Fighting Fire with Fire, Part 2

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More educational political satire, first released for Just Sayin’ Caledon


Actually, the sky is not falling over Caledon‘s backyard hens, but free-run egg enthusiasts should not go blindly into that food coop.

After Henny Penny pressed the panic button, we managed to track down the residential chicken coop fire story and it turns out it came from one of our favourite sites, My Pet Chicken. Jordana, their wonderful Customer Service Supervisor, informed me that the article in question was “written by one of our employees after a heat lamp caused some dust or lint to catch fire in their coop.

She went on to add, “As far as heating a coop, it is generally not advisable, not only from risk of fire but because it makes it difficult for the chickens to acclimate to the outdoor temperatures and could lead to other health concerns. My Pet Chicken offers safe alternatives to heat lamps to help keep chickens warm enough, but not too warm. These include the Cozy Coop Heater and the Sweeter Heater.

Rather than getting a price from My Pet Chickens, I directly contacted the Sweeter Heater supplier, and this is what their representative, Holly, told me: “Thank you for your interest in Sweeter Heater! The cost of our smallest heater (11”x11”) is $127, plus a $15 shipping & handling fee for our Canadian friends. This is in US currency and does not include any duty.  Basically, we ship the heater via UPS to customs, then they take it from there.  We have many Canadian customers!

Holly was very enthusiastic, as indicated by her exclamation marks, about supplying Sweeter Heaters to Canadian friends in Caledon. If you decide to go this route, be cautious of the foul and outrageous prices charged by UPS for shipping, customs and duty fees. Let’s be realistic here, even given the extremes of our recent cold snap, you may need to moderate the heat in your coop for only a few days a year, and not at all in a mild winter. Considering the very little time you may need to moderate a severe temperature drop, the 60W reptile basking bulb in a guard cage hanging from the ceiling of your coop is a safe and economical alternative at $20. The choice is yours, chicken lovers.

And remember, the lamp that started the fire in the My Pet Chicken employee’s coop story was a 250W heat lamp – not recommended under any circumstances for small residential coop heating, and even known to be responsible for fatal house fires when improperly used. Once again, it is hoped that the caregivers are more intelligent than the chickens.

Get ready for your feathered friends this spring by reading Gail Damerow’s newest edition of Storey’s Guide to Raising Chickens, get your FREE resource kit from the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food, and Rural Affairs at – everything you wanted to know about backyard poultry titled “Keeping Your Birds Healthy” : and visit the My Pet Chicken site for their tips and tricks and fowl stories.

As for those poor hens that got BBQ’d in the My Pet Chicken coop fire, reflect on the immortal words of Rooster Cogburn in True Grit:

The ground is too hard. If they wanted a decent funeral they should have got themselves killed in summer.”


Skid Crease, Caledon

*cartoon from










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