Burned by heat lamp!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by avance09, Jan 6, 2014.

  1. avance09

    avance09 Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 1, 2013
    I went to check on my chickens this morning and noticed that my Houdan hen was missing feathers. At first I thought my other hen was picking on her since I just recently bought this hen, but then I saw that there were feathers stuck to our red heat lamp. Apparently, my husband either put the heat lamp too close to the chickens or my hen wanted to be super close to the heat. Probably a mixture of both.

    Now, I am worried if my hen will be okay. She is acting fine and I don't really see any blood. I turned the heat lamp off and won't be turning it back on, at least with that bulb. I learned my lesson. We just thought since the low last night was 4 degrees that we better give them some heat.

    Please let me know what you think from the photo. I really don't know what I could do now that it's already happened. The high today is 10 degrees here and will get down to 4 degrees again tonight. Their coop has plastic sheeting all the way around it with a few areas that air circulates through. Should we replace the bulb with a regular light bulb or no heat source at all? They have hay and pine shavings in their coop. Please be aware that I only have two hens and they don't even sleep close together, they have their own spots.

    They decided that that wanted out of their coop today to roam my yard which amazes me since their coop is a lot warmer than outside, especially since this one hen has less feathers now.


  2. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Flock Master Premium Member

    Apr 3, 2011
    southern Ohio
    Hopefully your hen didn't suffer 3rd degree burns. This is a good warning about heat lamps--chickens when asleep are kind of in comas--they don't realize they are burning to move away from the heat. If you use the lamp again, put it up high--2-3 ft above the chickens. It should heat the room, not be over them. I would only use it if it is below zero. If you can get some silvadene burn cream or a prescription for it from your vet, I would. Otherwise, I would clean up the burned area, and then apply Neosporin or other antibiotic ointment without painkiller to it daily.
  3. schnebbles

    schnebbles Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 6, 2013
    Indian Lake, Ohio
    ouch! I hope she is ok. Doesn't your heat lamp have one of those guards? I have mine covered with chicken wire so they couldn't ever touch the bulb. They couldn't anyway, but I did this in case bulb broke. I need smaller wire though. Anyhow, that's a thought to make it safer for them.
  4. Bocktobery 10

    Bocktobery 10 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 8, 2010
    Oh your dear sweet chicken! So sorry that this happened to her, but at least be glad this did not start a fire and burn down everything.

    So glad she is ok. I'm sorry I don't have any advice for you. Just hope she is ok. Keep watch on it, that's for certain.
  5. Nambroth

    Nambroth Fud Lady

    Apr 7, 2011
    Western NY
    My Coop
    Oh no! So sorry to hear this. Unless they are breeds that do poorly with the cold, they might be just fine without the heat at all. I am in the camp that thinks that supplemental heat in temperatures higher than -30 often does more harm than good, and can be a fire (or, now, burning!) risk. If they can get out of any breeze/wind and snuggle in with each other, they should be okay. Use your best judgement.

    I hope your hen is okay!
  6. avance09

    avance09 Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 1, 2013

    Just want to update for future people who may have this problem. My hen seems to be doing really well. I am now TOTALLY against heat lamps. They did just fine the following day when the low was 4 degrees. I think the plastic sheeting and tarps that I wrapped the coop in made a big difference. Anyways, her feathers already seem to be growing back just a little. Either that or the charred feathers are flaking off making it not look as bad. She is acting normal, even laying eggs. I checked on her that night really good to make sure it didn't burn down to her skin and it didn't.

    I attempted to put Neosporin on her just in case it did get down to her skin that day it happened. However, it was so cold that the Neosporin froze into a clump and wouldn't spread. Plus, it was just pulling off all the extra charred feathers from her back. So I just figured I should leave it alone since I didn't see any skin exposed.

    Thanks for everyone's advice and concern though! This was a HUGE lesson to me and I hope to any future people! Don't chance heat lamps!
  7. ten chicks

    ten chicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 9, 2013
    Did you have the heat lamp too low to the ground as it should not have burned your girl. If used correctly they are fine,but you have to secure them properly and have them at the correct height.

    Glad your girl did not sustain a serious injury. For future reference,bring injured bird inside home to apply ointment and check over really well for injuries.

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