How to keep my chickens combs from freezing?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Patches The Hen, Oct 27, 2011.

  1. Patches The Hen

    Patches The Hen Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 26, 2011
    Hi,

    I really need to know any tips on how keep my roosters and some hens combs from getting frostbite. It looks very painful, the comb turns black, then white, and then falls off. It happened last year so I want to prevent it from happening to my chickens this year. It is just starting to freeze where I live so please don't hesitate to answer quickly.

    Thanks for your advice!
     
  2. kimmypie

    kimmypie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I don't have chickens yet but from what I've read here your coop needs to have a lot of ventilation to keep the air dry in the winter. Also, a little bit of vaseline on their combs. I'm not an expert though and I hope someone more knowledgable responds.
     
  3. Patches The Hen

    Patches The Hen Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 26, 2011
    My coop is well ventilated.

    Oh, good idea [​IMG] I just wonder if the other chickens would peck at it or not....

    Thank you so much!
     
  4. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    Ventilation, which are vents at the top of the coop, either through the roof or just under the roof, at the highest point, to let out humidity.

    Frostbite is primarily caused by condensation, moisture which "frosts" on the comb and wattles. A dry coop rarely experiences frost bite, even at -30F.
     
  5. Frenchchickens123

    Frenchchickens123 Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 25, 2010
    I used vaseline on my too last year and it does seem to help although it didn't get that cold last year maybe minus 10 degrees max but the comb wasn't so blue with it :)
     
  6. Patches The Hen

    Patches The Hen Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 26, 2011
    Fred's Hens :

    Ventilation, which are vents at the top of the coop, either through the roof or just under the roof, at the highest point, to let out humidity.

    Frostbite is primarily caused by condensation, moisture which "frosts" on the comb and wattles. A dry coop rarely experiences frost bite, even at -30F.

    Thank you very much for the info [​IMG]

    My coop is ventilated like you described. [​IMG]
     
  7. Beekissed

    Beekissed True BYC Addict

    I used to just rake out my coop every other day, even in the winter time, to dispose of waste. Wooden floor, old wooden chicken house with huge cracks between the walls, etc. Great ventilation going on. The first year here I had frostbitten combs and wattles on the roo and a few of the hens. I used vaseline that year and it did nothing to help the situation.

    The following year I tried deep litter for the winter and no frost bite. Same chickens, actually more severe weather conditions, same ventilation and I'm sure the humidity went up a good bit with the use of the deep litter. Judging by these results, I'm not sure the humidity was a factor in the frostbite on my chickens and now the lack thereof.

    Deep litter has been used every year here since then and I've had no frostbite at all, the coop seems much warmer on windy and snowy days and the chickens have something to do, something to snuggle down into and my coop smells better when I just raked out the dry and frozen droppings every other day. I free range, so the droppings in the coop are only the ones produced mostly at night on the roost.
     
  8. toochicky

    toochicky Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 8, 2011
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    So, random dumb question.. Couldn't you make a comb warmer? I have seen chicken saddles and diapers... Does someone make comb warmers? Like a glove but for the comb that you could tie on their head in the winter?
     
  9. Patches The Hen

    Patches The Hen Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 26, 2011
    Quote:It's worth a try anway! [​IMG]

    Thank you for your help!
     
  10. UrbanFarmerGreg

    UrbanFarmerGreg Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 11, 2011
    I vote for the comb warmer.... like a winter hat that you'd have for your kids, only for your chickens... Everybody wears a toque (pronounced toook for the non french) up here in Canada, so why not for your chickens...?
     
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2011

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