How do get electric to the coop

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by xjonesy, Feb 13, 2009.

  1. xjonesy

    xjonesy Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 13, 2009
    I'm researching whether or not I want to build a coop and raise chickens for eggs. I live in Salt Lake City, UT (not too cold -- we may have 1 night a year that hit's 0 degrees). I take comfort from reading many posts on here that chickens can survive this cold weather without a heat source, as long as the coop is sheltered from drafts and weather. Is that right? I assume if the Northeast is below 0 regularly and you're not heating your coops, I shouldn't need to either?

    My main question relates to electricity -- I'm guessing I'll need a heat source to keep the chicken's water from freezing, right? My planned coop is about 25-30 feet from my house, in my backyard. I called an electrician to see how much it would cost to run an underground power line from my house to a coop, and he quoted me about $1,000 to trench and lay the power line. That's a high price to pay just to keep water from freezing.

    Is there any other way to keep water from freezing (and perhaps provide a bit of heat on those frigid winter nights) without having to run a power line?

    Thank you!
  2. Mahonri

    Mahonri Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast Premium Member

    May 14, 2008
    North Phoenix
    My Coop
    Until our electrician can come and put power in the coop properly, we are using an extension cord. It runs two timers... one for a fan, one for a day light and then I turn on and off a heat lamp.
  3. Teach97

    Teach97 Bantam Addict

    Nov 12, 2008
    Hooker, OK
    Dig the trench yourself! All it takes is a shovel and some time! You can even run the line can get it in a protective covering or just run it through some PVC pipe (the kind rated for electrical use) then get the electrician to hook it up...I got my neighbor to do the hooking up part. Most things don't scare me mutch but that electricity from the pole sure does...he just laughed at me...he has seen me play with snakes [​IMG]

    Forgot to say HOWDY!
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2009
  4. Lobzi

    Lobzi Chillin' With My Peeps

    I use a solar powered light. That works well. Not sure if you can get a solar set up for other devices.
  5. chickenbottom

    chickenbottom Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 30, 2008
    hollister, florida
    like the other person said EXTENTION CORD lol works great
  6. xjonesy

    xjonesy Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 13, 2009
    Sorry, in my original post I meant to say we have "maybe" one night a year where it hits 0 degrees. It doesn't happen too often.

    I like the extension cord idea -- I thought of that, but didn't know if water from sprinklers and rain would cause any sort of hazard or short?

    I agree...electricity scares me a bit. I can dig, but I'm not touching a power source.

    Thank you!
  7. Teach97

    Teach97 Bantam Addict

    Nov 12, 2008
    Hooker, OK
    be careful with the extension cord and get one that is big enough (rated for the power you will pulling) the further you pull power the more "friction" builds and you can cause the cord to overheat. I know friction isn't right but I am not coming up with the right word and that is how I help get students to undestand...
  8. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Yup, don't need heat as long as your coop is well designed/managed and you choose your breeds semi-intelligently [​IMG]

    Sadly there is no good solar or battery substitute for a heated waterer base -- they require kind of a lot of current.

    You *could* just take fresh (unfrozen) water out to them several times a day. THis only works if you are always, ALWAYS able to do this, though.

    Otherwise, what Teach97 said. All you need an electrician for is to hook it up. You may need to call around a bit to find someone willing to do it that way, but, probably you can. You do need to have the electrician first look at the circuit you're going to add it to, and make sure it will be safe.

    Good luck,

  9. Snakeoil

    Snakeoil Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 10, 2009
    SE Iowa
    I use an industrial extention cord that is off the ground and connections are double taped.
  10. Wifezilla

    Wifezilla Positively Ducky

    Oct 2, 2008
    I don't have power to my duck pen. They do fine out west [​IMG] but the frozen water is a big pain in the butt.

    If you can afford it, run the electric. Even if you just dig the trench but don't lay the cable, you will still save.

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