The Code for Arduino Chicken Coop Door

NOTE: To hopefully save you some time, I’ll let you in on the trick that FINALLY got this door to work with the light levels, debouncing the switches and *the chickens*. (as you’ll see in the code)

Check the light levels every 10 minutes to avoid the readings bouncing back and forth between dark/twilight/light during those dawn/dusk minutes. Then, when “dark” is reached (for me i chose >= 0 && <= 3 based on when my chickens actually went & stayed in the coop) enable motor dir down > debounce the switches > stop. Then do the opposite for morning. I’m sure there are different, maybe more efficient methods, but this code has been running flawlessly for a while now and I’m feeling confident enough to go out at night without worrying about predators. Although I still somehow find a reason to check the ChickenCam from time to time. (currently waiting for my new servo motors and night vision web cam to arrive in the mail)
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David Naves

David Naves

I’m hoping that if you use or modify my code or ideas, you will share *your* coop project with me and the world (pictures, whatever) I’m big on sharing.

Cheers,
//D

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I guess there has been some issue with copy and pasting the code, so I zipped up
the latest clean .ino for you here

I guess there has been some issue with copy and pasting the code, so I zipped up
the latest clean .ino for you here

Parts Used

(my affiliate links)

The Wiring Diagram for the Automatic Chicken Coop Door

Arduino Automatic Chicken Coop Door Fritzing Wiring Diagram

Arduino Automatic Chicken Coop Door Fritzing Wiring Diagram

The Installed Arduino Chicken Door

How I built the Automated Chicken Coop Door

Testing the door with the Arduino

Lessons Learned

What I’ve learned about the door, Arduino, light and construction:

  • Best to check the light levels every 10 minutes to avoid the readings bouncing back and forth between dark/twilight/light during those dawn/dusk minutes
  • Test your door with your chickens to see if any of them like to hang outside after hours
  • Testing the actual light values outside is very important (many variables involved: light from neighbor’s house, clouds, internal/external coop lights etc.)
  • Debouncing of your switches within your Arduino code is important (door will jump around and fail as electronic readings vary greatly by the millisecond)
  • Reach out for help on the Arduino Forums before pulling out your hair. (be nice, do your homework and ask very specific questions)
  • I changed from micro-switches to reed switches (magnets) because I didn’t want the mechanics of the micro-switches to fail over time

What I’ve learned about the chickens:

  • Keeping on a light within the coop can keep chickens outside longer (I think b/c the ambient light shines outside) And that’s important when it comes to automating this door, so they won’t get accidentally locked out.
  • They can jump and fly (high and far)
  • They love to roost in safety at night, but want nothing more than to get OUT as soon as it’s light out