Category Archives: Homesteading

Does Homesteading Save Money? feat. BABY GOATS!!!

The results are in. We no longer have any backyard animals, but we do have some hard numbers to share with you about raising goats and chickens. In this video we answer the question: does homesteading save money?

In the past month, we lost 2 chickens to a mysterious predator, and gave our last one away. Blanche had 2 babies, Arthur and Stanley. And we failed to try our hand at gardening this spring. We have plans to fix our mistakes in the fall. But until then…

DIY Automatic Chicken Coop Door Opener Build | PART 3

It’s ALIVE!!! I finally got my DIY automatic chicken coop door working, and temporarily installed. I used a power antenna motor to drive the door on cabinet drawer slides. The whole unit is solar powered by a 12 volt battery.

I used a DC timer and DPDT relay to trigger the opening and closing of the door. In the video, I put all of the components in a nice plastic enclosure that hides most of the wires.

It worked perfectly, closing at sunset and opening at sunrise!

Here’s a link to the wiring diagram: http://goo.gl/hGL0GZ

Part 1 – http://goo.gl/b9Xscb
Part 2 – http://goo.gl/spz6CQ

DIY Automatic Chicken Coop Door Opener Build | PART 2

Part 2 in my experiment building a fully automatic chicken coop door. Although it seems like nothing got accomplished, figuring out the DPDT relay was a big step forward. Now all I need is a working light sensor or timer.

I should have everything working properly and installed next week. If you have any ideas as to why it kept opening and closing intermittently, please let me know in the comments.

Watch part 1 here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n6OhY3Bnh7c

Saying Goodbye to Our Goats

About a year ago we bought two baby Nubian goats. We made a video called Urban Goats in the Backyard, and said that if you’re thinking about goats you should get them.

We’re sad to say, one year later ours are going to a new home. We’ve been traveling too much to consider finding a buck to get them pregnant and a friend has been looking for nubian goats.

In exchange for our goats, he is going to provide us with goat milk and cheese. So it’s a win-win situation. Except… The goats have become our pets.

We had a hard time giving them up, but it was for the best.

DIY Automatic Chicken Coop Door Opener

 

We wanted to make our chickens easier to take care of by building our own automatic chicken coop door opener. Using a couple of parts off eBay, we’re able to set up a 12V door opening system complete with opener, battery, and solar panel.

Things didn’t go as planned in this episode because the light sensor switch, which would normally open the door at sunrise and close it at sunset would not work.

But we got a great start, and decided on a design for the chicken coop that looks like an aircraft hangar!