Broken Light Bulb in Coop! Did the Chickens Eat the Glass?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by krturpie, Feb 1, 2008.

  1. krturpie

    krturpie Songster

    Nov 11, 2007
    It's really pouring down rain here. We've gotten over an inch or two since this morning.

    Yet one our birds was standing out in the rain this afternoon. I went out and I put her back in, only to have her come back out. [​IMG] Eventually DD brought the soaking chicken in to dry her. She seemed fine, but my DD showed me a tiny slither of glass she found in the run, red on one side and silvered on the other. I then knew exactly what had happened. The heat lamp over the water had exploded!

    We rushed out and disconnected the cord going to the heat lamp, got all the chickens out of the coop. Thank heavens there wasn't a fire b/c the lamp was still sparking! We cleaned out the entire coop and put down new hay and then put the chickens back. Perhaps this a another reason against having a heat lamp in a coop?

    Anyway, I am worried. There were tiny pieces of shiny glass all over, including in their feeder! Did they eat the glass? Would it be a problem if they had? What should I watch for or what can I do to help???
  2. crysmom

    crysmom Songster

    Sep 24, 2007
    I'm sorry that happened, I hope they didn't eat any, the only thing I can think of to help is to give them a lot of grit? I'm quite inexperienced, but this is what comes to my mind.
  3. bigzio

    bigzio Crowing

    Jan 20, 2007
    Please be careful when you hang the heat lamp above the water. Make sure it is high enough so no water can hit the hot bulb. That is what causes it to explode. If it is warm enough to rain outside, you prolly don't need the heat lamp anyway.

  4. countrygirl4513

    countrygirl4513 Songster

    Apr 14, 2007
    Portland TN
    Yes I'm afraid chickens will eat glass. When dressing the chickens we would open the crop and find all sorts of glass, needles you name it, it was in there. But the only thing that killed them... was us, since it was slaughter time we would never know if the needles etc would have hurt them. Keep a close eye. But chickens are notorious for eating anything that is considered grit like, to keep the crop in working order.
  5. krturpie

    krturpie Songster

    Nov 11, 2007
    crysmom, thanks for the suggestion. Grit sounds like a good idea. Maybe any tiny bits of light bulb will be eventually ground down to sand and dust.

    good point bigzio. it was near freezing this morning, but it slowly warmed just enough to rain. it was around 39 deg F by late afternoon. but, being cold and miserable to me, i'd simply forgotten about the lamp. we did pull the plug once we realized what had happened. also, the bulb was well above the water (~1.5 ft for the top of the waterer). probably a better explanation might be that moisture built up around the bulb housing from the damp cold air and eventually dripped onto the bulb.

    thanks cg. i was hoping that any glass pieces might just be grit to them, but i still worry about these things. but if they can tolerate needles, which positively amazing, then i'm a bit less worried. we will keep an eye out though. DD points out that once the bulb was out, the chickens really could see much, so its a good possibility that they didn't eat any, at least deliberately, before we got out there.

    what is particularly fascinating is that one of our EEs, who's done a few other smart-for-a-chicken things, refused to go in with the rest of the flock where it was warm and dry, and opted instead to sit on the ramp by the door in the pouring cold rain. if she hadn't, we probably wouldn't have noticed the situation until we went to shut the birds up for the evening a few of hours later.
  6. Bawkadoodledoo

    Bawkadoodledoo Songster

    Jan 4, 2008
    Central MA
    gosh! i've had heat lamps explode, and others melt down. i know how you feel!

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