Chicken Coop Fire! Chicken Care Advice Needed!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by ZariaWeatherall, Jan 6, 2017.

  1. ZariaWeatherall

    ZariaWeatherall New Egg

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    We unfortunately experienced a coop fire early this morning (1/06).

    I had awoken this morning and I could easily recognize the smell of smoke and something was burning. I had dismissed it was the AC heater acting up again and brushed it off, taking my little sister to school (5 min drive). When I had returned home, the smell had gotten stronger. Almost immediately, the thought in my mind had clicked. I had turned on the chickens heat lamp the night prior because it was going to be almost 16 degrees below, and I even added a little bit of stray for added warmth. I rushed outside and the entire coop was engulfed. And worse: my chickens were still inside. I had not let them out yet. I immediately presumed them all to be dead and [stupidly] pulled the coop away from our house. Then I noticed all the chickens rushing to the entrance. I immediately let them all out (burning my hand) and they all scattered. The fire department was called and the fire was quickly put out, doing little to no damage on the house. I had managed to find all the chickens and thoroughly examined all of them and much to my shock, the most of what their injuries were were just some charred feathers in the wings and tail, and some burns/ inflammation on their crests and waddles. Most are okay and are walking, eating and drinking,while a few others are laying down shivering in the cold and not moving (these ones had the worst of the burns and charred feathers). We now have them inside in a warm space sleeping in dog kennels.

    So I guess what I'm getting at/ asking is:

    1). With the ones whom are constantly laying down and not eating, is this a form of shock?

    2). How do I go about healing their burns/ inflammation and feathers?

    Pictures: [​IMG]


    [​IMG] We believe she got it the worst. She can barely open that eye.

    [​IMG]She hangs her had like this

    [​IMG]Not a good pic, but her tail feathers are all burned off

    [​IMG]No tails feathers

    [​IMG]These two are my worst cases as far as burned feathers/ inflamed skin (face, head)

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Welcome to BYC.

    I'm so sorry this happened.

    Poor things, I am glad that your house didn't catch on fire as well.

    Make sure your not getting them too warm (watch they don't get to close to that heater or move the heater) and that they have plenty of fresh air. Their respiratory system is very delicate, so I would assume they have inhaled smoke as well, so fresh air is essential.

    The ones that are laying down most likely are in shock. Offer fresh water, add some electrolytes if you have them. Make sure all of them are drinking plenty of water, then add food.

    For burns on wattles, face and combs you can apply a triple antibiotic ointment (like Neosporin) or Vetericyn spray. The burns may blister, if they do, try to keep the blister intact.

    Monitor them closely, hopefully they came out in time and will recover with no problems. Something I would be concerned about would be their respiratory system, so listen to them closely. If you start to hear wheezing, coughing, then your best bet would be to consult a vet for advice. If you have no vet available, you can try some VetRx, but I would only use it IF symptoms occur and only treat birds with symptoms.

    I'm sure there will be other inputs.

    Please keep us posted.
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2017
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  3. ZariaWeatherall

    ZariaWeatherall New Egg

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    Thank you for getting back to me! They were within that fire a span of 10 minutes. I was quite shocked that this happened. In the three years I've had them, this has never happened.

    Update: The golden chicken has started moving and eating on her own, but I have noticed (and same with the others) that she is limping and bringing her right leg to her body like a flamingo. Examining her, she has burns on her toes where the skin is dark and dead exposing open new skin underneath. Should I treat those the same way with the ointment? wrap it? cut off the dead skin?

    And over a span of a few hours, the black speckled one's wattles got bigger [​IMG] Is that normal? Her eye started to open up and she is seemingly alert (as I was applying the ointment, she was making lots of noise and biting at the cue tip). She is starting to eat and drink on her own, but she still lays down for the most part. Would you suggest I administer her some child's liquid painkiller to relieve her pain, she keeps moving and shaking her head up against the kennel we have her in and I'm assuming because it hurts her so much.

    Now with the burns on their feet, how would I go about having them get fresh air? I wouldn't want them to walk on the moist dirt we have outside and getting an infection.
     
  4. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Oh, poor things, they are in pain. You can give them an aspirin solution (see below) a vet can give you something stronger.

    Burned feet/toes I would be inclined to treat as frostbite. You don't want to peel the skin off, let it come off naturally. Do some research, but soaking the feet in Chlorhexidine, betadine or epsom salts may help (this may be painful, but may promote healing). I would try to gently apply some type of ointment on them - neosporin, honey or vetericyn.

    It is normal for burned tissue to swell. The shaking of the head would also be normal too.

    For fresh air if you have a window that you can open a bit, that may be helpful. I agree that you don't want them outside for sure. If there is no window then make sure air is circulating in the room.

    You are doing good, I'm sure this is all overwhelming[​IMG]



    ASPIRIN SOLUTION
    Used as a general treatment for reducing distress conditions of birds (fever or listlessness) that accompanies many diseases.
    Dissolve five (5 grain) aspirin tablets in one gallon of water.
    Offer this solution free-choice to the birds for the duration of an illness. The solution aspirin equivalent to 25 grains/gallon or 324 mg/gallon of drinking water. The dosage rate is about 25 mg/lb body weight per day. (reference:http://extension.msstate.edu/content/solutions-and-treatments)
    (NOTE: Easy way to figure dosage is use Bayer Low Dose aspirin (81mg) - 1 aspirin per quart or 4 per gallon)

    Frostbite treatment:
    http://www.the-chicken-chick.com/2013/12/frostbit-in-backyard-chickens-causes.html
     
    3 people like this.
  5. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    WR has given you some great advice. What I suggest is to call a vet and ask them to write a prescription for Silvadene. It's a top notch burn medicine. Keep that on the burns twice a day until all the burns are healed. It protects against infection as well as keeping the wounds moist so new tissue can replace the burns.

    I'm so sorry for this tragedy. Coop fires are the worst thing that can happen to anyone with chickens.
     
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  6. Blooie

    Blooie Team Spina Bifida Premium Member

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    My Coop
    I am so sorry! This is the third coop fire (reported) folks on BYC have had in as many weeks. In the other fires, though, the coop was farther from the house and none of the chickens survived, so in that sense I guess you are blessed that you were able to find them all and that your home and family remained safe. I feel so bad for you!

    I can't offer any other advice as far as caring for the chickens. I so agree about the Silvadine and something for pain. They are most definitely experiencing pain, shock, and probably respiratory distress. Aspirin is as good as anything, in addition to relieving pain it has anti-inflammatory and anti-coagulating properties which will help. It will take patience on your part to get them through this, and please remember that with burns there is a tendency for things to get worse before they start getting better, so try not to get too discouraged if you don't see immediate results. Understand too, that you may lose some despite your best efforts and if that happens, let it go and know that you did the best you could.

    Keep us posted on how they do...we all care!
     
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  7. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    I agree with everything so far, all excellent advice. Also the silvadene ointment may be available through your vet by a prescription. In the hospital we used dial soap and water in a whirlpool bath twice a day, and then applied silvadene to second or third degree burns. Plain neosporin or Vetericyn can be used if there is just reddened non-blistered skin. In the first couple of days there may be "third spacing" of fluids, where there is increased swelling in the burned tissues. Giving fluids with electrolytes and vitamins (SaveAChick, Durvet, even Gatorade in the water, or undiluted Pedialyte) may be good to help replace the body fluids. Most fires can burn the airway, nostrils, and sometimes poisonous gases may be breathed in. I always hate to hear about coup fires this time of year, but I am so glad that your house and family was not involved. Good clean air from your house should be enough. Seek vet care if available. Chopped egg, canned tuna or salmon, plain yogurt in small amounts for probiotics, and a good all flock or grower feed may give extra protein. We all hope that your chickens survive.
    https://www.drugs.com/pro/silvadene.html
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2017
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  8. BantamLover21

    BantamLover21 Overrun With Chickens

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    The other posters have given you some great advice.

    I'm sorry this happened. [​IMG]Good luck with all of the injured birds.
     
  9. ZariaWeatherall

    ZariaWeatherall New Egg

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    Update #2 - Morning of 01/07/2016 - The Afternoon after the Fire

    Thank you all for the helpful advice! It' all really appreciated!

    The speckled one's (who I will now introduce to you as Saige) face has gone down in redness and the wattles have reduced in size. I have them all in a small homemade spacious shed inside with the door leading outside propped open for allowance of fresh air, but not a lot (because it's 20 degrees below outside) and a heater set to turn on when it senses that the air is too cold around them. They are scared to go outside (they see the burned coop and the spot where it all happened and they run back inside).

    Unfortunately, we are not in a good financial state where I can go see a vet and I'm stuck relying on helpful advice such as this (and this pains me because I want them to get the best care as possible and I'm dealing with my own injuries from this fire).

    On a lighter note: My family laughs about the situation itself because we have been talking about doing some home improvements for years, and this fire was the universe giving us a nice good,swift kick in the butt to start on the house work. From today to now, there is now a beautiful french door where the shattered windows and wall where the fire hit our house.
     
  10. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    Thanks for the update. My regular dog and cat vet will sometimes cooperate if I need something called into a pharmacy, and silvadene is one thing that might be good. Many vets would probably be overwhelmed with seeing chickens anyway, muchless suffering from burns or inhalation injuries. I hope many get to see your thread, since a lot of us are using heat lamps now. I try to not use them unless the temps get close to zero F at night. They are secured as well as possible. I used to have a ceramic heater that I had bolted to my dog house door to heat an out biulding. Back then they made the housing out of metal and they had handles that could be secured well. The plastic ones now are scary to use.
     

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