Poultry are sensitive to smoke inhalation as it causes irritation in the lining of their respiratory system. With high concentrations of smoke, this lining can be damaged within a few minutes and within a few hours in areas with low smoke concentration. Most animals die from smoke inhalation rather than from burning.

Birds that were not in the barn, but were close or in the barn adjacent, should be checked for smoke inhalation and injuries. Seek the advice of your veterinarian to determine if birds need to be humanely euthanized.

Layers and breeders that are unaffected by the fire may not be able to be moved to another barn or location. Depopulation by whole-barn gassing should be considered. Contact your industry representative and veterinarian for further action.

Meat chickens and turkeys may have the option of early shipping if they are close to market weight and unaffected by the fire.