Which Hardware do I need

Good morning everyone, first I apoligize if this is in the incorrect place, it seemed correct.

We are going to be re-building our chicken coop soon, we had an issue with a family of raccoons that found where they were staying! :)

I have been looking for a good reason to learn how to do some automation, and this seems like just the project...

I'm not sure what exactly I need.

To begin with I would like to do something very simple like Open/Close a door depending on time of day. I would however like to have the ability to expand on that as my knowledge grows - things like motion or sound sensors? Maybe control feedings, sending text message to verify things are closed, maybe even a web site that you can quickly look at over the home network that will give you the tempature, door status, etc...

I do not want to have to scrap everything and re-buy hardware each time I would like to add something, I would like to start with the door, then add another part, then another, etc. I'm just not sure what to START with.. Could someone recommend me what I would need to get started, but be able to extend the functionality later?

Thank you, I did look through the forums, but I do not understand most of what I was reading, so its very likely I missed something.

Thank you so much.

The basic for any automation project Arduino UNO ebay 4 channel relay ebay

Sensors depending on what exactly your needs ultrasonic sensor HC-SR04 to measure distance or motion sensor (range 3cm-4m) look here infrared sensor to measure distance or motion sensor (range 3cm-4m) ebay motion sensor look here

Ethernet shield for web controlling ebay or you can use serial ports USB

Chicken coop projects appear here regularly.

I suspect the most constructive thing would be to find one which nearly meets your needs and try to understand it. Then you can ask specific questions about things you don't understand.

Learn about things a small piece at a time. When you can understand and make the parts work separately it will be time to think about joining them together.

There are many useful examples with the Arduino IDE and you may find some useful stuff in planning and implementing a program.