1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login & click here to learn what's new!

Expecting single digit temps soon :(

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Lots A Cluckin, Jan 4, 2015.

  1. Lots A Cluckin

    Lots A Cluckin Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,830
    43
    178
    Feb 28, 2012
    So we are expecting single digit temperatures in the next few days. Because I have huge fluffy English Orpingtons I am not worried about them getting cold but I am worried about the roosters combs and wattles. Last year I put Vaseline on them but I also had supplemental heat...this year I am trying to do with out the supplemental heat because heat lamps are so dangerous.
    I have seen several people saying that putting Vaseline on them makes them more susceptible to frostbite because the Vaseline freezes on them or at least get really cold and just makes the frostbit worse.
    I would like to know what you all think about that and what is the best way to prevent frostbite....they have plenty of ventilation and the humidity percentage is very low so I am hoping they will be ok in the up coming days!

    Any suggestions of what to do without adding heat to the coops will be very helpful! Thanks so much!

    Ayslen Redmon
    Lots 'A' Cluckin' Farm



    [​IMG]
     
  2. Mountain Peeps

    Mountain Peeps Change is inevitable, like the seasons Premium Member

    28,340
    4,221
    516
    Apr 23, 2014
    At our lodge
    My Coop
    Vaseline does not prevent frostbite nor does it cause it. What it does is it helps keep the blood and circulation flowing through the comb while the bird sleeps. Coconut oil is better than vaseline at prevent frostbite. I would try mixing these two and then rubbing it onto their combs.

    Many people do not agree with heat around here but I, honestly, agree with using it during really cold weather. As long as it is secure and high above the ground, you won't risk a fire. Make sure the chickens can't roost near it either.

    Best of luck!
     
  3. Lots A Cluckin

    Lots A Cluckin Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,830
    43
    178
    Feb 28, 2012
    Thank you! I have heard of the bulbs getting so hot they burst if the cold wind touches them and that is what causes fires! I have lots of ventilation but no vents to the north which is where our wind comes from. I am not against using heat for any reason other than the danger of the bulbs!
     
  4. Mountain Peeps

    Mountain Peeps Change is inevitable, like the seasons Premium Member

    28,340
    4,221
    516
    Apr 23, 2014
    At our lodge
    My Coop
    Just don't use big bulbs and keep it out of the way of drafts.
     
  5. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Chicken Obsessed

    8,184
    2,144
    421
    Mar 15, 2010
    On the MN prairie.
    Your chickens will be better off without the heat. They have acclimated to the weather, so they have lots of nice warm feathers to keep them warm. You will do them a disservice by putting heat in there. (Bundle yourself up, go outside in all your winter gear for half an hour. Then come in and leave your gear on for a couple of hours. All of it - coat, snowpants, boots, hat, mittens, scarf. That's what it's like for your chickens. They can't take off their winter gear, either) I have not had frostbite issues in single digit temperatures. You're talking ABOVE zero, right? They'll be fine. Last year a couple of combs got nipped on the very ends when it was in the -20's for several days on end, getting colder at night. I have never put anything on my roosters' combs.
     
  6. Lots A Cluckin

    Lots A Cluckin Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,830
    43
    178
    Feb 28, 2012
    Thank you Bobbi-j yes I have made strict plans this year to not use heat at all! after all I have huge extremely fluffy English Orpingtons who have been bred for cold wet England weather! But they still have pretty large combs and I want to keep my babies pretty for shows!
     
  7. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    32,674
    5,426
    556
    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    How does vaseline improve circulation? Never heard that one before.
    Bag Balm or Vicks VapoRub, with it's mentholated properties might increase circulation.
     
  8. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

    17,451
    2,080
    456
    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    Keep them out of wind yet well ventilated. Provide in a wind protect location some straw to stand on to reduce loss of heat through feet. Add some whole grains to diet like corm and BOSS so birds can rapidly feed then get out of the wind. My birds that are likely much more exposed than yours have greatest issue with frostbite during the day since during night comb and wattles are tucked among feathers..
     
  9. Mountain Peeps

    Mountain Peeps Change is inevitable, like the seasons Premium Member

    28,340
    4,221
    516
    Apr 23, 2014
    At our lodge
    My Coop
    I guess I should have clarified; rubbing the vaseline on the comb improves circulation and the vaseline itself helps keep blood flowing.
     
  10. Feathyr

    Feathyr Chillin' With My Peeps

    141
    17
    96
    Aug 21, 2014
    Idaho
    I would write a longer post, but dinner is ready, so I'm just going to leave this (excellent) article here and come back later.

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/frostbite

    Vents on the floor aren't nessecarily a bad thing; my coop is equipped with two, one is left open in winter unless the temperature is unusually cold. In my experience, the only time the birds have gotten frostbite is when moisture collects on their head or feet. Good ventilation will prevent that.
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2015

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by