Flying Chickens v1

A while ago a fox ate ten of my chickens, leaving only “Lucky” behind since she decided it was wiser to roost on top of a shed. It gave me an idea. All I needed was a winch, a raspberry pi controller and the cunning use of a few bits of rope.

Mk1 was a test to see if everything worked out. It was a success. The winch was able to lift the chicken coop into the tree but I had to defeat the safety mechanism on the winch as the coop was being lifted off-centre and was causing the winch wire to drag on the safety cut-out and activating it.

The raspberry pi controller will be used to grab the sunrise/sunset times from the internet and at sunset will activate the winch and drag the coop [ hopefully with the chickens in it ] up into the tree. Then at sunrise it will gently lower the chucks back down to the ground. An added bonus of using the raspberry pi is I can introduce a Pavlovian response into the chickens by playing a tune a few minutes before the coop goes up. This will hopefully herd them all into the safety of the coop. I realise I may be attributing too much intelligence to the chickens!

Engineering issues left to solve:
The winch has to be perfectly level or the cable all bunches up at one end and this is not groovy. So I must find a way to suspend about 300kg of weight with millimetre accuracy.

I have to interface the GPIO pins of the Raspberry Pi to a 240v winch. I’ve yet to take the winch controller apart and work out what voltage we have going through the controls.

Fox Food

The latest delivery of fox food arrived recently. They’ve already started laying some eggs so it’s back to fresh poached eggs for breakfast for Emma and I. I’ve also put together a rather cunning plan to save my chickens from future fox attacks….more of that later though