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Beginning of frostbite on a couple of my chickens

post #1 of 3
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Hello- I am a first time winter chicken owner and live in MN. I will start by saying I have a 6x8 coop from Horizon Structure that is not insulated on the walls but the ceiling is. It also has two heated roosting bars for the chickens. I have a "summer" run and a "winter run" which consist of the summer run is 9x12 with polycarbonate panels covering the north and west sides of the fencing and clear tarps covering the east side. The Winter run abuts the south side. Then the winter run is the 6x8 size as well and is polycarbonate panels above and wood panels below with all wood on the west side for the harsh winter winds.  My chickens have to exit the coop and walk partway through the summer run to get to the winter run. SO- I have straw in the coop floor and a poop tray. The hygrometer has always been between 46 and 67 was the highest I have seen it yet this winter. It has been getting cold here and this morning I noticed the tips of the combs turning white which is frostbite indication correct? I have been putting Green Goo ointment on nightly so this was quite a shock for me to see. My decision was to NOT use heat. I have cold hardy chickens and felt my setup would be quite sufficient. However, with the temps increasingly getting colder- a low of -27 this weekend... I ended up putting my sweeter heater in the coop. Does anyone know about the sweeter heater? I really did not want to use heat for multiple reasons. I feel that I must now with the frostbite forming. Any  comments would be appreciated. Please no negative comments. Thanks!

post #2 of 3
Some white coloring to the comb isn't always frostbite. The cold will make combs shrink back and often they take on a whitish appearance like they have been dusted. Frostbite is usually black. I wouldn't provide heat as it will interfere with the acclamation process and leave your hens vulnerable in my opinion, it also doesn't allow the combs to shrink back in a normal manner. I'm your state neighbor and will get the same temperatures. No heat here, and always an open doorway facing west. No hens will get frostbite, only a few large combed roosters will and they will be okay.
Chickens, muscovy ducks, turkeys, donkeys , goats, dogs, bunnies, fish, parakeets, a parrot, and a cat.

Chickens and dogs are healing to the soul.

Why can't my days always be Sunnyside up?

I brake for squirrels.

Some of my birds.
http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/my-wisconsin-flock
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Chickens, muscovy ducks, turkeys, donkeys , goats, dogs, bunnies, fish, parakeets, a parrot, and a cat.

Chickens and dogs are healing to the soul.

Why can't my days always be Sunnyside up?

I brake for squirrels.

Some of my birds.
http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/my-wisconsin-flock
Reply
post #3 of 3

Welcome to BYC!

 

How's your ventilation?

 

 

 

Mild frostbite can be whitish gray, and will heal up with no loss of tissue.

Black is dead tissue from severe frostbite that will eventually fall off, never to regrow.

 

Oh ......wait... just wrote this up yesterday..with pics!

 http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1145208/just-want-cold-weather-reassurance#post_17849156

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."

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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
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