hey guys running electricity in my Coop mostly for heat for the winters of northwest nc. While im doing it though i want to gather any ideas of others accessories they have so this is hopefully a one time project.
snow5164 i ordered a thermocube from premier1 that kicks in the heat lamps at anything below 34 degrees. i typically don't heat til the low 20's or below due to my insulated walls helping. I like the idea of outside switches i'm a 911 dispatcher and a firefighter so my chickens never know when to expect me they just watch for my truck.
My method for dealing with winter is quite simple one extra feeder of whole corn. I live in Canada subject to -40º. I have 68 trips around the sun. I have raised various types of chickens and birds for decades.
TLC still has to be provided to birds that may not be adapting well to the diet. For the most part birds are vocal happy and do just fine. NO HEAT NO EXTRA LIGHT please and thank you works fine for me and my flock.
If for any reason you find it necessary to supply electricity to your coop via extension cord.
Please employ a "Ground Fault Outlet" also use a "Safety Chain" in conjunction to any heat lamp or incandescent bulb after mounting. One coop fire is too many and these precautions could be the difference.
A simple action such as a rodent chewing on your extension cord could be the cause of a coop fire and a ground fault circuit could be the difference in witnessing your coop in tack or a pile of smoldering ash.
P.S. There are now a variety of ground fault extension cords available in major retail centers that also would be a wise investment.
I've seen chickens sleep in trees when it never got above zero Fahrenheit for four straight days and nights. The chickens were unharmed. In a decent coop they should not have a problem but if you wish to provide heat do so. Any time you use electricity for anything you have some risks so use reasonable precautions. If you think about what you are doing you can do it safely no matter what you use for a heating element.
I don't know how you plan to run the electricity to the coop. I ran a proper wire through buried conduit from breaker box to a breaker box, all according to code by a licensed electrician. That way I could have separate circuits for lights and different wall plug-ins. That way I can plug in a power tool without dimming the lights. If one circuit goes out I don't lose the others. Heat can take a lot of amps so make sure you size the breakers and wiring properly.
I installed wall outlets so I can plug in power tools, that has come in handy several times. The lights are on their own circuit. My coop is one end of a shed so I have an outdoor light, a light for the shed part, and a light for inside the coop. A heated waterer in winter may come in handy. I built in a brooder so I can raise chicks in the coop instead of in the house since I have power down there.
My suggestion is pretty much the same as when you are building a house. Put in more outlets than you think you will ever need and put them on enough different circuits so you don't flip a breaker. As long as the amps are OK it doesn't matter what they are used for.
I read it as he's running new circuits to the coop not just an extension cord laying on the ground.
Here is what I have done and maybe you can take an idea or two for yourself...
I ran two circuits, one for lighting and one for receptacles. You'll want a receptacle circuit for other accessories as well. I have my pop door plugged into one constantly giving the battery a maintenance charge.
I also put receptacles on the ceiling so I can plug an exhaust fan in the summer and any kind of plug in heating(if I so decide, haven't yet)
I have another receptacle set on the outside of the coop in the run right next to the water bucket, I'll be plugging in a stock tank heater for the water in the winter.
In addition to the two circuits I ran a switch leg from the garage for some switched receptacles. Each receptacle box is double duplex(one receptacle switched and one un-switched)
Now I can easily turn on and off the heat, exhaust fan or whatever I decide to plug into those receptacles from the garage
I may expand the switch capabilities to a 3-way by adding a switch to the back door of the house.