Any suggestions on how to solve our frostbite problem?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by SIMZ, Jan 4, 2014.

  1. SIMZ

    SIMZ Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,092
    129
    231
    Apr 29, 2011
    Northwest Indiana
    Hi everyone!

    Once again we are having a horrible time with frostbite. I'm wondering if anyone could give us some suggestions to solve our problem.

    What we've done differently this year:
    No wet foods when it's cold (like oatmeal) and no open bowls of water to dip wattles in
    Kept chickens inside the coop when it's cold/snowy/blowing.
    Keep shavings stirred and fresh added to the top
    Neosporin/vaseline on slightly frostbitten comb (which turned it black and made it significantly worse)

    Despite these changes, my rooster has TERRIBLE frostbite. My other rooster is now getting frostbitten along with a few of my hens.

    Our coop has ventilation on both eaves. We're wondering if adding some kind of louvered vent at ground level would help. The other morning I noticed ice crystals on the inside of the window in the door.

    Any ideas or suggestions? Thanks for any ideas and help you can give!
     
  2. granny hatchet

    granny hatchet Tastes like chicken Premium Member

    67,952
    15,213
    776
    Sep 26, 2013
    madison Indiana
    i dont know whats left except a couple heat lamps? wonder if a dehumidifier would work?
     
  3. 1muttsfan

    1muttsfan Overrun With Chickens

    18,817
    1,184
    396
    Mar 26, 2011
    Upper Peninsula Michigan
    Adding heat will not alleviate frostbite, but could make it even worse by increasing the humidity in the coop. The best preventive for frostbite is improving ventilation. If you are seeing condensation or frost inside your coop, you need more ventilation to decrease the humidity levels.

    Putting neosporin or vaseline on the combs did not make them turn black, they do that anyway once they are damaged. Vaseline would be more helpful to prevent frostbite.
     
    2 people like this.
  4. granny hatchet

    granny hatchet Tastes like chicken Premium Member

    67,952
    15,213
    776
    Sep 26, 2013
    madison Indiana
    heat makes it worse? i dont understand.
     
  5. SIMZ

    SIMZ Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,092
    129
    231
    Apr 29, 2011
    Northwest Indiana
    Thank you both for responding.

    I have heard that heat can make things worse so I've never used any.

    We're wondering how to increase the ventilation without causing drafts. We're wondering if a lower vent of some sort would help with some air movement? Or would opening more at the top be better? (It looks like we do have one side partially blocked to cut back on wind coming through.)
     
  6. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend... Staff Member

    32,015
    4,675
    581
    Mar 21, 2011
    New Mexico, USA
    My Coop
    Heat next to cold can produce condensation. So you don't want to add heat. 1Muttsfan has it correct here. You need to increase ventilation. Frost bite on combs is not necessarily from the cold air. It comes from moisture rising, which is what what moisture from breathing and pooping does, and in the cold air it falls back down on combs as frost. Frost bitten combs. More ventilation will whisk away the moist air up and out of the coop.

    Some roosters with very large combs will always be suseptible to frost bitten combs however and some people even clip the combs down to help prevent them from freezing. I have never done it, but there are threads here on how it is done.

    Lots of bag balm or vaseline will help protect the comb.
     
    3 people like this.
  7. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend... Staff Member

    32,015
    4,675
    581
    Mar 21, 2011
    New Mexico, USA
    My Coop
     
    3 people like this.
  8. granny hatchet

    granny hatchet Tastes like chicken Premium Member

    67,952
    15,213
    776
    Sep 26, 2013
    madison Indiana
    thank you two crows. i am sorry for such bad advice. live and learn i suppose [​IMG]
     
  9. SIMZ

    SIMZ Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,092
    129
    231
    Apr 29, 2011
    Northwest Indiana
    Great! That is so helpful! Thank you very much!
     
  10. MARGOLYN

    MARGOLYN Out Of The Brooder

    29
    0
    21
    Jan 1, 2014
    While doing a craft project in my garage, with plenty of ventilation, the paint would not dry. So I put a fan blowing away from the project instead of on the project and it dried quickly. So, I am suggesting you get a small fan to blow the condensed air up and away from the birds or a small de humidifier. I would think cleaning the droppings asap might also help because that too can muck up the air I am sure. I had parrots once and I know the droppings can be very innocuous. At least this is an issue I will have to consider before I build my own coop. Good Luck
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by