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Topic: Beginner with Chicken Project - Willing to pay for help (Read 3 times) previous topic - next topic

PasturedWithPride

I hope I am not offending a support group by offering to pay...I may be missing some type of protocol.

I would like to use Arduino to track my chickens and when they lay eggs. I thought his would be easier, but I have found that I know a lot more about chickens than I do programming. I got the idea from the RFID Cat Door. http://www.instructables.com/id/RFID-cat-door/

I want to track the chicken when she walks through the ring to a nesting box and then when she walks away. The time she spends in the nesting box should give me a good idea as to whether or not she has laid an egg.

The parts I think I need are:
1. Arduino
2. SD Card Shield - http://www.seeedstudio.com/depot/sd-card-shield-p-492.html?cPath=109
3. RFID reader - http://www.seeedstudio.com/depot/125khz-rfid-module-uart-p-171.html?cPath=144_153 or http://www.seeedstudio.com/depot/electronic-brick-125khz-rfid-card-reader-p-702.html?cPath=144_153
4. Real Time Clock - http://www.ladyada.net/wiki/partselector/ic#rtc

Anyway, I hope that is clear as that is all I have been able to understand. I realize that I know more about chickens than programming. I would rather spend my time with them than on the computer so I am willing to pay for help.

If you are willing to help then please send me a message.

Thank you,

Stephen

strykeroz

Hi Stephen

Perhaps you could combine this with a load sensor so you can tell if the chicken leaves the nesting box but leaves it heavier than when she arrived there?

Geoff
"There is no problem so bad you can't make it worse"
- retired astronaut Chris Hadfield

Chagrin

I don't think RFID would work here; it works for a cat because a cat holds its head low and is predictable as to where the dangling RFID tag will be when it walks up to the door. The RFID reader you have linked (well, the non-discontinued version) states a 7cm sensing distance. I have no idea how you'd leash an RFID tag onto a chicken to get a predictable 7cm position and reading.

I'd suggest a simpler method would be to use some sort of light beam across the nesting area inside the nesting box; when the chicken blocks the beam it's in the box. An infrared LED and infrared phototransistor can be wired up to do this.

You might want to look into the Seeeduino Stalker which includes an SD card socket and real time clock right on the board ($39). It also provides a solar panel input and LiPo battery input so, if you keep your current consumption low, you might not even need to run power out to your house.

PasturedWithPride

Awesome suggestion on the Seeeduino Stalker. Thank you!

arduinoadrian

You can also meassure the temperature in the nest. When the hen is there it will go up and if it lays an egg it will probably remain warmer longer after the hen leaves than when no egg is laid... You can also monitor the time the hen is in the nest by checking temp changes. Monitoring the time is there and how long it takes to cool down (rate of cooling) maybe you can determine if it laid an egg or not. The more eggs are in the nest the longer it takes to cool down. Everytime an egg is laid it takes longer and longer (if you don't eat them of course) :D. You have the previous cooling rate stored and you compare with new, if its higher is because a new egg is probably there. You will need to monitor also ambient temp to reference the thing. If you remove the eggs everytime, there will probably be a difference in the cooling rate anyway from when there is an egg to when there is none. No RFID required. Two temp sensors instead and some code.
Perseverance is 90% of the solution. The remaining 10% is more perseverance.

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