"Freezer Camp" in our Minnesota Coop. Frozen Wattles on Roo.

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Bogtown Chick, Feb 4, 2013.

  1. Bogtown Chick

    Bogtown Chick Overrun With Chickens

    5,684
    1,638
    361
    Mar 31, 2012
    Northern Minnesota
    My Coop
    My New Hampshire Roo has been taking a beating by "Old Man Winter" in Minnesota this year. Two weeks of sub zero temperatures have been very unkind.

    Some background on me and the Rooster:
    * I'm a Newbie. I do a ton of research on BYC. Admit to burning the midnight Oil on this computer on BYC. Top reasons for getting chickens: to make memories with my kids, and for healthy eggs from happy cage free birds. I don't want to sound helpless or whiny on here and I always try to use humility and consider every piece of advice I get. Humor gets me through. [​IMG]

    * THE COOP: I chose not to insulate walls or heat my coop this winter. The ceiling is insulated however. Heat lamps scare me and have only recently employed one due to winter extremes in temperatures. Haybales around the base outside. There are 3 windows in the coop and the 4th wall has a door. I used recycled boards, windows, door and cast offs to build this coop. Ventilation is good with the 3 windows and because I built it, and it was my first ever construction project, it is a 'lovely' 1/2 inch off center. So there are a few board spaces. and corners of 1/2 log siding aren't mitered and winter air gets through easily. It is not drafty however. So coop is well ventilated IMHO. I also use pine shavings and poop boards in the form of linoleum that is pulled every morning and replaced in the evening at roost time, Keeping moisture I hope to a minimum. I have 4-5 inches of pine shavings in the coop. I keep a thermometer at roost level but away from the birds. Since the picture below has been taken I've built a 10x12 run with clear plastic on the North, West, & partially on the South side. Run floor is fluffed out in hay.

    [​IMG]



    *THE OTHER CHICKENS: 1 bantam cochin roo, 5 EE hens, RIR hen, Wyandotte Hen, NH or Buff Orpington hen (we don't know for sure --hatchery mutt ), Black Australorp Hen. They are doing fabulous. no comb or wattle problems.

    *THE WEATHER: well it goes without saying that if you live in the lower 48 of the U.S. you pretty much know the weather extremes we've had the last part of January. We have had 3 ice storms in which 30+ degree rainy moist days turned quickly to -25 Fahrenheit in a real hurry.This is when I would notice black frostbite tips on Roger's comb progress. In general however when we are cold we are a DRY cold. Two weeks ago we had 4 days where the birds stayed in the coop with no time in their run. Last Thursday night and into Friday morning we had -33F. And found Roger Friday afternoon with 1/16 inch of ice clung to his wattles. I brought him into the house to 'thaw' and his wattles were dusky and swollen first night. Comb had duskiness too but I'm less concerned about that.

    [​IMG]
    Here he is watching TV that first night. Swollen and dusky.

    The next day temps were into the teens and his wattles reddened up quite a bit and seemed okay circulation wise but still swollen lessening ever so slightly each day. It became clear that he still had a harder time eating-- beaking past his wattles so we have been getting some oatmeal and scrambled egg into him at least once a day.

    Again this morning we had a not-so-nice -22 F-- heat lamp was turned on last night. At noon I came home for lunch and found Roger with all the lymph and fluid in his wattles frozen like ice cubes. They were not able to maintain body temp. I let him thaw today in the house in a dog kennel for 4 1/2 hours. Fed him the usual egg and oatmeal spinach routine lunch and supper time. his wattles did not swell as rigidly as they did Friday night and he seems redder on the wattles than he did last Friday. They did not feel hot or inflamed tonight. But felt like cool mini bags of water. He ate really well tonight and drank deeply from the water bowl I provided him tonight. I dried him off really well, vaselined up wattles and comb. and placed him out in the coop. It will be single digits tonight (not below zero). And placed him on a roosting spot nearer to the heat lamp.

    [​IMG]
    Wattle cubes at Noon today.

    [​IMG]
    Handsome boy Thawing for the afternoon in the house.

    [​IMG]
    Tonight after thaw Still Overall red on wattles. Got some vaseline/dustbath combo goo on there too. but also purply frostbite.
    Swelling of wattles makes him keep his beak open a bit. Not as bad as last Friday, though.

    [​IMG]
    Scabs and drainage for a comb.Some of the scabs are looking like they want to slough here pretty soon. First point has already sloughed and is more rounded than it once was. Back lobe scabs are loose. Antibiotic ointment applied to this as it's little more messy.

    [​IMG]
    Here he is in his Glory this summer. He's a good lookout for my Free Rangers. Watched him alert hens numerous times about aerial predators with amazing timing. Kept everybody alive in heavy predator and neighbor dog visiting neighborhood. He's not a fighter/scrapper. He's really a keeper.

    I told my son about Roger's wattles tonight and he said. "Mom, you suppose he's going to have to be meat?" I told him, " I sure hope not." So many things my children are experiencing.

    "Chickens are fun, Chickens are fun, Chickens are fun." I keep telling myself. [​IMG]
    I keep telling Roger, that "Green grass and warm sun is coming." [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2013
    1 person likes this.
  2. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

    65,200
    13,305
    786
    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    Roger will see the summeer. His comb may wither and fall off. So may his wattles. It's sort of nature/winter's natural dubbing process. He will continue to be beautiful in his own right. I doubt that it would be possible to keep his comb and wattles intact with those low temperatures.
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2013
    1 person likes this.
  3. Bogtown Chick

    Bogtown Chick Overrun With Chickens

    5,684
    1,638
    361
    Mar 31, 2012
    Northern Minnesota
    My Coop
    Your post Sourland is like sweet summer air. Thank you so much for looking at my Rog.
     
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2013
  4. shell3

    shell3 Chillin' With My Peeps

    569
    8
    113
    May 14, 2012
    Hertfordshire England
    chickens are fun!! he will be scratching in the dirt with the sun on his back before we know it :) it dosnt look as bad as i feared. wattles looking a good colour considering and comb still pink underneath. may loose a tiny bit off top but will still be handsome and itll add character he'll always be that special boy that you went through so much with. hopefully itll scab and heal. positive thinking is a must! his to much of a fighter to be anyones dinner!!! lol i see sunny days and happy times ahead xxx
     
  5. Bogtown Chick

    Bogtown Chick Overrun With Chickens

    5,684
    1,638
    361
    Mar 31, 2012
    Northern Minnesota
    My Coop
    -12 C or 10 F! yay it's above 0 F. [​IMG](sing it!) "We're havin' a heat wave! A tropical Heat wave!" [​IMG]I think I'll shut off heat lamp tonight....[​IMG]

    Giddy this morning because I opened the pop door to the run and Rog came down with his girls. Wattle still bit swollen but cool to the touch not inflamed. NOT Frozen Wattle cubes. Will check his crop at noon to see if he's eating well. or if the wattle swelling we do have is still inhibitive. I don't mind a little lunch time with Roger up at the house but he likes to poo on the counter now. Way too comfortable in my house. [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  6. shell3

    shell3 Chillin' With My Peeps

    569
    8
    113
    May 14, 2012
    Hertfordshire England
    yay!!! sounding good! and whats a little poop between friends!lol.
    im looking forward to more good posts 'way to go rog!'
     
  7. choptank330

    choptank330 Chillin' With My Peeps

    582
    6
    108
    Jul 31, 2012
    Roanoke, Virginia
    Hoping the bit of warmer temperatures will help.
     
  8. aussiegal318

    aussiegal318 Chillin' With My Peeps

    275
    80
    140
    May 26, 2012
    Minnesota
    Question Bogtown Chick, is your roo the senior in the coop? I noticed that you have 2 boys.

    My roo a RI White (a big boy named Lightning) had to come up to the house for a week to thaw out and be able to eat (baby food from a syringe). He is second in command next to a EE mix(Chucky). They have worked together pretty good, but I've wondered if/when the spurs would fly. I was worried about moving him out, but not being able to eat trumps. He has been living in my mudroom with a window that can be opened so to avoid major temp extremes when he goes back.

    My problem is getting him back in the coop, preferably without blood. I took him down today with me & Chucky puffed up and did a sideways dance & chased him a bit. I brought Lightning back up with me until I could get some advice on re-introducing him.

    Aussiegal
     
  9. Bogtown Chick

    Bogtown Chick Overrun With Chickens

    5,684
    1,638
    361
    Mar 31, 2012
    Northern Minnesota
    My Coop
    Hmmm. That does pose a problem doesnt it.

    Roger is top dog. He's a big New Hamp and his little bantam Cronie knows his place. They were brooder mates and only Roger really chases him if he's after his high hen. Rog is pretty docile at top chicken. And not hard for him to re establish himself as his competition is pint sized. In the summer it's kind of cool. We watched them work in shifts--one ate while the other was look out.

    Different situation for your boys tho'. You might need to put a seperation between them somehow, so they can see each other but not get at one another. I don't know how else to do it.

    Thank goodness for the 20 degrees today, huh?

    Wattles were not froze today, but covered with vaseline/ dusting wood ash goo. LOL. Heavy and draggy a bit but not overly bloated. His crop not that full at all. Lunch and dinner up at the house. Left me his usual poo on the counter today at noon. LOL. We are bonding.
     
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2013
  10. aussiegal318

    aussiegal318 Chillin' With My Peeps

    275
    80
    140
    May 26, 2012
    Minnesota
    I could do that. With the way my husband and contractor friend made my coop, I have been remodeling, regularly, with a sawzall. My coop was an 12'x8' storage shed. 8'x8' was framed in and insulated. They added a heater that I found can't be turned off and is hard wired in so I have it on the lowest setting. Thankfully, it mostly just moves air around. That left me 4' in the entry of the coop for 'my stuff'. I didn't need all that space, sooo, out came the sawzall, cut a opening in the wall, mounted a half wall and wa-la, the annex. The annex isn't insulated, but I can put up some wire over the opening & Mr Lightning has his own 4'x4' space.

    Lightning is bigger then my other roo Chucky (can you tell the grand kids did the naming[​IMG]) And being a RI I know he has moxy. My husband thinks we should just cull him; I didn't do that this summer when I had 5 roosters because I got him (before we knew he was a boy) for the grand daughter. I don't want to cull Chucky because he's so handsome. Chucky is on your left & Lightning is the big white boy. I'm still trying for a second coop without any success.
    [​IMG]
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by