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Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Backyard Farming Chicken Coop Fire

Saturday night while we were leaving a wedding reception, we received a call from our neighbors asking if we knew our chicken coop was on fire.  At first first, I thought it was a joke, but realized that's not something you joke about.  I got off the phone and my other neighbor called to let me know the coop was on fire. Michael and I rushed the kids to the car, and I was about to rip my hair out as Michael was driving the speed limit. In my opinion, speeding was warranted. The 10 minute drive felt like an eternity.

Both neighbors worked together to find our hose and keep it contained. I had a few neighbors calling, giving me the minute by minute play by play, and taking pictures (above). At this point, I was told that 3 of my 7 chickens had escaped into the run area. I immediately broke into tears. I got a call back that the coop was completely gone, nothing could be salvaged. We arrive home, and as I got to the backyard, there were a few of my friends there, I couldn't help but bawl my eyes out. These sweet women wrapped their arms around me, offering comfort and words of encouragement.

We rushed over to the run area where the chickens were huddled, and we were able to count all 7 chickens. They looked pretty battered and beaten, but they were all there! I can just picture Barry White (our rooster), with his deep sexy voice, telling the girls to stay calm and move into the run.

The firemen were able to secure the run for the night so the chickens couldn't get out. In the morning we moved our Red Barn Coop into a dog run that was left from the previous owner of our home.  It is such a blessing that we have our Red Barn Coop as well as the dog run. There were so many times that I almost got rid of the dog run. 

One of our sweet neighbors tried to salvage a star from our old coop.
We are so lucky it wasn't worse, the field and our garden has started on fire. We were told that the wind was blowing quite hard toward our house. 


We suspect that our heat lamp had something to do with the fire. 
The money we had allocated to fencing for a goat, may have to be used to build a new coop. It is really disappointing, but I'm just grateful it wasn't worse. We are all safe, our house is okay, and our girls survived!

Thank you so much for your comments, prayers, and words of encouragement!  We really appreciate each of you!

~marisa

33 comments:

ChickenLytle said...

Glad they all made it! Sorry about your coop. This is the nightmare that keeps me from putting electricity in my coop. I have found my chickens do fine in an unheated coop if I keep it dry and free of drafts. Good luck with your new coop.

Anonymous said...

Please make sure to put a piece of sheet metal under the heat lamp in case it breaks, glad they are ok!

Sunnybrook Farm said...

Horrible story, you are really lucky that the birds survived such a blaze. I only have a light in my brooder coop and I don't use it as the birds are fully feathered now. My coops are closed on 3 sides as the birds really need fresh air more than being warm. After all they wear nice feathered coats that they fluff up at night. Just keep them out of the wind and they will do fine.

Michelle a.k.a. Farmchick said...

So sorry to hear about your loss. We had a small fire with a heat lamp years ago while caring for chicks. I am glad the fire didn't spread.

K-Koira said...

Wow, how scary. Sounds like you have some great neighbors, though, and lucky that all the chickens got out and the fire stayed contained.

Oahu2Ozona said...

OMG Marissa, so scary! Thank God you and your family and all the flock are safe. You're all in our thoughts.

Kristin Lea said...

I just stumbled upon your blog Sunday and OMG, I was so worried-I kept checking back for an update. I cried when I read that all your chickens survived, and your house is safe. When I saw your post on Sunday, I was obsessed with checking on my own girls, makes you realize just how close you are to losing everything. I am so thankful everything turned out okay!! What wonderful neighbors you have

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Meg@MegaCrafty said...

Glad they all made it out ok- what a scary experience. Sorry about the coop but at least the destruction didn't spread any further.

Channa said...

So sorry about your coop, but I'm glad your chickens are all safe!

MAYBELLINE said...

I look forward to the construction of the new "bent star" chicken coop. You may not be able to find much humor in it now; but I bet this will be material for some light hearted stories to come.

gardeninggrl said...

So sorry to hear of your loss - but what a miracle that everyone survived and the fire didn't reach your home!

Kim said...

Thank goodness no one (including the chickens) was hurt and your home wasn't touched! How scary for you all :(

Michael Atkinson said...

Clearly vandalism! I swear on my mother I will hunt down those responsible and rip their hearts out!!

marisa said...

Thanks everyone! You guys are so great!!!

fullfreezer said...

I'm so relieved to hear that all survived. And how fortunate that the fire didn't spread and cause even more destruction. A fire in the coop has been one of my huge fears since this is our first winter with chickens. We've got a ceramic, infra-red heating element (like the ones used in reptile cages- someone told me it was less likely to cause a fire than heat bulbs) as well as a heated base for the water. I'd love to get by without them but when it's 12F out there I worry about them getting frostbite on their combs.
Again, glad all survived at your place. I can't imagine how terrifying that would be.

Judy

Cathy H said...

I love reading your blog...I'm a suburbanite who yearns for a farm :) SO, so , so glad the chickies are ok!

Amy @ Homestead Revival said...

I know it might seem hard to say this now, but thankfully it was just the coop and not the house! And all chickens live and well! Very good!! I'm just sorry the money for the goat fencing is now reallocated. I'm in the same boat. I had saved money for several garden projects, but a water line broke during a hard freeze and ran for at LEAST 24 hours before anyone alerted me. $650 later I have money for a water bill, but alas, no new garden projects at this point. Homesteading is not for the faint of heart!

rkbsnana said...

True, it could have been worse but fires are just heartbreaking. No lives lost...things can be replaced.

Jennifer said...

Have you contacted your home owners' insurance? If your policy had provisions for structures on your property, the coop may very well be covered. We filed a claim last month for damage to our roof from a severe windstorm. I was surprised that the claim also covered our shed. Just something to think about. Good luck to you, Marisa!

Poppy said...

Wow, what a harrowing experience! Glad your chickens and the rest of your property were okay. What a night!

Stoney Acres said...

I'm very glad your chickens survived and the fire didn't spread!! I'm also glad you are all okay! Good luck rebuilding.

FranksGreenGirl said...

I can't tell you how bad I felt when I first clicked on the link about your fire. After reading the whole post though I feel so glad that you have been blessed with awesome neighbors who made sure to alert you of this disaster. I am doubly glad your home didn't catch fire from any debris and that your "girls" made it through this horrendous event. It's always hard to start over but you know what the next coop you build or have built will be better than the first. Keep looking up! I love your blog and all you share. I learn so much.

Dale Johnson said...

Michael and Marisa,

I am sorry for your loss but there are questions to be answered. Chickens look so innocent but you have to get to the bottom of this. Were they just playing with matches? Were they roasting smores? Were they shooting off fireworks? Were they smoking pot? After watching your video of Barry, I think he is the culprit. I just don’t trust Barred Rock Roosters. You must show them whose boss. I do not allow any fowl play in my chicken coop!

Uncle Dale

brooke said...

I am so glad that nothing more than your coop was burnt down. And that the ladies are alright.

daisy said...

So glad it wasn't worse and that everyone (including the girls) is safe.
Thank God for great neighbors!

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Akannie said...

My first time here, Marisa--sorry to hear about the fire..

I have a small coop too and we also use the heat lamp as it gets cold here (usually) and I have always been a little worried about the possibility of fire.

Glad everyone is okay...and you are blessed to have such neighbors!!

Kristina Seleshanko said...

I am SO sorry! But thankful the chickens made it! This is why we never use a heat lamp :(

Kimberly said...

I have been holding my breath waiting to get back to see your update. I am so sorry for such a horrific scary event. I am so glad your ladies survived. Still thinking of you.

Michael Atkinson said...

I am still angry about this. And plan on finding those responsible.... LOL Uncle Dale's comment. Finally some straight-talk common sense.

By the way, the burnt out watering can looks like Abe Lincoln's hat.

GirlRural.com said...

I am so sorry I didn't see this sooner to offer you words of comfort. What a disaster. I'm so happy your chickens are okay as I know they are important to you as mine are to me. Hopefully you'll have some handy friends willing to lend a weekend to building a new and even better coop!

-Sydney- said...

My nightmare as well! I was thinking about a heat lamp but not anymore. . .so glad the chickens survived.

basicliving@backtobasicliving.com said...

Oh Marissa - I'm just learning about the fire, and I am so sorry! I was incredibly relieved to read that all your chickens made it safely through the awful ordeal. Sadly, fires from heat lamps in coops is not all that uncommon :( I'm just glad you, your family, critters, and other structures are all ok. (((hugs)))