Do chickens attack electrical wiring?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by xtremevermonter, May 7, 2009.

  1. xtremevermonter

    xtremevermonter Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 3, 2009
    Bradford, VT
    How has everyone done with electrical wiring in their coop? Will the chickens peck at exposed romex? Should I be using MC for anything inside of the coop?
  2. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    We put the outlets on the ceiling and all Romex is run along roof supports (ceiling is 6' to 8'.) The only wire that is lower than ceiling level is the one run into the ground that goes to the power source; this was covered in PVC pipe.

    Did not want to find out the answer to your question the hard way.
  3. crtrlovr

    crtrlovr Still chillin' with my peeps

    Can't answer that, but my inside birds (mostly cockatiels) have chewed through the following:
    lamp cords (2)
    heated perch cords (3, severing one, insulation gone spotty on 2)
    Drinkwell pet fountain cord
    USB cable on my older computer (BEFORE we moved office into converted carport, saving our computer cables and my husband's sanity, and possibly my own life... [​IMG] )

    I'm surprised I haven't seen a little fried birdy carcass near an outlet somewhere... I have obviously made some corrections. [​IMG]

    So far I have an extension cord run into the chickenhouse through a small hole under the window (used through the winter to keep a heated heavy plastic petbed warm. I put the waterer on it and it never froze). The chickens have totally ignored it. *whew*
  4. Riparian

    Riparian Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 21, 2008
    Ontario Canada
    no, most likely they will peck at it and realize its an inanimate object, and leave it alone. Just like they do wood on the wall or chicken wire.

    But if this is a barn, or shed type space the best thing is rigid pvc conduit, or at the very least a 14/2 wet locations type wire (the black stuff) and you would want to mount your recepticals and switches high up anyway.

    Im a electrician that works in alot of barns, and i can say that chickens seem to throw up alot more dust that other animals. if you have steel electrical boxes with open holes in them, dust will gather inside the box and this can cause you trouble, be it shorted wires causing a failed circut, or worst case an electrical fire.

    I have simple household 14/2 (white) in my coop and they leave it well alone. Its just nothing to be interested in.
  5. xtremevermonter

    xtremevermonter Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 3, 2009
    Bradford, VT
    hmmm, that dust does concern me a bit... i hadn't considered that before. Thanks for the advice.
  6. DarkWolf

    DarkWolf Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 11, 2008
    Murray Kentucky
    Riparian is right. Also because of the high moisture content capable in the coop, it may corrode. Go with the plastic ones they sell. They're cheaper anyway.


    My boxes have been sitting in the coop [on the floor] with the birds during the day and they pay it no attention what so ever.

    Far as the wiring, just keep it tacked in place along the 2x4's.. Go up to the rafters to do any branching needed and then run them down along the wall studs. The only issue with the wire would be if it runs parallel to the floor between several studs, they may want to roost on it.
  7. ivan3

    ivan3 spurredon Premium Member

    Jan 27, 2007
    We use outdoor rated extension cords in pvc (more worried about rodents than chooks). Have powerstrips mounted on wall with outlets directed towards the floor (any bizarre circumstance that would find a chook or turk running into a line will simply result in the plug being pulled from the outlet). Mice/squirrels/rats are the offenders du jour (chooks, here, ignore it).
  8. unionwirewoman

    unionwirewoman Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 14, 2007
    Kalispell , MT
    Well the ideal answer would be to install your 14/2 into residential boxes (ie. plastic boxes ) and then sheet inside of the coop . you'd then put cover plates on to reduce the dust flow into your boxes . I would not recomend using the boxes above....they are cut in boxes that are used for houses that have been sheeted already . I also would not recomend putting your boxes on the'll get tons more debri and take the chance of damaging/shorting out your system . If you can't sheet your coop....just make sure to use plastic boxes and covers . You shouldn't have any problems......we've had our old coop wired up for 20 yrs and no problems . Just be carefull about using an extension cord for power....they can be pretty dangerous . JMO as a UNION electrician .[​IMG]
  9. journey11

    journey11 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 14, 2009
    I have mine run along the ceiling joists and my birds are too fat to get up there...ha.

    Run the line through PVC pipe. If your outlets are within chicken reach, and you're really concerned about it, I would construct an encasement out of scrap lumber and latch it shut.
  10. DarkWolf

    DarkWolf Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 11, 2008
    Murray Kentucky
    Quote:Gah.. You're right.. I did indeed use the wrong picture.. Also, by on the ground I just meant they're sitting there.. Not installed... Thought that was understood.. [​IMG]

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