Chicken Coop project, which Arduino to start with?

Hello all!

This will be my first post, and my first project. We recently got into the backyard chicken movement (the babies are still indoors under a heat lamp for the next 3 weeks) and I was fascinated by the “Automated Coop” projects that I have seen. Needless to say my imagination went wild, and I started thinking about all the cool things that I could do to automate their coop. After a bit of brainstorming, and pulling from other folks who have done cool things with their coops, this is what I want my FINISHED product to accomplish. (Having said that I realize that I won’t be able to do this all at once…I plan on baby stepping all the way, but budget being a concern, I wanted to be sure I got the right Arduino and accessories to start with, so I could “grow” into my completed project)

Here is what I would like to automate in a 24 hour cycle

a. Detect daylight (photosensor? math makes me ill so I’d like to bypass the complex computational method of sun-up/sun-down :roll_eyes: )
-turn on interior lights
-turn on radio
b. after 30 minutes, open the coop door

  • turn off interior lights
  • turn off radio
    c. send me a txt message that the door has opened successfully
    d. rotate their webcam 90 degrees to the outside of the building (on a small servo motor perhaps?) (they are located out of line of sight of the house, so I’d like to be able to check on them without marching to the back 40)
    e. detect dusk
    -turn on interior lights
  • turn on radio
    f. after 30 minutes close the coop door
  • send a txt saying the door has closed successfully
  • rotate the webcam inside 90 degrees
    g. after 1 hour (summer) or 2 hours (winter) turn off the lights / radio

And eventually, completely independently, I’d like a temp sensor worked in to cut on a box fan at say 85 degrees perhaps?

So my question is, which Arduino model should I choose and what accessories to choose (photo and temp sensors, wifi, etc).

I am planning on starting with the automated door, then adding the dawn/dusk sensing part, then later the lights/radio and webcam, and finally, hopefully by summer the box fan.

And other than automating food/water (which I’d like to do myself, I do want to spend time with them everyday, but on my own schedule, not theirs :smiley: ) is there anything else I’ve not thought of that would make their lives more comfortable, perhaps for winter time a temp sensor that cuts on a heat lamp as well?

Thank you all for your time, I look forward to this project and hopefully many more!

digitalWrite(close the door and shut off the lights);
digitalWrite(RobotChicken, HIGH);