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(I'm not really sure what SE to post this on, so if this is inappropriate, my apologies)

I'd like to be able to remotely control the amount of chicken feed in the feeder. Here's how I envision the setup:

 _____________________________
| Huge bucket of chicken feed | 
 =============================
           |      | <--- Pipe (PVC?)
           ==Valve=---------Arduino
           |      |
          |        |
           oooooooo <---- Chicken feeder

I would guess each granule of chicken feed is about 1/3 cm cubed. I would appreciate any suggestions on the setup as well as what kind of valve to use. Thank you!

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  • $\begingroup$ As written, this is too broad of a question. Questions that are fishing for suggestions don't build quality Q&A for the site. $\endgroup$ – user16 May 7 '17 at 21:28
  • $\begingroup$ There are lots of automatic cat feeders out there, for example "Le Bistro Portion Control 30-Cup Pet Feeder" at bed bath and beyond. Buy one, take it apart, and figure out how it works. Cat food probably a little bigger than chicken food, but the concept is the same. $\endgroup$ – Daniel K May 7 '17 at 22:38
  • $\begingroup$ Do you play Dwarf fortress? (Just curious because of the diagram) $\endgroup$ – Fennekin May 8 '17 at 6:01
  • $\begingroup$ @Fennekin nope, but I hear it's good :-) $\endgroup$ – hyperdo May 8 '17 at 20:43
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One option is to use an Archimedes screw to actively draw the pellets out of a hopper that way some number of turns of the screw corresponds to a certain dose of pellets.

You could also use a tipping bucket and counterweight or spring to dispense an consistent weight of pellets, this has the advantage that it doesn't depend on a consistent flow rate. A conveyor with buckets or ridges may also work in conjunction with this method.

Clearly the difficulty here is that with large irregular granules they may not flow in a particularly consistent way just under gravity and can potentially wedge in mechanisms with close tolerances. So actively lifting them out of a hopper is often a useful approach in this sort of situation.

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