help!!!! missing feather, frostbite worry! urgent!!

steve&kris

Songster
9 Years
Apr 15, 2011
76
29
113
Pittsburgh
This is my first winter with chickens, so this is new to me.
I have 5 hens, 2 roosters. All Buff Orps. They are from spring chix. The weather here is getting into the teens/twenty's. Today it hit 5.

My chickens seem to not come out of their coop when there is snow on the ground, so I haven't seen them close in a week or so, but we noticed today that a couple of the hens have their combs 1/2 missing, and a big spot on their lower backs with all the feathers ripped out. not bleeding, just NO insulation.

Two questions:

Should I kill the two remaining roosters? They are destined for the cooker eventually anyway. I don't really have any good way to seperate them. I could put them in a barn, but it will be drafty, and easy for predators to get to. I may have a weasel in the area.

I have not had heat in their coop. I was going with the theory that it would be a shock to them if ever they lost elec., better to let them acclimate. Being that there are spots that don't have feathers, should I get heat to them? I'm worried if I put a heat lamp in there, they'll fight for location.

I don't want my girls to suffer. I would really appreciate any knowledgable advice.

Thanks,
S
 

amillecay

Songster
8 Years
Dec 29, 2011
3,488
7
173
First of all for the frostbite problem my chickens got really really bad frostbite this year but A+D ointment on it you can find it at many local drug stores anyway put it on their combs everyday if they are bleeding and I would put it on if it looks really dry or anything (i am just putting it on mine about every Friday just to be sure) i put it on my rooster more often because he has a big comb anyway many people will tell you to put Vaseline on it but the petroleum in it is bad for them

With the feathers missing I had the same problems you should watch it really close mine were bleeding at one time and it would come and go they are now growing them back since i got rid of my roosters (i had nine out of 16 chickens who would have known lol) anyway I have one rooster left and he was even having that problem with the feathers missing so yes I would get rid of the roosters.

Also I do think it would be a good idea to put a heat lamp since the feathers on their backs are missing (just to be sure they stay a little warmer). My chickens don't fight over the heat lamp they sometimes sit under it and other times just in the area of it so I think you would be fine with that

Hope I helped!!

Michaella
 
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amillecay

Songster
8 Years
Dec 29, 2011
3,488
7
173
Also you could just keep one rooster if you really wanted to i'm sure that would be just fine :)) oh and the bigger the comb the more you will have to worry about the frostbite
 
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steve&kris

Songster
9 Years
Apr 15, 2011
76
29
113
Pittsburgh
Definitely helpful. Thanks a bunch. We'll get rid of the roosters, and get the heat lamp out there.

I'd like to keep a rooster, but I don't know which one (or both) are being aggressive. I'm guessing it's just boredom kicking in b/c they're trapped inside the coop. When they were free ranging, there wasn't a problem.

Thanks!
 

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