Running power to the coop?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by grullablue, Apr 22, 2008.

  1. grullablue

    grullablue Songster

    Feb 27, 2008
    Madison, Wisconsin
    We're building our new coop, and I'd like to have power in there, a light at least, should there be a time I get in there after dark for whatever reason. I have been agonizing on where we are going to put our coop, I think I've come up with a place, that's out of the way, flat, and with plenty of space to construct a run for them. However, there's no power real close by.... our coop is 8 x 12 feet. Maybe just a lantern or something even.... what have you all done, without actually putting outlets and things in your coops?

  2. miss_thenorth

    miss_thenorth Songster

    Dec 28, 2007
    SW Ont, Canada
    extension cords. we have power in the barn now, but we used extension cords at first. worked fine, but the need ofr more power became necessary. heat lamps, water bucket de-icers, lights, etc.
  3. chicks rule

    chicks rule Songster

    Apr 10, 2007
    SW MO
    You could use the tap lights for a quick fix, Dollar General should be a good place to get them??? HTH
  4. Nugget

    Nugget Songster

    Sep 2, 2007
    We dug a trench, buried a cable and put in lights, outlets and a bathroom fan [​IMG]
    It can be done! Depends on what you are looking for.
  5. AK-Bird-brain

    AK-Bird-brain I gots Duckies!

    May 7, 2007
    Sterling, Alaska
    our coops have power to them, cause we need to run heat lamps in the winter to keep water from freezing. If you only want light there is a solar power light made for sheds that you can get like this
  6. rufus

    rufus Crowing

    May 17, 2007
    A long extension cord should do the job, but I am afraid of electical problems in a wet climate. I don't think I would do it in Wisconsin, but yes I do it in Arizona. Never rains here.

    If you have a legal electrician install a line to the hen house, it could prove to be very exprensive. And then there are the building inspectors, they enforce the codes, and that is expensive.

    If you are just looking for light, maybe a battery operated light would work out.

  7. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD

    I just carry a surefire in my pocket so any time I need light, it's at my finger tips.

    For heat, I run a cord from the house if necessary. Other than that, no power to the coops.
  8. cjeanean

    cjeanean Can't Decide

    Mar 5, 2008
  9. pattycake

    pattycake Songster

    May 7, 2007
    fingerlakes, ny
    I had an extention cord running from my barn for a while, but then we had an electrician out to do some work so we thought we might as well have him run a line to the coop. I'm so glad I did, because once it got cold the water froze every single night and I had to bring the waterer inside to thaw out -- P.I.T.A.! So I got a water warmer, plugged it in, and never thought about it again.
  10. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    I really don't recommend the extension-cord route, as being risky. Trenching in conduit to run proper service to the coop is not that difficult or expensive, especially if you have an outdoor outlet that you are willing to convert over.

    But if you are bound and determined to use an extension cord, for safety's sake please:

    -use a heavy-duty cord
    -use as few cords as possible (preferably just 1), meaning, use long
    -if you have to use >1 cord, protect where they plug together by
    putting it underneath something (a box, a bucket, etc, weighted
    or staked so it stays put) and putting the juncture up atop a few
    bricks to keep it off wet ground and so that any moisture that gets
    on the cord runs downward away from the plugs
    -run the cord somewhere it won't catch peoples feet, lawnmowers,
    shovels, etc (up along a fence, or inside 1" plastic pipe, or etc)
    -plug it into a GFCI-protected circuit (this is a biggie!!). If the circuit
    you want to use is not GFCI-protected, anyone with basic electrical
    wiring experience, and an inclination to follow directions and test
    their work, ahem [​IMG], can install it for like $15.

    Oh, and make sure you are not plugging in more wattage than the cord is rated to handle (like, if you are running a heat lamp or multiple lamps).

    P.S. to original poster: if you're in Wisconsin, you pretty much NEED actual electric service of some sort, not just a solar or battery-powered light, because hauling water multiple times a day and worrying whether it stays liquid long enough for the hens to stay hydrated is NO FUN. You want to be able to use a PLUG-IN waterer or base to keep things thawed, honest [​IMG]

    Last edited: Apr 23, 2008

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