Build a henhouse
motion detector that
notifies you when your
brood arrives safely in
their coop each night.
BY ALAN GRAHAM
Growing up on a farm, there were many unpleasant tasks. Summers were filled with backbreaking labor, not to mention the daily chores of milking
80 or so cows and collecting the eggs and feeding the chickens.
I now live in the city of Portland, Ore., and I’ve
come to miss those farm days of 20 years ago.
fresh water, and retreat to a safe area at night, you
basically have very little to do to keep them happy.
When I decided to get a couple of chickens, I was
adamant that the work involved wouldn’t seem like
work. Gone are the days where I’d wake before dawn
to get to the barn or prepare for a cold day chopping
wood. These days it’s all about waking with the sun.
And seeing as I’m now a lazy, citified man,
One of the delightful aspects of chickens is that
they’re low-maintenance. As long as they can get
out of the coop, grab a bite to eat, have access to
I wanted a solution that allowed for late mornings,
weekend getaways, peace of mind, and avoiding
any possible exposure to the elements, either to let
the fowl out or collect the eggs. So with a few ideas
garnered from around the web, and a few of my own,
I cobbled together a henhouse that accomplishes
a number of tasks without a single finger lifted, yet
Photography by Alan Graham
64 Make: Volume 22