here about yours.

To help inspire you, we are fortunate that several have been well documented on the web, so here are links to a few:

from Backwoods Home Magazine

Here’s an under-five-dollar, 5-gallon bucket feeder from Backwoods Home Magazine


and a 5-gallon bucket waterer from


this DIY chicken feeder only opens when a chicken stands on it, to keep wild birds from feasting.  The how-to, complete with plans drawn on graph paper, is here.
and Here’s video of a chicken eating at a similar self-opening feeder, from


Here’s a slightly more deluxe, but still dirt cheap, nipple waterer, with instructions and parts list.


And as long as we’re getting fancy, here’s a fully automated feeder with DIY electronics.

But who wants to buy the electronic controller for that last one when you could follow Make Magazine’s lead, and re-purpose an old VCR to meter out the food? Here’s the ingenious inspiration for that. First farmer to build a VCR-based poultry feeder gets the FarmHack prize for invention of the week:

VCR Cat Feeder