GPS chicken rover

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by chicken rover, Oct 19, 2008.

  1. chicken rover

    chicken rover Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 19, 2008
    nashville
    I am in the middle of designing a GPS guided chicken rover that you as the owner can go out and pick as many points (within reason) that the rover (moving henhouse) will go. It will travel to one point (coordinate) then the next allowing you the opportunity to pick the areas that the chickens range on. Key to the design is that the chickens are encouraged (fooled) into "following" the house. The rover stops at night, and sometime after dusk the door closes. It opens at first light. The GPS system tells the door , based on its coordinates and time of day, when to open and close. The question is given that it is silent and its movement is imperceptible to the chickens, how far will they go with it? They think that they are staying close to it but they will be actually moving. Is this too far out there as an idea?
    The rover is self sustaining as it is both a water collector (100 gallons) and has solar power and batteries. It has the capability of lights at night and can accomodate other eletrical needs.
    I am debating whether to make it small (30 chickens) vs. large (200 chickens). the idea being that 3 of these could cover more territory than one. The main goal of this is to follow cows, sheep and goats on a rotational pasturing system. It allows for healthier chickens and helps to build topsoil by putting the chickens close to as many cow patties as possible. However, it would work even without the other animals as it encourages the chickens to move about and be safe close to their house.
    Any suggestions from anyone?
     
  2. crtrlovr

    crtrlovr Still chillin' with my peeps

    *ow. my brain hurts.*
     
  3. LittleChickenRacingTeam

    LittleChickenRacingTeam On vacation

    Jan 11, 2007
    Ontario, CANADA
    100 gallons of water = 834 lbs

    1 lead acid battery =60 lbs (you are going to need at least 6 in series for the electic motors to move the tractor)

    weight of chicken tractor for 30 birds= estimated at least 200 lbs.

    weight of electric drive motors, solar panels, wiring, electronics etc.....300+ lbs.

    So lets say you can build 1 for less than 2,000 lbs total weight.

    Now factor in the cost of the above equipment & the electronic/computer/GPS to run it. If you can build it for less than $5,000 I would be impressed.
     
  4. The Chicken Lady

    The Chicken Lady Moderator Staff Member

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    Apr 21, 2008
    West Michigan
    This is so nerdy and awesome. [​IMG] Kudos to you for thinking of something so cool!
     
  5. Poulets De Cajun

    Poulets De Cajun Overrun With Chickens

    Quote:I'm with you.... here, have a few advils... [​IMG]
     
  6. chicken rover

    chicken rover Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 19, 2008
    nashville
    The prototype budget is 30k. I don't know what production costs will be but keep in mind it will be an agricultural piece of equipment.
    Thanks for the quick calcs. I want it heavy as I have seen many of these chicken tractors blow away.


    Quote:
     
  7. chicken rover

    chicken rover Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 19, 2008
    nashville
    Excellent weight calculations. It will have two electric motors plus the weight of the chassis and wheels
     
  8. Morning Dove

    Morning Dove Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 13, 2008
    Eastern Shore MD
    Wouldn't it be simpler to have one coop in the middle of a pasture, divide the pasture into quarters by fencing and have different door on the coop for each quarter of the pasture?

    Dove
     
  9. chicken rover

    chicken rover Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 19, 2008
    nashville
    Well you want the chickens to go follow a specfic path around each pasture which will be different. The cows that were previously on there will go to different areas in each paddock looking for the right patch of grass to eat, and their manure will follow. We want to get as many chickens on these manure areas as possible, scratching them out and eating the bugs. It also serves to break up the parasitic cycle so that when the cows are in that paddock again they stand less of a chance to get infested again. There are many issues relating to sustainability and overall health of the all of the animals and the pasture. You are basically making the animals work for that good grass and bugsand they are building great topsoil. The goal of the chicken rover is to facilitate this in a way that is good for the chickens....
     
  10. SSO202

    SSO202 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 16, 2008
    Hartwood, VA 22406
    wow...............................................................................! Good Luck!

    [​IMG]
     

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