Frostbite!! Please advise

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by katelk, Jan 13, 2015.

  1. katelk

    katelk Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I am in Tn and the weather here has been ridiculous. The past week or two the weather has gone from consistently in the 20's to several days pouring rain and in the mid 50's then all the way down to single digits for 2 days, then back up to the 40's and raining, now it is back in the 20's. The end of this week and until next Wednesday is supposed to be high 55, low 22 with precipitation in the 40+%

    One of my roosters has pretty significant frost bite and one of my others has the beginnings on the tips of comb.
    The coop is a walk-in coop. It is very well ventilated. It has sheet metal as 3 walls and roof, with wooden pallets lined with cagewire as the front wall/door. The floor is about 6" of sand. I have covered the cagewire front with a tarp to try to trap some heat, leaving a bit uncovered for the door. I have also put a heat lamp inside the coop. There are vent holes near the ceiling.

    I have never had a frostbite issue and have always had this coop. This makes me think that the insane weather shifts are to blame. What more can I do to compensate for such moist+freezing weather? Would hanging towels or something in the coop help absorb any moisture in the air?
    Any ideas will be greatly appreciated!
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2015
  2. MrsBrooke

    MrsBrooke Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Legend has it you can put petroleum jelly on their combs. The science says it will keep moisture off the combs and prevent frostbite.

    I'd probably configure some contraption made out of insulation that you can put over their roost... Like an oven hood. That would trap the heat directly above them (heat rises, as we know!) and keep them toasty warm. Make sure there are no drafts where they are, either. :)

    Hope that helps!

    MrsB
     
  3. katelk

    katelk Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have been using the tarp to try to keep out drafts. I think tonight I will cover the whole front with it.

    Should I bring the rooster with frostbite indoors? I read that it can do more damage to thaw frostbitten comb before the cold weather is over (thaw+refreeze= Not good), but the way the weather is, staying outdoors is a constant thaw/refreeze cycle anyway.
    One of the points on his comb is dark grey. At least for the next week it is only going to be below freezing at night. I was thinking of bringing him inside at night and putting him back before anyone notices in the morning.

    I will put Vaseline on the other's combs tonight!
     
  4. MrsBrooke

    MrsBrooke Chillin' With My Peeps

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  5. LipsChicks

    LipsChicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I really wouldn't bring him in at night. I live in North Dakota and our weather has been below zero for a couple of weeks. Several days it doesn't get above 15 below during the day. My chickens are still fine. I have several roosters with frostbite on their combs and I feel terrible for them but they can take the cold if they are away from drafts. Remember in the old days people raised chickens and didn't even have electricity. One thing that made it easier for me was when someone reminded me that chickens aren't mammals and the handle the cold differently than we do. We've had nasty weather,too. I think the whole united states has been having bad weather. Good luck!
     
  6. katelk

    katelk Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You make good points. I guess it is just easy to feel bad and want to help. Lol.
    I suppose I will leave them to it out there then.
    I have never experienced this before, so am wondering what your experience has been with frostbite on combs? What happens when you just let it be? Will it eventually get better on its own or what?
     
  7. LipsChicks

    LipsChicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm not sure what the long term results will be. Like you, I'll have to wait and see.
     
  8. Acornewell

    Acornewell Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I really like this idea! Thanks
     
  9. jacilee

    jacilee Out Of The Brooder

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    I think my roo has frostbite as well. I live in Kansas and it has been pretty cold several times where I am. I worry about them all getting too cold but I have such a small coop I don't dare try to put some sort oh heat out there, i am scared I would wake up to fried chicken. I honestly would be scared to try to catch my birds, especially the roo to try to put vaseline on the combs, when we caught them a few months ago to clip their flight feathers (someone forgot to tell my fatties they aren't supposed to fly) we did the roo first and put him in the coop so we could catch the girls without him murdering us, I swear he sounded like the devil was in there. Growling, demonic chants, the whole bit. I never knew chickens could sound like that, LOL.
     
  10. katelk

    katelk Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My boys put on the same show when they feel like I am messing with their ladies lol. One of them is so protective, I have been flogged just for getting caught feeding a hen treats from my hand lol.

    When I have to handle them for any reason (like a few min ago to put on Vaseline) I snag them off the roost after they go to bed for the night. They are groggy and complacent and don't put up much complaint :)
     

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