With Easter Sunday soon upon us and ads everywhere for chicks, I seem to have eggs on the brain. So it was kind of a surprise when I overhead a co-worker talking about his automated chicken coop. Say what? I’ve heard of people automating some weird things over the past years – flushing toilets, animatronic Disney characters, and something called “50 Shades of Grey” which I’m pretty sure I don’t want to know anything about.
BUT WHO ON EARTH AUTOMATES A CHICKEN COOP?
And why? Well, I found out. It’s all about making sure the chickens are healthy, safe and productive with as little hands on maintenance as possible. Jon has a wireless thermostat in the chicken coop to keep the little cluckers comfy. It’s programmed to turn on automatically any time the outside temperature dips below freezing.
PRANKING THE POULTRY.
There are also three wireless light switches. One of the lights automatically turns on at night so the chickens get more “daylight” which tricks them into producing more eggs in the winter. Very clever. Apparently, Jon tried other lighting timers but they never worked well because of the dust in the coop. Another switch turns on some heating lights and a heated water dish, very handy for those cold Utah winters when a regular dish will freeze right over. The last switch directs some exterior lights so the family can keep an eye on the coop in the evening, perhaps making sure no mischievous predators are lurking about.
BIRDS OF A FEATHER…
If you think Jon is the only one who has leveraged Control4 automation to automate a chicken coop, you’re wrong. Once this story broke, we started hearing about other owners who leverage a lot of the same technology but some also have automated food dispensers and even “chicken cams” – IP cameras trained on the chicken coop so they can watch the chickens 24/7 for safety, or just for kicks and giggles.
Those are some pretty clucky chickens.