provides me with the knowledge that my lovely birds
are always out at daybreak, but in at curfew.
I created an automated henhouse in my garage
with an infrared motion detector, automatic lights,
heater, and automated door. I know when they get
out in the morning and I know when they come back
in at night. Here’s how I put it all together.
free-range foraging (Figure B). To go in or out of the
coop, the 2 chickens must cross a motion detector, which sends me a notification that they’ve left
(another email/text). By counting the notifications,
I also know when they’re done laying their eggs
in the morning. Then the supplemental lights and
a waterproof heating pad both turn off. The door
remains open throughout the day and the girls will
sometimes wander back to grab a bite.
At sunset the supplemental light turns on in their
coop, summoning them to return for the night.
At this time the heating pad also turns on, giving
them a little extra heat on cold winter nights. When
the girls wander into their coop, an infrared motion
detector registers their entrance and sends me an
email/text notification (Figure C) so that I know, no
matter where I might be, that the girls are safely in
the building. Since they always wander in one after
another, I get 2 notifications, one for each bird.
At 35 minutes after sunset, the chicken door
closes (Figure D) and sends me a final confirmation
via email/text that this has occurred. One hour later,
the supplemental lights go off, and the girls are
ready for their evening rest.
In the next section I’ll describe a simpler system.
How My Henhouse Works