It gets cold in the winter here in Western WA, but it doesn't usually get COLD cold. The past few days and nights, we've had lows of 5 degrees and highs in the low 30's. In addition to the cold, this blast of Arctic air is also dry as a bone, causing me and everyone else, wrapped from head to toe in fleece and wool, to build up such a quantity of static electricity that our hair stands on end or stubbornly glues itself to our foreheads, and we routinely zap the bejeezus out of everything and everyone we touch. Good times!
Alas, we zap-happy humans are not the cold's only victims.
You know those red heat lamps that McDonald's uses to keep their nasty "food" warm and "fresh"? At the moment, a disturbingly similar-looking lamp is about all that is keeping my chickens from becoming chickie-sicles. I had vowed not to use a heat lamp in the coop if at all possible, but it looks like once again I'll be eating my words.
I don't feel guilty for doing what is necessary to keep the critters (and people) in my care healthy and happy, but I do feel bad for using so much extra electricity lately. I'm wracking my brain for ways to make it up, but with the very real chance of pipes freezing, and three exotic pets in the house who don't take kindly to dips in temperatures, I'm at a loss for what to do. I could probably unplug the fridge for a few days...