heatreated roosts

Discussion in 'Peafowl' started by Trefoil, Sep 29, 2014.

  1. Trefoil

    Trefoil Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Garden Pea, I copied your reply because I wanted this information easily found in a search, and I also wanted to discuss this without contaminating the other thread.

    Here's a photo of foot damage that was apparently the result of heat tape on a roost, the tape was covered with carpet (the same way I had INTENDED to install some at my place, before I saw the photos) -- Can you see the shriveled toes on the left foot?

    [​IMG]

    Here's a link to the thread on the UPA forum that had the photos and discussion:

    http://upaforum.com/viewtopic.php?t=1955&highlight=heated+roost

    I totally freaked when I saw the photo, and freaked worse when someone else wrote in about having to wrap her hen's "peg leg" weekly after the hen's foot fell off from getting damaged on a heated roost. [​IMG] Scared the willies out of me. [​IMG]


    -- The Accidental Peahen

    OMG, Is there any way to find out if this was the result of faulty construction or brand of heat tape used? Is there any way of making a heated roost that couldn't do this? I want to thank everyone that replied about this in the other thread. I had never heard of this before and just about freaked out.
     
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  2. Trefoil

    Trefoil Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I tried to change the title, but it won't let me
     
  3. Acornewell

    Acornewell Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I don't think chickens need a heated roost.
     
  4. MinxFox

    MinxFox Overrun With Chickens

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    This isn't a chicken topic this is for peafowl. [​IMG]

    I think it looks like frost bite so I guess the roost was made incorrectly or the bird didn't use it.
     
  5. Garden Peas

    Garden Peas Chillin' With My Peeps

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    -- The Accidental Peahen

    OMG, Is there any way to find out if this was the result of faulty construction or brand of heat tape used? Is there any way of making a heated roost that couldn't do this? I want to thank everyone that replied about this in the other thread. I had never heard of this before and just about freaked out.

    Here is some more of the discussion from the UPA forum (there are also more photos available on the link):

    "We have had devastating results with heat tape wrapped in carpet.Last year we had 3 high end birds lose a entire foot. Another bird lost two toes, and another lost one two. One who make it without losing any toes had proud flesh to deal with for a year. The one without a foot now has a peg leg.
    For this reason I would not recommend heat tape unless you have a ultra thick covering around it, check it often including the birds feet, and replace it worn it wet. Some areas seemed hot while others not so hot.
    We had moderately thick carpet. We thought the tape itself may have malfunction. But the result was devastating
    Exttemities will later on react as froststbite in later stages will react as a 3 degree burns if severe enough.
    Toes will become hardened, no longer flexible, cold to the touch, and usually break off.eventually."


    And:

    "We have been using it for several years on multiple perches and this is a first.
    It was also our peach peafowl which makes it even more devastating.
    Once a week I wrap one of the hens peg leg. It came off in one piece. Foot and all.
    The vet said very similar to frostbite only in reverse.
    When I checked the temp the birds started holding their feet up for a day, it was HOT."


    And also:

    "I had the same question, why would the bird sit there and roast.
    My vet said it is like boiling water and a lobster. Heat it up slowly and they will slowly boil to death without a fight versus throwing them into the hot water immediately ... [​IMG]"


    @Trefoil , as far as whether a roost could be constructed that wouldn't have the risk of this happening -- I'm guessing not if you are using the heat tape. I just bought some (for the first time in decades [​IMG]) and it is very different stuff now. It's a round wire, not the flat, flexible tape that was available 30 years ago.

    There are TWO problems that contribute -- one is that the heat tape is a little unpredictable, and there will be places that will be warmer and cooler, and the carpet over it doesn't necessarily spread the heat evenly. The instructions now say to put it over something that spreads the heat if using on PVC pipe. And apparently it can get hot enough to damage PVC pipe? That's scary.

    The second problem is the peas just don't have great temperature gauging in their feet, so they don't notice if they gradually get burned. Plus they have all those wonderful feathers right on top of their feet when they are bedded down on the roost, and those feathers are also going to trap heat.

    The only way that the wire "knows" how hot it is, comes from the temperature sensor, which is mounted on the wire, but which is not likely to be under the bird. That little rheostat, or thermocouple, or whatever it is (some electrical person can help out here?) is going to control whether the wire is heating or not heating, and it doesn't know whether it is overheating the bird's foot.

    The best analogy I can think of is that this is like electric blankets (only worse), nice if you like 'em, but deadly dangerous for babies and elderly persons who cannot sense the heat.

    There might conceivably be a higher-tech way to do it, but after seeing the photos and reading all the past discussion, and having just bought some of the new-fangled heat tape, I can't see a way to be assured that the birds were safe with the old method of just covering it with carpet on a wood board.

    Hope this helps.
     
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  6. Garden Peas

    Garden Peas Chillin' With My Peeps

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    No, it wasn't frost bite, although that was the initial thought. It was really clear from the original discussion that it wasn't, and couldn't have been frost bite.

    But you are right, it LOOKS like frost bite -- that is because burns cause similar damage to frost bite (burning with cold). Once the extremity is damaged to the point that the circulation stops, the toes shrivel up either way.

    I would urge anyone even considering using a heated roost to read the whole discussion, which is located here:

    http://upaforum.com/viewtopic.php?t=1955&highlight=heated+roost
     
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  7. MinxFox

    MinxFox Overrun With Chickens

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    Yikes I am glad I don't need heated roosts here! Is there an alternative to heated roosts for people in very cold areas or is that about it? I guess you could heat the whole indoor area like this: http://www.hopkinslivestock.com/Radiant Heat Article.htm

    On the original post topic they were saying it should be a Peafowl Today article. Did they ever do that article? I think one should be written and maybe we should have something about this in the peafowl stickies? I really hate seeing birds lose their toes like this, and in the topic one lady mentioned one of her peahens lost a whole foot to the heated roost. What a terrible thing!
     
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2014
  8. Garden Peas

    Garden Peas Chillin' With My Peeps

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    In terms of safety, seems like radiant heating would win, hands down. I think there's a variety of ways to do radiant heating these days; I've seen different stuff at the big box home building stores. In general, the buildings I've been in that stayed nicely warm, and it never gets to hot to walk on. But yikes, it's a pretty big commitment for a yard building. Not that my precious peas don't deserve it, lol
     
  9. Garden Peas

    Garden Peas Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I don't remember ever seeing one. I had to look pretty hard just to find the old discussion earlier today, when @Trefoil asked what I was talking about... It didn't pop out on my first few search queries, but I finally found it. It made such an impression on me at the time (and right as I was planning to build some!) that it stuck in my sieve-like brain.
     
  10. MinxFox

    MinxFox Overrun With Chickens

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    Well on the Hopkin's website they have an article about building a heated roost. I just sent them an email asking about what everyone can do to prevent peafowl losing toes from the heated roost. I asked if every year you should replace the heat tape or something like that. Both Mr. and Mrs. Hopkins are engineers so they should know what they are talking about. I hope they reply.

    I figured radiant heat would be expensive so I want to figure out how you all can make the heated roosts safe and check their safety before every winter. I don't know how safe plug in heaters would be, but my mom bought some small ones of those a few years ago and they worked really well on cold days in the house. Although I would be worried about something catching on fire. A well insulated building helps too I am sure.

    This is another article on an indoor heated area:
    http://www.pfauenfarm.de/Home-English/The-Peafowl/Husbandry-PM/Cot-PM/cot-pm.html
     

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