NZ Lifestyle Block

DESIGN INSPIRATIO­N: the Chicken Caravan


Designers: Tom Gottelier and Bobby Petersen, Designers on Holiday Website: www.designerso­ @designers_on_holiday

This coop automatica­lly spreads its wings every morning to protect the small flock that lives in it at the Ecology Center in San Juan Capistrano, about 80km south of Los Angeles.

The automated, solar-power coop was specially designed for the Ecology Center. It's clad in aluminimum sheets to keep the structure light – it can be moved by hand or towed by ATV– and reflect the sun, so it's cool inside on hot days.

In summer, the average daily temperatur­e is 24-26°C, so the ‘wings' provide extra shade. When up, they also allow air to circulate through the coop.

Inside, it has easy-to-remove perches and nest boxes, so it's simple to clean.

A solar-powered battery opens and closes the wings (which are on hydraulic lift hinges) and the automatic door. A sensor opens the coop up at daybreak and closes it again at sunset.

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