Frostbite thoughts

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by RNPAULIE69, Jan 5, 2018.

  1. RNPAULIE69

    RNPAULIE69 Songster

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    I have been driving myself nuts researching frostbite..i am a first time chicken owner and am doing my very best to get my 3 girls through this horrid winter. I have a nice big covered pen that I put vinyl panels up to protect them from the horrific winds we are having. Unfortunately I have a small short coop with an A frame roof so there isnt a lot of space for cutting any more ventilation spaces than i already have. I would have to go lower and the wind would be hitting the girls in the head. All three have tips of their large combs frostbitten. In extreme temps is it not likely that no matter what you put on them, bag balm,vaseline etc they will be affected to some degree?? I put vaseline on my cheeks and nose and went outside today to test it. My cheeks are beet red and hurt. I read this article and although it is in relation to humans I think it would apply to anything with exposed skin.."Spreading petroleum jelly or other emollients onto the skin does not lower the risk of frostbite;[111,175] indeed the use of these products may increase the relative risk of frostbite on the head." Any thoughts? Comments? I am sick to death that they are suffering even if it's minor frostbite but am at a loss of what to do.
     
  2. Welshies

    Welshies Crowing

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    Your issue is that you don't have cold hardy breeds.
    Cold hardy breeds have small combs.
    Frostbite on the tips of the comb is natural. It happens to everyone. It will turn black and fall off if it doesn't heal. It's only when it starts going beyond the tips that we worry.
     
  3. RodNTN

    RodNTN Hatchaolic

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    How many open spaces do you have? Ventilation is essential, but too much open air can be harmful. Can you post a picture of your coop/run?
    What are your temperature lows? Just put a thin layer of Vaseline on their combs and wattles.

    But don't worry yourself sick :hugs
     
  4. RNPAULIE69

    RNPAULIE69 Songster

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    I have a BO speckled Sussex and a Welsummer..all three were listed as cold hardy everywhere I researched
     
  5. Welshies

    Welshies Crowing

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    Cold hardy breeds have small combs. Sussex and Welsummer generally do well... but if their combs are big, they won't. Cold hardy breeds have pea and rose combs.
     
  6. Erin80

    Erin80 Songster

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    I wonder why so many articles and websites state that birds like BO and barred rocks are cold hardy since they do have bigger combs. My five barred rocks are doing ok, one of them has frostbite on her comb so far
     
  7. RNPAULIE69

    RNPAULIE69 Songster

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    I think cold hardy has many factors that are considered, not just comb size? Buff orpingtons are listed EVERYWHERE as cold hardy..big heavy fluffballs. My buff seems to tolerate the cold much better than my Welsummer. She is so fluffy she is miserable when its hot.
     
  8. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Got my Puppy

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    Your birds will be fine. I never bother putting stuff on combs. After temperatures fall below -10 it can be hard to stop frostbite. Your hens may lose some comb tissue, but they will be okay.

    Worry more about frostbite on feet, legs and toes. Proper roosts will prevent it in most cases, and giving them stuff like hay or straw to stand on will keep them a bit warmer.

    Generally winter hardy breeds are fluffy and heavier, and sometimes they have smaller combs. Most of my buff Orpington hens don't get frostbite on their combs, just the roosters. They all heal up without even noticing it.
     
  9. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Crossing the Road

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    I think the weather is often blamed, when the fact is that the coop is at fault. Short little coops, doll house coops simply don't have enough air space and can not be ventilated adequately to keep the birds safe from frost bite.

    I've long wondered about the logic of putting vaseline, bag balm, or oil on exposed skin. It just does not make sense to me. I've never tried it on myself, but would do so, perhaps doing only one cheek (for comparison) before committing to doing so to my bird's combs.
     
  10. WVduckchick

    WVduckchick For The Birds!

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    Cold hardy doesn't usually mean the horrible frigid conditions many of us have been experiencing. I think they just mean normal cold weather. :hmm
    Agree!
     

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