Originally Posted by Melschen
Hi! Expecting our first chicks in a few weeks and I'm super interested in trying out this method of brooding. Just wondering if anyone has ever run their heating pad off of battery power and if so, how/what worked best? We do not have electricity in our coop right now (though we are toying with the idea of adding it if we can do it on the cheep...err cheap. ;) ) Any thoughts or suggestions for me?
In short - NO.
In long Yes, but only if you had a pretty big bank of batteries and an inverter to change the 12V to 110V. Remember you are planning to run the heating pad 24x7 for about a month. You are going to need TWO battery banks so you can charge one at the house while using the other. You are talking money now.
How far is the coop from accessible (and weather proof) power? If you have an outside outlet it needs this sort of cover to use it and the outlet must be Ground Fault unless you happen to have it on a circuit on a GFI breaker in the panel.
You should NOT use one of these (they are only for keeping the outlet protected from weather):
People DO run extension cords to their coops but you need to make sure there is no way the cord can get cut, or be a tripping hazard, etc. Better to dig an 18" deep (legal minimum at least in Vermont) trench and run underground rated cable in a conduit from the house to the coop. The gauge depends on the distance and Amp rating (also true for an extension cord). If you are just doing lights, occasional small power tools, heating pad, you can do it with a 15A but 20A wouldn't hurt.
The best option would be to have the cable run from the panel in your house to a master shutoff switch in the coop. Then put outlets and lights in the coop where you need them, again run the wire in conduit wherever a chicken could get to it unless you can put it in a stud wall. You are potentially getting into hiring an electrician for this unless you KNOW what you are doing.
Originally Posted by aart
I really like being able to adjust the height.