Lost my girls to fire - feeling depressed

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by evekelly, Feb 6, 2015.

  1. evekelly

    evekelly In the Brooder

    Feb 6, 2015
    Hi folks, My son, age 10, thinks he wants to be a farmer and my grandparents had chickens when I was a girl so I love chickens. We got our girls in spring of last year and let them free range most of the time but we live in the Chicagoland area so it gets cold. Our shed, into which we built our coop, was hard wired so we had a heated water unit plugged in and occasionally we used a heat lamp if it got down to near zero or below. The electricity inexplicably went out so we were temporarily going to use an extension cord until we got it fixed. Unfortunately, it caused a fire and I watched helplessly in tears as the shed burned down and we lost our girls. It was absolutely terrible and I feel stupid and after reading more about fire safety now. And I sure do miss my ladies. I feel a little apprehensive about starting again and want to make sure the new coop is as close to perfect as possible and want to investigate more about the best breeds for us. We had two new hamphshire Reds and one Americana. They were great layers, laying nearly everyday except for the Americana, she had just stopped laying about two weeks before. Anybody have info on coop building and plans. They had good personalities but the Tina, my NHR would peck at my Americana. There is so much I want to learn. And I don't ever want to repeat our awful mistake. Anybody ever have this kind of loss?
  2. ChickyChickens

    ChickyChickens Chickening Around

    May 24, 2014
    BYC? Epic <3
    My Coop

    Welcome to BYC!!! There are loads of members on here…so if you have ANY questions…just ASK!!!

    Hope you have loads of fun and all your answers answered here on BYC the BEST CHICKEN KEEPING FORUM on EARTH!!

    1 person likes this.
  3. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years.

    Aug 26, 2009
    Out to pasture
    So sorry for your tragic loss. Please head for the coops section for some ideas on building a dry,draft free, well ventilated coop and find out why both are necessities to prevent frostbite on your birds and promote healthy living. Fortunately chickens tolerate even severe cold much better than heat. Their feathers are good insulation. There are chickens thriving in much worse climates than the Chicago area. I lived in Chicago for the first 22 years of my life and survived the blizzard of 1967.

    Your chickens should not require a heat lamp. If you have baby chicks they need to be raised inside your home/garage or basement and would need a heat lamp & brooder till they are fully feathered out. But that is another story
  4. Yorkshire Coop

    Yorkshire Coop Moderator

    Aug 16, 2014
    Yorkshire, UK
    My Coop
    Hi :welcome
    Glad you could join the flock! Just sorry it's not under better circumstances. So sorry you lost your girls that really is an horrific experience you must have had :hugs

    As drumstick said they can tolerate cold temperatures well as long as you have good ventilation in your coop to combat frostbite. The coop section has some great ideas https://www.backyardchickens.com/atype/2/Coop_Designs

    Hope you are feeling better soon and you feel you can move on to some more chickens in your life. As the saying goes we all learn from our mistakes, I know I've made my fair share, so you are not alone.
    Be sure to ask any questions you may have, everyone here to help. Enjoy BYC :frow
  5. N F C

    N F C booooo!

    Dec 12, 2013
    Welcome to BYC!

    I'm so sorry for the loss of your birds, that must have been truly awful. Drumstick Diva has given you some good advice re: chickens ability to keep warm without supplemental heat. We all have made mistakes but don't let that keep you from starting over with chickens. The joy they bring is worth moving on and trying again.

    If you would like to connect with other members in IL to see what kind of coops & breeds work best for them, check out the state thread:

    Good luck to you and if you have any questions, feel free to ask.
  6. sunflour

    sunflour Flock Master

    Jan 10, 2013
    Welcome, glad you joined us.

    So sorry about your loss. Starting over will help fill the void you must be feeling and bring excitement of new beginnings, especially for your son.

    You already have some great advice from drumstick Diva about the cold concerns.
  7. BantamLover21

    BantamLover21 Crowing

    Jul 24, 2013
    [​IMG] I'm glad you joined us!

    Sorry about your hens! [​IMG]
  8. Wyandottes7

    Wyandottes7 Crowing

    Jul 24, 2013
    Welcome to BYC![​IMG]I'm glad you joined us.

    I'm so sorry for your losses![​IMG]I can't imagine how awful it must have been watching the coop burn down and being able to do nothing to help.

    I hope you can rebuild your flock soon!
  9. evekelly

    evekelly In the Brooder

    Feb 6, 2015
    Thank you to everyone for your kind words. I am thrilled I found this forum and I will be looking into the coop section, thanks drumstick diva for the info - Chicago would not be my first choice for raising animals, but the city has been good to our business so we are here for a while longer. Thanks NorthFlChick for the link to other Illinoisans. We will probably not raise chicks but it is a thought. Yes, sunflour, I think it will help us to overcome our loss. Thanks everyone.
  10. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Bird is the Word

    Mar 21, 2011
    New Mexico, USA
    My Coop
    Hello there and welcome to BYC! [​IMG]

    Oh I am so so sorry for this tragedy! [​IMG] I can imagine this must have been very hard for you to watch and get over. In the future just make sure to have a qualified electrician to wire up your outlets, try to avoid the use of extension cords and keep all heated water bases off the bedding and on bricks or concrete blocks. If wired up properly, most circuit breakers help to stop fires.

    YorkshireCoop has left you with the link to our coop pages. There are lots of great designs there and many of them are easy to follow.

    Again, I am so so sorry for your losses. [​IMG] If you have any more questions about getting started again, feel free to ask. Welcome to our flock!

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