Some nocturnal predators (opossums and raccoons) were stealing eggs from our chicken coop. One night a chicken was killed and eaten. It was time for protection!
The coop already had a latchable door, but it was tiresome to open it at 7AM, then remember to close it after dark. Often the door would be forgotten, and remain open the whole night. An ideal entry for hungry critters.
This project is a light activated, motorized door opener. It will open when the daylight hits a set level of brightness, then close around dusk. The door takes about 30 seconds to move, so the chickens can get out of the way.
For those who want to build one, I have an electrical schematic. As most of the components are reused and unique, I cannot provide a complete list of parts. Every door is different. Read the schematic, figure out how it works, and mod away!
Here is a PDF schematic, with more info: Automatic Door Circuit