The Remote-Controlled Chicken Coop

IMG_6248Some time last garage sale season, I picked up this handy device for turning things off and on from a distance. It was new, unopened, and cost me two bucks ($2). I had no idea what I was going to use it for, but I had a feeling it would come in handy some day.

I brought it home and showed it to my husband, gleefully pointing out its brand new state and more than reasonable price!

He said, “So what are you going to use it for?”

I replied, “I don’t know. I just got one of those feelings.”

My husband doesn’t like it when I get “one of those feelings” because it usually means another project that he is going to have to add to his Honey Do list.

It was this long winter that finally caused me to find a use for this gadget. I am definitely suffering from winter fatigue. The wear and tear of taking on and off multiple layers of clothing and steeling myself multiple times per day against arctic air temperatures and subzero wind chills has taken its toll. I know this because a few measly nights in the teens last week turned me into a quivering custard of despair.

I have had to use the oil-filled radiator in my chicken coop more than ever IMG_6287this year. I recently added another wireless thermometer station in the chicken house to make it easier to keep track of how cold it was getting in the coop so I could adjust the settings on the radiator accordingly. I can now monitor the temperature of the chicken coop from inside the house. Unfortunately, it didn’t solve the problem of my having to trudge out through the snow and freezing cold to turn the radiator on or off late at night or in the early morning with all the squirrely temperature changes we have been enduring.

It occurred to me that if I plugged this gizmo into the power strip in the coop and then plugged the radiator into it, I could save myself some trips at the most frigid times of the day. This way I could check the weather for what the low would be, adjust the radiator for that temperature, and switch it on by pressing a button in the house before bed and doing the same to turn it off in the morning as solar gain made the radiator unnecessary.

So far it is working smoothly. I wish I’d gotten the whole system in place months ago! Begonia




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