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For a really long time now, my dad has wanted an automatic chicken door coop. A few weeks before fathers day I decided I would make one for him. But on the fathers day I knew I wouldn't have time to finish. I then decided I would continue to think about it but wait until summer to start it. It's a good thing I did. This project ended up taking way longer than I thought it would. However, I am really proud of what I have made. I think it was well worth the time I put into it. I certainly learned a lot.

If you want to learn how to make the bow tie featured read this Instructable.

Step 1: Materials/Tools


  • Formica
  • dc motor
  • Toggle Switch
  • 2x Limit Switch
  • plywood
  • Epoxy
  • Acrylic
  • Packing Tape
  • 25x Post Screws
  • 3x Bolts
  • 3x Nuts
  • 3x Washers
  • Primer
  • Paint
  • Arduino
  • Arduino Motor Shield
  • 12v Power supply


  • CNC Router
  • CNC Laser
  • Drill
  • Forstner Bits
  • Regular Drill bits
  • Roller Brush
aliababua1 year ago

Great job! What is the thickness of Acrylic you used? Is it important to have hard Acrylic or I can use the soft and thin (about 0,020") Acrylic? Thank you and have a good inspiration!

EdL591 year ago

Ha. I was in the process of making the same thing when I came across this wonderful project. While a sliding door is ok - an iris door is so much clasier.

diy_bloke2 years ago

"No chickens were hurt in the making of this video"
Prize for originality and execution.
I will need to go through yr description a few times though coz not all very clear yet how you put things together, but I will probably be able to work it out

zposner (author)  diy_bloke2 years ago

Thanks, I added a video in the comments trying to explain how it works and how it goes together, maybe that will help?

yes, has become much clearer

Sir Keefer2 years ago

I have two green thumbs, and one left hand, I can't even draw, can I buy this somewhere.

zposner (author)   Sir Keefer2 years ago

I am the only person I know who makes it, but I would only make and sell them for an incredibly high price.

dbess2 years ago

What happens if the power goes out?

zposner (author)  dbess2 years ago

If it is rotating, it will stop. If it isn't, nothing will happen. I think when it turns back on it won't move no matter what.

Udon2 years ago

This is awesome, while hilarious.

zposner (author)  Udon2 years ago


PogCarr2 years ago

Can you provide some more pics of how the parts go together/work? I am having trouble vizualizing the mechanism.

zposner (author)  PogCarr2 years ago

I also added the video to the instructables, I am adding it here so you can reach it fast. If you are still having trouble understanding it, just say the word and I will make another video.

Very clear.
Just wondering if the screws in the slots will be capable of making that motion, just the sligthest pull may make them get stuck. But then again... you made it and it is working

zposner (author)  diy_bloke2 years ago

Yes, I had trouble with that at first. The key is to get the right spacer width so that the heads of the post screws are never tilted.

zposner (author)  PogCarr2 years ago

Yes. I'm on it! :)

diy_bloke2 years ago

Anybody want to make this for a different size....... you may find the gear generator come in handy:,200,100,6,1,0,0,4,1,...

zposner (author)  diy_bloke2 years ago

Very cool resource, thanks for sharing!

diy_bloke2 years ago

In one of your pictures there is an item that many electronics adepts will think is a crooked red cinch plug.
Chicken lovers know better, it is a water nipple

DDW_OR2 years ago

What CNC routers/lasers did you use?

zposner (author)  DDW_OR2 years ago

100 watt CO2 Boss laser

2.2kw spindle, mostly from CNC router parts

kz12 years ago

Screw the chickens! I want this for MY front door. No training to use required. :-}

zposner (author)  kz12 years ago

I do too! I would use a faster type of iris, but it would be so frickin cool!!!

phoe2 years ago
There's probably an inappropriate joke about cooking the chicken that could be made, half in jest, but could one get stuck in there as the iris closes ?
zposner (author)  phoe2 years ago

Yes. A chicken COULD POSSIBLY get stuck, but I would just call that natural selection ;)

holla20402 years ago

Well, how cool is that? I thought I took my chicken door seriously (search youtube for "150913 Warm Chicken". Your door makes me look like a kindergartner. Thanks, this is excellent work.

zposner (author)  holla20402 years ago

I skimmed through your video. It is really good. I wish I had enough time to make videos for all my projects. Glad you like it.

tedn1872 years ago

This will be perfect for a hole I have to another dimension!

zposner (author)  tedn1872 years ago

Yes, yes it would be

deluges2 years ago

that's pretty cool, especially the training part ^^

zposner (author)  deluges2 years ago

I agree, the training is coming along slowly. They have very little capacity to think.

jibpsy zposner2 years ago
Yeah some chickens aren't to bright. I had friends that had two types of chickens, one for meat and one for eggs. The egg chickens weren't totally stupid but the meat chickens? One day I was helping my friends build an orchard where their meat chicken had free range and we needed to move the coop (it was just the box cover for a truck as it was just tall enough for them and they all fit in there). We moved it to the other side of the field. Later it started to rain. All the chickens huddled in a perfect rectangle where the box cover had been. A couple died from the rain because they looked up and drowned. We had to run out and get the box and bring it back to cover the chickens. It fit perfectly over their formation. They aren't great at learning, but they are good at keeping a routine.
zposner (author)  jibpsy2 years ago

Great story, thanks for being part of our comunity

deluges jibpsy2 years ago

This is the best story I've heard this month, thanks for the good laugh

Given the mess found in most coops I would think a simple drop door (sliding sheet of aluminum) would prove practical. So many moving parts. Could be my chickens are simply messier than your dad's.

Neat build. Envy your equipment.

zposner (author)  charlessenf-gm2 years ago

Yeah, ours are pretty clean. They roam around all day every day, so there isn't much poop in the coop. Also, we replace the straw every once and a while when it gets to dirty.

DeniseM1222 years ago

Looks awesome. I would love to see a bow-tie on one of the chickens coming though it like James Bond. Super cute. Great job.

zposner (author)  DeniseM1222 years ago


booksmart2 years ago

Thanks for sharing the work and knowledge you gain in doing this. I think of try to make one myself. Thanks

God bless

zposner (author)  booksmart2 years ago

You're welcome

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