chicks with smoke inhalation

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by cfd chickens, Oct 17, 2009.

  1. cfd chickens

    cfd chickens Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 27, 2009
    NE Michigan
    I had a smouldering coop fire yesterday with mostly smoke. It was caused by a heat lamp. My chickens are between 3-4 weeks old. About half of them are still having breathing problems 30 hours later. They sound like someone having an asthma attack. They do appear to be eating and drinking normally. Do you think they have permanent lung damage? I'm hoping they'll get past this. These are our first chickens. Thank you!
  2. raylastanford

    raylastanford Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 16, 2008
    Goodells, Michigan
    I feel for you. We also had a coop fire with smoldering and it was the smoke that killed and damaged. No vets who would deal with chickens. This is what I put together - being an RN helps, I just did what I would do for a human. First, keep the airway open. I had to use my daughters asthma inhalor (bronchodilator) for the wheezy ones. I did 2 puffs one minute apart by dispensing the puff in front of the face while they were breathing in. Be careful you don't get it in their eyes, go from the side, not too close to the face. For a chick, I'd try one puff only. Also, start a respiratory antibiotic because infections are opportunistic. Push fluids with electrolytes added. Don't overdo the dosage of the electrolytes because that's not good either. Follow the package directions. You might have to use a dropper or straw to put some in if they're not drinking. Look inside the mouth and throat for burns. Be aware smoke can also damage eyes and affect vision. If the chick gets progressively worse with wheezing, and the lungs start filling up, you may have to do the humane thing, as hard as it might be. With treatment, I had complete recovery of most, but I did have one almost blind rooster, and a few hens that were never the same, and they ended up dying of something else not long after. I learned the hard way about heatlamps. If there is a way they can knock it down they will, and often the cheap ones just aren't safe to begin with. Oh, For 2 of my chickens with continuing wheezing, I also used a steroidal inhalor for a while.
    I don't think anyone understood how traumatic an event a coop fire could be. It is. I can't imagine a house fire. God bless, and good luck.
  3. sammi

    sammi Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 21, 2007
    Southeast USA
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2009
  4. dlhunicorn

    dlhunicorn Human Encyclopedia

    Jan 11, 2007
    Dont use any bedding for a while (use sand) and up the humidity of the area they are in by hanging (fresh daily) wet towels or such up.... birds are very sensitive to dust and in this case it is all the more important to reduce the amount of dust and ensure humidity is adequate until they are recovered.
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2009
  5. AMecsics

    AMecsics New Egg

    Aug 26, 2015
    PLEASE HELP!! Smouldering fire here too. 6 of 19 survived initially. 5 in bad shape, 2 of which have since died. I have them in a side room off of our garage with a radiant heater because it is terribly cold but a window cracked a few feet away from them. I am worried that they need super fresh air???? Is warmth and shelter more important right now? How helpful will bathing them really be (I read that somewhere) vs traumatic....maybe just a sponge bath instead of a dunk. Where can I get an inhaler??? We don't have any asthma sufferers around. I am giving them oxytetracycline to try to stave off infection. They take small droppers of water with patience and I think might drink a little themselves. Anything else I could do to give their lungs a boost????? It has been 1.5 days and they seem a little less shaken but EVERY breath seems like torture for them. I hate making them suffer but if there is a chance they can recover....

    Sidenote. There was a brand new hatchling in the coop, born during a blizzard the night before the fire (which is why I added a heatlamp and shut the door that day....smh) and he had been ushered to a different mother hen and our roo, George had baracaded them in the farthest and least airtight nesting box. Seemed like they all pulled together to give this little guy a shot and he is doing excellent. We have him in the house under heat lamp since there's no one left to sit on him and he is the most human friendly chick we've ever seen. He is the positive note to keep us all going because you're right: There is something horribly traumatic about a fire event. A very invasive display of insecurity.
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2016

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