I put together sort of an interim solution: I purchased a 150 foot (something like 47 meters) of 12/2 (with ground) direct burial electrical cord and cut it to the 120 or so feet I needed. On one end I put a plug that goes into an outside outlet on the house, on the other went a standard electrical box. I wired the box so that one outlet is always on and the other is switched with a lighted switch (so you can find the switch in the dark).
|Standard metal box with 'ears' for nailing to a wall stud.|
Right now the line is out on top of the ground (the snow, actually) whenever the snow melts I'll tuck it down in the soil. It doesn't need to be deep, but it does need to be out of the way of the mower and any digging projects you are even considering doing. I may directly wire the 'source' end into the house wiring when I either determine I'm not violating any codes or that it's truly safe to do so either way.
|The path up to the outlet on the house|
|The cord runs right up to the outlet.|
|As a side note, the new feeders we put in have proven to be almost waste free!|
In the switched outlet, I plugged in a set of white outdoor Christmas tree lights I bought after Christmas last year, just for this purpose. I put fencing staples where I wanted to string the lights, then tie-wrapped the lights to the staple. This will make them easy to replace when the time comes.
|Lights plugged into the switched outlet|
|Run over the top of the door to where the birds are.|
|And run around the inside of the coop roofing.|
The other improvement we made was to add another bit of roost. When I trimmed down a couple of existing branches to make it easier to get in and out of the chicken's area, I reduced the amount of available perch space forcing some of the lower order birds to roost on the perch outside the nesting boxes. After adding the new bit of perch space, they seem to slowly be working everyone back into the main perch.
|They find the flash I used rather disconcerting. This was before we added the lights.|
In any case, there it is. Improvements seems to come in baby steps on the Hoosier Country Homestead, but they do come!