A couple updates ago automatic chicken farms broke. The kind with lava over chicks, standing on a slab, over a hopper, with a dispenser shooting eggs into the slab. They didn't work anymore because when eggs shot into a slab any chicks standing on top would get hit and hop/fly up into the lava. The most common solution I saw was a design that used a dispenser with a bucket of lava in it which would use the egg detection redstone signal to dispense and retract the lava quickly either just before or just after the egg is dispensed.
But sometimes, when leaving and re-entering the world, the lava dispenser glitches and the lava is out when it should be in. Then it would kill all the chicks and you'd come over to you chicken farm expecting plenty of food, and there'd be almost nothing. Made me so mad. I got fed up with it, so I made a farm that doesn't glitch. I haven't seen this anywhere else so I wanted to share it. If this does exist somewhere else, please let me know.
The problem is the dispenser to control the lava. You have to give it two pulses and if the second pulse is interrupted it's stuck and you have to fix it manually. Another way to control lava is to use a piston. So this design extends a piston into a short lava flow at the same time the dispenser shots an egg, protecting chicks from the lava.
This works great, but creating this caused another problem. When the chicks grew up and were burned by the lava, the hopper didn't collect anything. The drops were just burning up. Turns out, the solution is cake. Replace the slab with cake, and it works great!
I now have over two stacks of cooked chicken in my survival world from this design.
Edit: please note the egg collection section is omitted from the above images. Eggs go into the top hopper. I will try to update with additional details on egg collection soon.
Sadly You will have to manually retract the lava with a lever. That is the way I did it back in 1.1, I have yet to test it in 1.2. You will have to time it correctly to get cooked chicken. In fact u can even make raw chicken if u use water I have a design I will show u on here that might work for u a couple of days from now.
Not sure what you're talking about. I designed this in 1.1.5, worked great then, works great now. I have nearly a full stack of cooked chicken in my new survival world. Built as shown, no intervention required. Maybe I haven't included enough detail? Maybe you didn't read the text and didn't look closely enough at the picture and assumed I'm using a dispenser instead of a piston? If that's the case, you should go back and read the first post. If it's not enough detail, let me know and I'll try to make it clearer.
This design doesn't retract the lava, it blocks flowing lava with a piston. Lava is normally over the chickens, and it is blocked briefly at the same time an egg is shot out to prevent existing chicks from burning up in the lava.
The raw chicken version of this works great too. Just replace the lava with water. The piston will prevent chicks from swimming up and suffocating.