DIY solar powered automatic chicken coop opener

Create your own solar powered chicken coop opener with a timer, a discarded 12v power tool, a 30W solar panel and a few other cheap parts.

Having chicken is, compared to other animals, not much work. You must provide food, water, and shelter, and clean the coop once in a while, but other than that, the chicken will mostly take care of themselves.

One of the daily tasks is to open the chicken coop door in the morning and close it in the evening after the chicken has gone into the coop for the night. Although this isn't much work, it MUST be done every morning and evening. Wouldn't it be awesome if you could automate it?

With a little effort and a few bucks, you can either purchase a commercial coop opener, like the Chicken Guard. Or, if you're handy and want a fun little project, you can collect a few parts and create one yourself.

There are several ways of building a chicken coop opener, and you can also use this one as a starting point or just as inspiration, and create your own.


  • Set the time it will open and close on a timer.
  • 12V based solar powered off-grid system. But it can be hooked to the grid e.g. during the winter (if you're living in a place with dark winters).

What you need to build it:

  • A door that can be raised and lowered with a line.
  • A (wooden) box that can be placed above the door, that can house all the electronics.
  • A deprecated power drill (but the engine has to work)
  • A 12V timer
  • A car relay
  • 2 micro switches
  • A 12V to 5V voltage regulator
  • A 12V lead-acid battery, 9Ah, or similar. LifePo4 should work as well but might be more expensive.
  • A cheap solar controller
  • A small solar panel (30W or more, 12V-18V)
  • A couple of meters wiring