The Jacob Springs Farm mobile henhouse, the Eggmobile houses up to 500 chickens enabling chickens to be incorporated into a rotational grazing system. The Eggmobile Controller is an open-source Agronimo project based on the particle electron to develop alerts, automation and data collection to reduce the management burden on the farmer producing eggs sustainably.
Our hope is that this project will result in a drastic increase in the profitability of keeping small flocks of chickens with high animal welfare and produce high quality eggs at less expens.
Problems to solve
- Open and closable door to protect chickens roosting at night
- Manage light
- manage security - dealing with predators (using door, motion detection, speakers, electric shock)
- manage light - keeping hens laying all winter
- manage water - eliminate tips to check water and less trips to bring water in
- manage feed - integrate a mobile phone ap that helps to calculate optimal protein and energy levels when supplementing brewers grain and other free food sources while automatically dispensing supplemental feed at appropriate intervals to encourage foraging while still providing optimal feed amounts.
- track weather?
- manage egg production??
- manage hen inventory??
One of the key roles of the eggmobile is to protect the chickens from predators. Each morning just after dawn the door must be opened to let the chickens out and, even though the chickens will, once trained, instinctively go back into the eggmobile to roost each evening, the doors must be closed after dusk to keep them safe from raccoons and other predators.
When predators are excessively active outside the eggmobile, it would be nice to be alerted to the fact. : additional functions could include detecting and reporting excessive motion outside the coop, playing speakers of human speech when activity is detected and triggering electric fence to deter predators when doors are closed.
When the sun rises in the morning the door will open based of an internal clock setting that will follow daylight savings times so that the chickens will only be able to roam free when it is daylight hours.
Chickens need 14-15 hours of light to lay optimally - the light should be warm and 0.5 - 1 foot-candles provide for optimal laying - light should only be supplied in the morning - never at night.
0.5 - 1 foot-candles translates roughly to one lumin per square foot minimum - better goal is 3 lumens per square foot.
In order to lay consistently, chickens must have constant access to water, the eggmobile is equipped with two 55 gallon water tanks and automatic waterers. It would be nice to be alerted to low water.
In the future we would like to add a feed wagon thats towed behind the eggmobile, it would be nice to have an automatic feeder that dispenses underneath the trailer so that chickens could get the feed but not goats or predators and so that the feed could be metered out according to parameters set dynamically by the farmer through a cell phone interface.
Maybe track weather?
Outline to Solution
- Solar panel
- 12v marine battery
- "cigarette lighter" type transformer for 5v power for the logic device
- particle electron chipset with GSM wireless account
- 12v drill motors with gears to power actuators for door, feeders (in this case a skil 12v drill motor, model LS-550px-62814-w made by Leshi)
- for door mechanism - chinese windlass? 
- door is 32" wide and 48" long. It's hinge is on the short side and is 24" off the ground
Abdullah,Amanda, Kelly, Kenzo, Mark Abdullah has his specialty in coding and implementing different systems to command electronics. Kelly is specialized in the mechanical aspect of this project. Mark is specialized in working on more of the mechanical aspects with kelly. Kenzo is specialized in compilation of data and reporting as well as helping in the manufacturing of the final project. Amanda is specialized in timelines and organizational skills.
Try using the free program called "Fritzing or another program else include photos of hand-drawn schematics.