Things have been moving around the Farm lately so expect to see some catch up blog posts coming at you soon!
First, anyone else have a loving, caring, helpful spouse who makes your projects grow exponentially? :-)
When the project was first planned out we were looking at working with Chickens and Rabbits. Since then my wife has expanded/added G.O.A.Ts (see previous blogs), Guinea Fowl, and now Ducks! (There has been rumor of Peacocks in the future but luckily none can be found in the immediate 250 mile radius.)
At this point I have not worked IoT into the new fowl, but I found an opportunity to use the Ducks as a trial test for my future door monitoring with the Chickens.
Welcome to the Duck Domain! The Fence is actually up to try and keep out the previously mentioned G.O.A.Ts. It seems that Duck food, Chicken Food heck even Rabbit food is all fair game to those rascally Terminators if their Ocular targeting system finds it!
These are all "Free" ducks that she was able to find advertised online, it started as 2, then 2 more, then 2 more, you get the idea. Yes, Chickens are Gateway Fowl, quickly escalating into the Farmer's wife needing more and more diverse additions! The nice side of it is duck eggs are big!
The pool gets cleaned often, with the water being toted over to near by trees for reuse. Eventually a pump system is planned to quickly drain it, but for now it is bucket power!
So the problem addressed to me, using the handy dandy egg roller tool (see above) to get eggs out of the Ducky Domain Domicile is less than efficient. I have been planning out a sliding door option for the Chicken Casa and thought this would be a good opportunity to apply it quickly using some materials on hand.
I have been trying to use free materials as much as possible, recycling and no cost are big pluses on this Farm.
So taking a handy dandy pallet, I left one solid board on the bottom to ensure nesting materials stay in the nest and then removed 2 boards out of the middle section on both front and back, ending up with 4 cut boards. #1
I then took 2 2x4s a little smaller then 1/2 the height of the pallet and screwed the 4 boards on to them at the appropriate location to allow for the 2x4 door to be fully down and have the hole covered as shown above. #2
I then used some baling wire attached to the top of the sliding door to allow a firm handle to lift up and control the door. #3
Finally I added a hole through the pallet and the door that when the door is lifted a screw can be put in to hold everything up and in place. There is a staple on the top to hold the screw when it is not being used. #4
Here is the "back" side, which will actually be the inside. You can better see how the 2 2x4s were put in place with the 4 cut boards sealing the hole.
You can also see a little better view of the wire handle for lifting the door.
Here is the door locked into it's up position. Next step, install it and have the wife test it out.
Here the pallet back with sliding door has been placed onto the backside of the Duck Domain Domicile to allow easy access for eggs.
The view through the new sliding door! The wife loves it and now wants 3 more. Sigh...
But I like this design to use with the Chicken Casa and adding a sensor for when it is closed will let us know remotely when they are locked up. Eventually upgrades will have a remote motor to open, but especially with this implementation I wanted a heavy door to stay down and keep out potential egg/duck thieves of the non-human variety.
For all of you Water Fowl enthusiasts, yes we are looking at a full duck pond in the future. My son has already started digging and I have been researching Sodium Bentonite as a water holder. We would really like to work in a self cleaning pond so more research is in the future for that!