Frostbite prevent

21softballstar

In the Brooder
Nov 23, 2015
12
1
24
So I'm trying to prevent the chickens from getting frostbite. It's about 17 degrees here right now, plus 20 MPH wind. The coop has wood covering all of the sides, so the wind can't get in the coop, but I noticed on a few of the chickens, on the tips of their combs, is a bit of black. When they sleep, they don't sleep in the coop. Never have. We have a rabbit hut in their coop with them (it's a big coop/run) and they sleep in the "outside" area on the rabbit hut. I'm not sure if they even stick their heads under their wings to keep their heads warm....:/

Anyway, is there any way I can prevent frostbite? Other than making the coop warmer by insulation?
 

Bridebeliever

Songster
Sep 12, 2015
2,005
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Revelation 21:9 Washington
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Noooooooo, insulation! Insulation is not your friend. Keeping a draft off of them and excellent ventilation IS your friend!

Here is an excellent article for you to read...'

https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/winter-chicken-keeping
 

jimbob86

Chirping
Aug 7, 2015
371
74
88
Nebraska
My Coop
My Coop
Quote:
1. Keep the wind from blowing on them. If their feathers aren't rustled, they are good.

2. Keep them dry. You'd think that means "seal up the coop", but it's just the opposite: water condensing on the birds from their own breath and waste due to inadequate ventilation is probably the most common cause of frostbite, and poor ventialtion will cause respitory problems as well, due to the ammonia from the birds waste irritating their lungs and is compounded by breating damp air. It's recommended to have a minimum of 1 sqare foot of opening to the outside, preferably high up, in the coop, per bird.

3. Keep them well fed and watered. As long as they have sufficient food and water, they can generate more than enough heat to keep themselves warm inside their down coats ..... provided they were encouraged to grow sufficient down by NOT providing supplemental heat as the nights got colder last fall.


There are members here that keep chickens in Alaska and Canada with temps far colder than anything your birds will likely experience, with no supplemental heat sources, and no frostbite issues.
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Nov 27, 2012
96,691
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SW Michigan
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My Coop
So I'm trying to prevent the chickens from getting frostbite. It's about 17 degrees here right now, plus 20 MPH wind. The coop has wood covering all of the sides, so the wind can't get in the coop, but I noticed on a few of the chickens, on the tips of their combs, is a bit of black. When they sleep, they don't sleep in the coop. Never have. We have a rabbit hut in their coop with them (it's a big coop/run) and they sleep in the "outside" area on the rabbit hut. I'm not sure if they even stick their heads under their wings to keep their heads warm....:/

Anyway, is there any way I can prevent frostbite? Other than making the coop warmer by insulation?
Am a little confused with your use of terms here.
A coop is enclosed but with ventilation for the birds to sleep and lay in.
A run is attached to coop but usually all mesh for them to spend the days in.

Can you post a pic of your set up?
 

21softballstar

In the Brooder
Nov 23, 2015
12
1
24
Sorry for all the confusion. I'll post a pic if I can later.

When I said insulation, I meant what can I put on the sides of the chicken coop in order for the cold area to stop coming it. Yes, some air, but not all the wind and snow. The run is where the chickens go outside and run around. It's a big run, with fencing all around it and above it. The coop is inside the run (fenced in area) and the rabbit hut is inside the run, too. They don't sleep in the coop, they sleep on top of the rabbit hut.

Right now I have giant panels of wood nailed to the outside of over half the run, covering the fencing so the wind and snow doesn't blow it. There still is regular air (not snow or wind) getting in so they can breathe and have more air and whatever. I was just wondering what I could do to make it warmer, so they don't get frostbite.
 

Chickenchick11

Carpe Diem
6 Years
I live in northern Minnesota, where temps can easily plummet to -40 degrees, and with the windchill value it can plummet to -50. I've found that along with good ventilation and keeping the coop draft free, the best way to keep my chickens from getting frostbite is to put Bagbalm on their combs. The past four or five nights the temperature has ranged between 0 and -25, and only a few of my chickens show a bit of blue on the top of their combs.
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Nov 27, 2012
96,691
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SW Michigan
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Sorry for all the confusion. I'll post a pic if I can later.

When I said insulation, I meant what can I put on the sides of the chicken coop in order for the cold area to stop coming it. Yes, some air, but not all the wind and snow. The run is where the chickens go outside and run around. It's a big run, with fencing all around it and above it. The coop is inside the run (fenced in area) and the rabbit hut is inside the run, too. They don't sleep in the coop, they sleep on top of the rabbit hut.

Right now I have giant panels of wood nailed to the outside of over half the run, covering the fencing so the wind and snow doesn't blow it. There still is regular air (not snow or wind) getting in so they can breathe and have more air and whatever. I was just wondering what I could do to make it warmer, so they don't get frostbite.
As long as the wind is blocked from roost in coop insulation doesn't really do much, with enough ventilation it becomes moot.

You need to put them in the coop at night to sleep.
Have they ever spent any amount of time inside the coop?
Folks often confine new birds/chicks in the coop for a few days to 'home' them to the coop.
That should help them go in there at night.
 
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The Lazy L

Songster
9 Years
Dec 16, 2011
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236
Chicken run is on the left. Flat roof and with a slopped roof. Slopped roof area of the run allows me to stand up right and it's where the water and feed are kept.






Then a tunnel to their coop. Chicken door from the coop to the tunnel is left open year round.



Coop windows face the south and lean in at their tops 6" when open, I leave them open year round too. Coop roof also as ventilation along on the roof peak.



Screened floor I also leave open year run. Lots of ventilation but no wind blowing directly on the roosts. This picture isn't from my coop but is representational.

 
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