Battling frostbite: My current plan of attack

GoodGuinea

Songster
Aug 26, 2019
98
107
126
Pennsylvania
My rooster (white leghorn, 9 months old, coincidentally named "Winter,") got some mild frostbite on his comb a few weeks ago. Then on Christmas Eve, we had a torrential rainstorm and gale-force winds. The temperature shot up to 60F before it plunged into the teens for a few days. I put Espree paw balm on Winter's comb before the storm, to try to prevent more frostbite, but it doesn't seem to have helped at all. His comb looks a lot worse, and I think he may lose some tips from it. The good news is that his feet seem fine, and what I thought was frostbite on his wattles turned out to be mud. The hens also seem fine. It's just that big ol' rooster comb so far.

Our forecast for the next couple weeks isn't so bad. Daytime temps in the 40s, nights in the 30s, some rainy days but no snow. But I'm still trying to plan ahead because spring is still a ways off. After a lot of internet research, here are the steps I plan to take next. I'm open to ANY comments and suggestions, because I found a lot of conflicting info and I'm still not sure of anything!

1) Try to keep the humidity down in the coop by scraping the poop boards every day, and adding new pine shavings often.

2) Change the round roost to a 2x4.

3) Apply the Espree paw balm to the hens' combs as a preventative measure. And maybe to everyone's feet and wattles?

4) Apply Vetricyn spray to the frostbitten comb.

5) If his comb gets any worse, or I see frostbite on other areas, I can bring him inside for the rest of the winter. I have a large dog crate set up in the unfinished basement. It's about 50F down there. I'd rather not have to do that, of course. At that point, it's a matter of where he'd be less miserable.

Any thoughts?
 

GoodGuinea

Songster
Aug 26, 2019
98
107
126
Pennsylvania
More ventilation.
Is water outside or in?

I think the ventilation is okay. It won't work to put in more right now, because I'm not the one who could do it, and the person in charge of that kind of thing is absolutely against it at the moment. The most I can currently do is keep things clean.

Water is in a heated waterer outside in the run.
 

GoodGuinea

Songster
Aug 26, 2019
98
107
126
Pennsylvania
Excess moisture is the main cause of frostbite. Is there any condensation on the ceiling or windows in the morning?

No, except for that Christmas Eve storm when the rain blew sideways into the ventilation holes. There was some minor cosmetic damage to the coop that day, but nothing structural. I opened everything to air it out while the birds were in the run, and I changed all the bedding, and it's been dry since then.
 
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