Frostbite? But how.....?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by eggcamefirst, Dec 8, 2011.

  1. eggcamefirst

    eggcamefirst Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 14, 2010
    Piedmont Triad, NC
    The coop I have has a run area and a sheltered indoor area as shown below


    You can see some open areas in the top (just under the roof) but I have sealed them off with sheetrock foam. We have had nights go down to 27 or so and I haven't noticed any frostbite. But when I got home from work today I noticed SEVERAL chickens has black tips on their combs. It was very windy last night but only got down to 34 but it was also windy this morning...could the wind have done this when they were outside this morning?
  2. Tracydr

    Tracydr Chillin' With My Peeps

    There is no way they got frostbite with those temperatures. Have they been fighting or beating up on each other? Do you have a young rooster or more than one rooster?
  3. eggcamefirst

    eggcamefirst Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 14, 2010
    Piedmont Triad, NC
    I have one rooster who is 20+ weeks old. His comb and a couple of the BRs were black at the tips.......
  4. CMV

    CMV Flock Mistress

    Apr 15, 2009
    Temps are not the issue when frostbite strikes. It's the humidity level in the coop that is the culprit. You probably need to increase your ventilation. Birds produce a lot of moisture in their droppings and respirations. Keep the house as free from waste as you can in the winter and increase the air flow. You can also use Vaseline/Bag Balm on exposed skin to combat frostbite.

    Don't beat yourself up too much about this. It happens. My roo last year lost 2/3 of his wattles to frostbite when they kept dipping into his waterer each time he drank.

    Good luck.
  5. JackE

    JackE Overrun With Chickens

    Apr 26, 2010
    North Eastern Md.
    You said you blocked off the ventilation up by the roof. What you are seeing (Frostbite) is a sure sign that you don't have enough ventilation/fresh air flow through the coop. I'd reopen the roof ventilation if I were you. The goodnews is that sometimes you will see the tips of the chickens combs discolor or turn black, then in a few days the will look totally normal again. So don't get too worried yet.
  6. cubalaya

    cubalaya Overrun With Chickens

    Nov 19, 2008
    central virginia
    your coop is too airtight. allow for some ventilation. their feathers keep them warm. we have had temps around 0 here many winters and no frostbite.
  7. JodyJo

    JodyJo Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 27, 2010
    Here is a pic of frostbite....cold temps, high humidity, not enough ventilation....


    until it is WAY colder than what you need not worry...but do make some vents for the humidity out...chicken droppings and their
    breath will create this...also if you add heat (which they do NOT need) this will also increase the humidity levels.

    Mine were at -29* the other heat added to the coop, pop door open, they did fine....

    The black you see, can be from the other chickens pecking at specks on the combs of the others.....they peck at everything remember! LOL
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2011
  8. eggcamefirst

    eggcamefirst Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 14, 2010
    Piedmont Triad, NC
    So if I were to poke some holes in the foamboard that would be enough? If I remove them completely, won't wind become a factor?
  9. Linn Bee

    Linn Bee Chillin' With My Peeps

    We got down to 7 degrees (F) last night -- our coldest so far this winter. I have a 3 ft. by 4 ft window full open on the southern side of the coop. When I went inside this a.m. the coop thermometer read 36 degrees (F). No moisture to be seen. No problems with the chickens other than I was a bit late letting them out to play.

    I do have a 3 gallon heated waterer, and I add enough light to make 13 hours of daylight, but no source of heat.

    My first coop was a drafty old storage shed with hole-y walls, no glass in the window spaces and no door in front or back. I set up a coop in one corner with only a bit of plastic to stop the wind. There was no chance the moisture was sticking around under those conditions!

    Those chickens had no problems with frostbite even at -25 degrees. It was not until the temperatures hovered closer to -30 degrees (F) that a few got a 'tetch of frostbite on their combs.

    Nope, nope, nope! I'm not going to add any heat to my coop until the INSIDE reads colder than -25. That's something akin to He!! freezing over around here.

    Love, Linn B (aka Smart Red) Gardening zone 5a - 4b in south-est, central-est Wisconsin
  10. Crehan

    Crehan Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 13, 2011
    Montgomery, AL
    Is that black frostbite marks permanent?
    Because almost all of my chickens has frostbite
    Will it go away some day?

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