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Frostbite Prevention

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Decided to put this here because I wanted to discuss coop design to prevent frostbite. First winter keeping chickens. My rooster and one small hen have frostbite on their feet. I think I will have to put one or two down it is so bad. Anyways I had a dirt floor as I had read about sand floors and this was pretty close to sand. Bad idea. I live in Minnesota and it gets very very cold. Ground froze as did the feet. So it's now got a decent layer of pine shavings.

It's a huge shed and extremely ventilated lol. I'm thinking that I actually need to seal it up a bit more. The vented peak lets snow it when it snows. There's a base of timber then about three feet up turns into metal siding. There are spaces where beams come up that there are holes where wind can come in. Expanding foam should fix that well enough. Any ideas about the vented peak?

I have also had another thought. Their roost is comped of 2x4s so they can stand on the wide side. What if I made a little enclosure around their roost and put a heat lamp in there? I could make it an open floor design and just put up walls and a roof. Heat rises anyways. It also doesn't need tobe very warm. Just not -40 f. Thoughts?

Any other suggestions? Again it's a huge unseated and uninsulated shed. I don't have time/money to heat and insulate the thing. I'm looking for some reasonable and easy suggestions to keep my chickens healthy in the cold.

As an aside. Will a rooster with one good leg still fertilize hens?
post #2 of 7

So sorry for your birds !  I use deep bedding, and for winter wrapped plastic around the lower six or seven feet of my run.  Cheap and not difficult.  There's still plenty of ventilation above, as it's eight feet tall, and no issues with wind.  I use the galvanized waterers on heated bases, not open water dishes, which can be a big problem in the cold.  My roosts are saplings 2" to 4" diameter, at different heights.  I have NEVER had frozen toes out there, but sometimes single combed roosters will have comb tips damaged.  Mary 

post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 
To be honest I don't really care about their combs. They can get by just fine but frozen feet is a problem. My chickens don't really go outside. They are never interestedn as long as their is snow on the ground. So this is all inside the coop.
post #4 of 7

WOW frostbitten feet is pretty extreme....bummer!

How big is coop and how many birds?

Pics would really help us help you figure a solution. 

 

Seal anything that is blowing directly on the roost area and baffle those vents so they don't blow snow in.

Great article on VENTILATION, one of THE MOST IMPORTANT aspects of coop design.

Fantastic treatise to help decide how much SPACE your chickens need.

 

Chicken math is not just 'addition'...but also should include Division, Multiplication and especially Subtraction!!!

 

Quoting centrarchid:

"Make every effort to understand your chicken's biology and the environment that supports it."

Reply

Great article on VENTILATION, one of THE MOST IMPORTANT aspects of coop design.

Fantastic treatise to help decide how much SPACE your chickens need.

 

Chicken math is not just 'addition'...but also should include Division, Multiplication and especially Subtraction!!!

 

Quoting centrarchid:

"Make every effort to understand your chicken's biology and the environment that supports it."

Reply
post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 
I'll post a few pics I took a while ago.






So these are old pics. My wall is done. It sections them off into a third of the shed. I included a picture of the roost but have since removed the Christmas lights. You can see that the coop is a large shed with metal siding. I have to work long hours for the next couple of days but will try to get some close up pics of a few specific areas later. Again I have since put a good layer of pine shavings down. I also had some trouble with water which I am unsure if that exacerbated the issue. My vertical nipples froze and I didn't catch it right away. Have since also replaced that with horizontal nipples.

Any thoughts on the roost enclosure thought?
post #6 of 7

Did they have frostbitten combs too?

The frostbit feet might have been because of the dirt/sand flooring?

Not sure if lack of water might be part of the foot problem, but it might.

Sorry, no finite answers here.

Great article on VENTILATION, one of THE MOST IMPORTANT aspects of coop design.

Fantastic treatise to help decide how much SPACE your chickens need.

 

Chicken math is not just 'addition'...but also should include Division, Multiplication and especially Subtraction!!!

 

Quoting centrarchid:

"Make every effort to understand your chicken's biology and the environment that supports it."

Reply

Great article on VENTILATION, one of THE MOST IMPORTANT aspects of coop design.

Fantastic treatise to help decide how much SPACE your chickens need.

 

Chicken math is not just 'addition'...but also should include Division, Multiplication and especially Subtraction!!!

 

Quoting centrarchid:

"Make every effort to understand your chicken's biology and the environment that supports it."

Reply
post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 
The roosters combs are also frostbitten and I have a leghorn that is a little as well.
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