Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Solar powered coop - update 2

The news today isn't quite as rosy as I had hoped.   We left one chicken coop running overnight, using the tractor as the winch anchor.It was set to move 3 inches every half hour.

The good news is.. the coop moved and the battery is not totally drained. That's about it on the good news.

The bad news is:

It only moved about 5 feet overnight
There are about a dozen chickens outside the coop this morning
There is one dead chicken behind the coop

Apparently some of the chickens  slept on the ground, in the back corner of the coop.  We had the winch connected to the forks on the tractor as an anchor. This allowed some give in the forks with each winch pull due to the hydraulics.  This created a jerky movement instead of a gentle slow pull. That jerk, with sleeping young chickens in the back corner must have allowed the coop to jerk right over the birds. Unfortunately one didnt make it.

Two ways to fix this.. a timer to prevent movements at night or smooth out the jerks to push the chickens along instead of jerking over them. We are doing the second option today anyway by mounting the winch on a winch mounting plate and using t-posts to brace it in the ground. I think we will end up doing the timed approach also, its too dangerous to move the coop at night with sleeping birds.

So today we will:

replace the winch cable with 1/8" cable to allow 100 feet on the spool
mount the winch to a heavy duty winch plate
brace the winch plate to two tposts driven deep enough to hold it in place
Set the timer for 15 minutes instead of 30 minutes

As soon as possible I will look into converting a cheap digital wall timer into a 12volt timer to make it move only in the daytime. Should be possible.

Back to the drawing board....

No comments:

Post a Comment