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Hi,

I have an Eglu Cube with the autodoor, which is taking care that the chicken are safe in their home at night. Even when I am not at home, I'm sure that the door closes at the right time.

However, before the Eglu Cube, I had an Eglu Go for 8 years. My mean reason for upgrading the Go to a Cube was the fact that at night, the chicken would sleep on the nesting area, making it dirty. The eggs we retrieved were dirty as well... every day. In the morning, there was no time to clean the nesting area.

The Cube solved that issue. I have now white chicken (before I had brown ones), so I have white eggs and they are without a spot of dirt when I retrieve them.

However, if I do not close the internal sliding door at night and open it again in the morning, the chicken will go in the nesting booth and sleep in it (making it again dirty as was the case with the Eglu Go).

I'm not always in time at home at night to close that sliding door, so I was wondering if anyone already attempted to automate the opening and closure of that sliding door towards the nesting booth. Grateful if anyone has some info or tips on how they did it or how they would do it.

Thanks,
Mario

Eglu_Cube_nest_box_partition_door.jpg

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OK, so no one has thought about automating this sliding door yet... strange.
I'm planning to do a small project using Arduino to automate the door. If there are people interested or having loads of Arduino knowledge, reach out to me...

Cheers,
Mario

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Hiya - I have a new Eglu without the automated door as I don't shut them in at night, I've had hens for years in different runs and never have shut them in their actual house, the run keeps the foxes out and they seem fine with the door open, they can get up very early in the morning and I can have a lie in - however I do have to shut the nest box door at night...seemingly more so with this Eglu - whether they prefer the box to the slats I am not sure but I am hoping if I shut the door for a few weeks they might get out of the habit so I can be lazy and leave it open as I have with most other set ups.

Anyway  - this caused me to think, what is the point of an automated external door if you can't automate the nest box door as they will all crowd in there!  Omlet need to design one.  Not sure I will buy it tho...far too pricey for me...will have to rely on good old human hands and the nest box will just have to be open  24/7 if I am away.

So I am very much with you on this one - but have absolutely no idea how you can achieve the automation - don't even know what Arduino is.  Good luck!

 

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Posted (edited)

I think many of us on here have the MK 1 cube without automation.  Like Mrs A, I don’t close the cube at night.  In my case, because my bantams sleep on perches in the run.  The cube is just an expensive nest box.  I’ve also taken out the divider in the cube ( which I guess you can’t do).  I did this years ago after a bout of red mite as I found the groove where the divider sat was a favourite hiding place for them.   When I had hens who slept inside, I found that it stops them laying in the nesting place though, if you put an upturned flower pot or ball in.  I only had to do it for a short time to change the behaviour. 

Edited by Patricia W

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On 6/13/2019 at 12:15 AM, Mrs A said:

Hiya - I have a new Eglu without the automated door as I don't shut them in at night, I've had hens for years in different runs and never have shut them in their actual house, the run keeps the foxes out and they seem fine with the door open, they can get up very early in the morning and I can have a lie in - however I do have to shut the nest box door at night...seemingly more so with this Eglu - whether they prefer the box to the slats I am not sure but I am hoping if I shut the door for a few weeks they might get out of the habit so I can be lazy and leave it open as I have with most other set ups.

Anyway  - this caused me to think, what is the point of an automated external door if you can't automate the nest box door as they will all crowd in there!  Omlet need to design one.  Not sure I will buy it tho...far too pricey for me...will have to rely on good old human hands and the nest box will just have to be open  24/7 if I am away.

So I am very much with you on this one - but have absolutely no idea how you can achieve the automation - don't even know what Arduino is.  Good luck!

 

Hi,

Thanks for your reply. I have an open run (not the one from Omlet as I have quite some space where they are allowed to walk free). I don't believe we have foxes nearby (never say never) but we do have ferrets and ermines (hope I translated that one correct). So the automated door is serving a purpose. The door opens around 5:30am and closes at 9pm (by that time they are already in for 2 or so hours.

If I leave the nest box door open, I end up cleaning the full area at the end of the week. I have tried changing their habbits but forgetting to close the door once is enough for them to fall back to their old habbits... I used to have an Eglu Go before the Cube and I actually sold it because it does not have a separate nesting area and thus they were messing the nesting area up every night.

This being said: I think I found a way to automate the sliding door. It may sound strange but the design is based on an old PC DVD player and a PC mouse. The DVD player has an automated tray and a small engine and the microswitches in the computer mouse will help to stop the door when it is fully open/closed, to prevent the engine from continuing. The arduino will will help to program the opening/closing. 

Will see how this goes...

On 6/13/2019 at 7:30 AM, Patricia W said:

I think many of us on here have the MK 1 cube without automation.  Like Mrs A, I don’t close the cube at night.  In my case, because my bantams sleep on perches in the run.  The cube is just an expensive nest box.  I’ve also taken out the divider in the cube ( which I guess you can’t do).  I did this years ago after a bout of red mite as I found the groove where the divider sat was a favorite hiding place for them.   When I had hens who slept inside, I found that it stops them laying in the nesting place though, if you put an upturned flower pot or ball in.  I only had to do it for a short time to change the behavior. 

Hi Patricia,

The MK2 has a removable divider. It's held in place by 2 aluminum U-profiles. Once a month I take it out to clean it. After you mentioned the red mites, I went to check last WE to make sure they also did not use this spot in my MK2 to hide, but I have to say so far I have zero mites anywhere in the run.

As for behavior: as I said in my reply above - it takes only one night not closing the nesting area for my chicken to fall back to their previous habit of sleeping in the nesting area...

Thanks,
Mario

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Red mite comes from the wild bird population.  Just keep an eye out for it.  It can ( literally) creep up on you.   As for sleeping in the nest box, it’s a case of persevering.  Or accepting you need to wash the eggs before use.  If you choose to wash them, don’t do it till you do use them.  They are covered in a ‘bloom’ which prevents internal contamination.  If you wash this off, they don’t keep as long. 

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3 hours ago, Patricia W said:

Red mite comes from the wild bird population.  Just keep an eye out for it.  It can ( literally) creep up on you.   As for sleeping in the nest box, it’s a case of persevering.  Or accepting you need to wash the eggs before use.  If you choose to wash them, don’t do it till you do use them.  They are covered in a ‘bloom’ which prevents internal contamination.  If you wash this off, they don’t keep as long. 

I have had red mite with one of my first wooden chicken houses. I have to say that since I switched to the plastic ones from Omlet, it has been quite OK.

In regards to the eggs, I indeed heard that washing them should not be done - thanks for explaining why. So far, by closing the nest box door each evening, we have crisp white eggs, no cleaning required whatsoever.

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