Coop caught fire - chicken ok but sleeping all day and refusing food and water


Dec 4, 2015
Hi, this is my first time on here and I am hoping for some advice/help. I am a first time chicken owner and this morning we woke up to someone knocking on the door saying the coop was on fire. We were able to get the fire under control before the fire dept even showed up, and 11 out of 14 survived! While most of them were able to carry on after we resettled them, one of the white leghorns just sat in a corner even when we took out pomegranates and meal worms. She is refusing water as well. I brought her inside and have been watching her all day and holding her to keep her warm (she is still only about 3 months old). She has quite a few places where her feathers were burned down to the skin. Earlier she had a fast heartbeat and was breathing out of her mouth, but since I have been holding her and talking to her (even a little bit of singing) she has a normal heart rate again and is breathing with her mouth closed again. I put a little aloe on a few places she was burned on the skin. But she is still refusing food and drink and actually is just sleeping. She has been sleeping for about 13 hrs now and doesn't look like she is waking up anytime soon. What should I do? Should I be worried? Or when should I be worried? She is the only chick that seems to have really had a traumatic experience and I assume she is in shock. Any advice at all will be helpful! Thank you!


Hatchi Wan Kenobi
Project Manager
Premium Feather Member
10 Years
Mar 27, 2012
My Coop
My Coop

Sorry for your troubles! Coop fires are always a disaster.

As for your hen, she is probably in shock. You need to keep her in a warm, quiet place. Give her water to drink with electrolytes. She may also be suffering from smoke inhalation. Birds have very sensitive respiratory systems and are very susceptible to smoke. The only real thing that can be done for that is to keep her in fresh air and provide an anti inflammatory.

Since she is burned, she may also be in a lot of pain. For that, you can dissolve 5 five grain aspirin tablets in a gallon of water and offer it to her free choice. As a bonus aspirin is an anti-inflammatory so it may help with smoke inhalation. The aloe will helpfully help soothe the burn. You could also use neosporin without pain relief on them to keep them from becoming infected and help them heal.

Was the fire caused because you were heating the coop in some way, like with a heat lamp? If so I just want to let you know that chickens don't need supplemental heat and a heat source in the coop is not needed and dangerous - if it goes out the birds can die from temperature shock when the temp plummets, and of course they are a huge fire risk. If you were heating it before when you get your new one built avoid heating it. If it wasn't caused by a heat source I am so sorry and I hope you can find out what caused it and correct the problem on your next coop.
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