Count on your chickens being safe and secure with automatic shutting up
Time! We all want more time; life is too fast, too demanding, technology speeds up our ability to get stuff done but in turn it increases the number of things we are expected to get done. Inevitably this impacts on the work/life balance. Even the things we choose to do in our spare time can become a pressure. Back in 2010 sitting in his Hampshire garden, Russ Moore was contemplating all this and wondering how to manage all the complicated threads of his entrepreneurial life and still enjoy his new hobby developing specialist breed bantam chickens.
Like all of us, Russ wanted to concentrate on the best bits of his hobby. So, the answer was to automate the repetitive and less interesting tasks. Not rocket science no, but this set Russ off researching the market for the best time-saving gadgets and he concluded that nothing quite answered his needs in terms of automated coop doors. His busy work and family life meant that he didn’t want to be tied to letting the chickens out in the morning and putting them away at night, besides how would he and the family ever be able to go away for a couple of days without organising people to have to come in at set times. He wanted to know the stock were safe and secure.
There followed an intense period of developing ideas and design. He consulted with other breeders, read every article he could get his hands on and exhausted all avenues of supply.
Keep it simple
Russ liked the idea of keeping it simple. Making the installation and set up straightforward. Making the operation efficient and the unit robust. It needed to be weather resistant and it had to work on a variety of vertical doors. Keeping it vertical meant gravity did its share of the work at closing time. Another important consideration was power; the coops were just too far from an electricity supply. Meanwhile Russ (with his business hat on) realised there was a gap in the market, there must be other people out there looking for a door opener with the same requirements? If he could do all this for the right price it could be a real winner.
The result, after months and months or trials was a solar sensor triggered, battery powered, weather proof unit that attaches easily to the coop and sits above the coop door lined by a simple cord. When the sun comes up it winches up the door, when the sun goes down so does the door. He found that the chickens soon caught on.
Products to make poultry keeping practically easier
The product has been a real hit and around 11,000 units have flown out the door since the launch and continue to do so. Russ has added a range of other items including lightweight aluminium door kits and multi-drinkers all aimed at making life easier.