Frostbite Roo

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by chicken19, Dec 29, 2015.

  1. chicken19

    chicken19 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Please help. My roosters are getting frostbitten. What do I do?
     
  2. Pyxis

    Pyxis Dark Sider Premium Member

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    The key to preventing frostbite is ventilation, so you might want to look into adding more ventilation in your coop to prevent it from happening and getting worse. You can put Vaseline on their combs and wattles also - it creates a barrier between their skin and the moisture in the air that freezes on them (which is what causes the frostbite). As for the frostbite that's already occurred, there's not much you can do except let it heal.
     
  3. chicken19

    chicken19 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Could I use Bagbalm instead?
     
  4. Pyxis

    Pyxis Dark Sider Premium Member

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    Yes, bag balm should be okay, I've even heard vets recommend it for this problem before.
     
  5. MeepBeep

    MeepBeep Chillin' With My Peeps


    Yes, you can but be aware that the amount of frostbite protection Vaseline or an oil provides against exposed chicken skin is very, very small in the end... Even in humans it's negligible protection against frostbite (some studies even suggest it increases frostbite risk as the oil can become super cooled or give you body a false sense of warmth) and most of that frostbite protection would be because it prevents your sweat from evaporating in the wind, since chickens don't sweat and should be in a draft free area that effect is gone... What it might do for chickens is simply help shed water and provide a barrier against bacteria...
     
  6. chicken19

    chicken19 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    What if I brought the roos in to my house at night?
    I could keep the heat down?
     
  7. MeepBeep

    MeepBeep Chillin' With My Peeps


    The only sure fire way to prevent frostbite is to avoid freezing temps and prevent the exposed skin from freezing...

    But I believe bringing chickens into a 70° area at night and tossing them back out in the 20° or colder outside temps during the day will likely cause extensive cold stress on the birds negating any benefits of frostbite prevention...

    You should look at increasing ventilation in the coop as a cold hardy breed should be able to weather out most cold weather if the humidity is kept down... Non-cold hardy birds, young, elderly and/or sick birds is another story when it comes to temperature extremes and heating might be a better option, but if one does heat, heat safely and properly and just above freezing, no reason to heat much above freezing as even most warm weather chickens can handle the mid 30s just fine... This is why my coop is heated to about 35° all winter, it fully prevents frostbite but safe heating is not feasible or cost effective for most, if done improperly heating can pose a huge fire risk that negates any benefits... Stay away from extension cords and heat lamps, they are not worth the risk... Passive panel heaters and a properly up to code buried or overhead electrical drop to the coop is a much safer alternative but requires a significant investment...

    In the end, look over your coop, increase ventilation (especially up high where the moist and ammonia filled air will gather) and decrease drafts and see if that helps prevent frostbite before looking at other options...
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2015
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