Galvanized metal feeders freezing combs??

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by pattycake, Jan 23, 2008.

  1. pattycake

    pattycake Songster

    May 7, 2007
    fingerlakes, ny
    I was having a mysterious comb problem with some of my chickens, mostly my BO roo. When it got really cold out, like in the low twenties or lower, my chickens would occasionally have bleeding on the very tips of their combs. My rooster has a massive comb and had some frostbite, so I figured that that was the problem. But then one or two of my other chickens had the same problem, and no evidence of frostbite.

    This was happening mostly in the early winter, when my metal waterer would freeze up and I'd have to take it inside once or twice a day and thaw it out. Then I got a base heater for it, thank goodness, so much easier.

    The comb problems seemed to stop at that point. But it occured to me, watching a hen eat from my feeder, which is also galvanized, that something wet could stick to that feeder when it's super cold out. You know, like your tongue freezes to a metal pole in winter!

    Could the chickens have been getting their wet combs stuck to their frozen feeders, and then making them bleed when they pulled away??

    What do you think??
  2. CarriBrown

    CarriBrown Crowing

    Yes, that could be the problem. I could be wrong, but you can coat their combs with vasoline on those cold days and nights to keep them from sticking.
  3. da-cajun-angla

    da-cajun-angla Songster

    Jan 22, 2008
    yup...vaseline on the combs will stop the frostbite...just dont cake it on or food, hay, and stuff will stick to it.
  4. picklespickles

    picklespickles Songster

    Oct 27, 2007
    that is interesting detective work. [​IMG]
  5. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD

    Yeah, they can cut their combs on things very easily too. I brought out a can of corn to the birds and an enthuiastic leghorn started eating right out of the can... and cut one of her points on her comb on the can edge, so every peck left blood spots on everything! By the time I was done, I was speckled in chicken blood. after she stoped scarfing down corn though, it stopped and was fine. She must do it alot though, since the tips of her combs are all tiny scabs too... and it's not frost bite out here.
  6. lauralou

    lauralou Songster

    Dec 10, 2007
    Central Virginia
    I had a chicken with blood on her one morning, and there was blood on the metal feeder. It had been really cold that night, and I suspected that she had hurt herself on the feeder. Wasn't sure if she sort of froze to it like you said, or if she got cut on it. My chickens are really docile and don't peck each other, so I didn't think they had been fighting. At any rate, I removed that feeder. No problems since then.

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