How To Prevent Frostbite?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Allie Grace Sanders, Dec 3, 2017.

  1. imnukensc

    imnukensc Songster

    May 22, 2017
    SC Midlands
    Melting point and freezing point are essentially the same thing although in this instance I've seen data that says the melting point/freezing point of Vaseline/petroleum jelly to be about 37C (99F). In another example, steel has a melting point/freezing point of about 2500F. Below that temperature, steel is a solid, i.e., it is frozen. Above that temperature it melts and becomes a liquid.
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2017
    henaynei likes this.
  2. Folly's place

    Folly's place Free Ranging

    Sep 13, 2011
    southern Michigan
    Here in southern Michigan it's always damp! Not as cold or snowy as Minnesota or Wisconsin, but really, 'cold' in California? Except in the mountains?
    We keep the coop well ventilated, and no damper than ambient.
    jeepgrrl and oldhenlikesdogs like this.
  3. EggSighted4Life

    EggSighted4Life Free Ranging

    Hmm, I semi get what your saying... but will have to ponder it. :hmm

    Ok, 1 thing to clear in my brain is that melt and boiling point is not the same thing.

    The other thing is... though my butter is solid at room temp, it is much harder AND a lower temperature at freezer temp. So it seems as though the freezing point of Vaseline would be irrelevant because it would be harder but still the same temperature as the environment. There by still transferring the cold inwards to the comb/waddles. MAYBE... the size of the crystals that freeze has some impact on how it acts.. Curiosity! :p
    :lau Right! It's actually supposed to be around 60 and sunny here at the far north coast today. :p Won't brag too much though.. 1 because it isn't very kind. But 2 I get my fair share of torrential rain and wind. ;)

    It was cold enough in the high desert to get snow when we lived there (not much or it wouldn't be desert), but again elevation related and maybe like +14 F. It was actually colder on clear nights than when it was snowing sometimes! :confused:

    The coldest I have personally experienced (in the mountains) was +3 degrees.

    When I lived in the San Joaquin Valley where much produce type stuff comes from, the farmers would fire up their wind machines to stop the moisture from settling and freezing their crop when it was going be below a certain temp for so many hours. And ya, that was not very low at all. Bunch'a cold wimpy yahoos in Cali, got no clue about real cold. :oops: It's all relative. :)

    Ah my brain could be focusing on things so much worse than this. :pop
    BantyChooks likes this.
  4. Gammond

    Gammond Songster

    Aug 31, 2016
    Central BC, Canada
    My guys seem to get frost bite because they dunk their wattles (and sometimes even their combs if they're being clumsy) directly in the water while drinking - then it freezes... Not really any way to prevent this, as I like the dish-type heated waterers for winter... I did recently switch most of my roos to pea-comb + no wattle roosters (Ameracaunas).
    oldhenlikesdogs likes this.
  5. greggooo

    greggooo Happy Chickens!

    Aug 29, 2017
    Woodstock, NY
    My Coop
    I do the 2x4s flat side up too and installed a flat panel radiant heater, just takes the edge off, doesn't do much. I use mushers, a wax product for dog's paws instead of vaseline.
    TomZilla43 and chickens really like this.
  6. greggooo

    greggooo Happy Chickens!

    Aug 29, 2017
    Woodstock, NY
    My Coop
    I've been using this. So far so good.
  7. greggooo

    greggooo Happy Chickens!

    Aug 29, 2017
    Woodstock, NY
    My Coop
    Also use the flat panel heater. Love it!
  8. biodarwin

    biodarwin In the Brooder

    Jul 23, 2017
    Panhandle of Nebraska
    It locks in moisture, which is the exact opposite of what you are looking to do. Sure it treats the dry'ed comb, but unless it just a single cold snap and is moving back to warmer weather, it does more damage than it does cure.
  9. leighks

    leighks Songster

    Apr 15, 2017
    Western New York
    My Coop
    I heard about musher’s secret and just bought it since my roo has a huge comb and waddles already, and it’s his 1st winter. I’m glad to hear someone else has has success with it. I haven’t had to use it yet, but I will this weekend.

    As far as Vaseline is concerned, I read it has a high water content, which causes little ice crystals to form in it and that’s why it doesn’t prevent frostbite. Waxy products like musher’s secret- developed for use on feet of sled dogs- don’t have much moisture in them and last longer.
    greggooo likes this.
  10. Sylvester017

    Sylvester017 Crowing

    Nov 29, 2012
    So. Calif.
    All great suggestions I'm reading here. I complained to my vet about the vaseline I used on my White Leghorn's comb/wattles that greased up her head and stomach feathers so that dust-bath dirt yellowed and dark-stained her feathers badly the rest of the year until her next molt. Vaseline is so greasy to get off of my hands or wiping excess off the chicken. Also, the vaseline didn't keep the very tips of her Leghorn comb from getting frostbitten.

    My vet used to work in the poultry industry and knows chickens well -- he suggested to me to use Vitamin A or Vitamin E oil to put on a chicken's comb, wattles, feet, toenails, facial skin all year-round. Not only does it provide added protection in winter like vaseline does but the vitamin oils also provide nourishment to the chicken's skin. I also found that the vitamin oil (I use liquid Vitamin E oil which comes mixed w/ soy and coconut oils sold in Walmart pharmacy vitamin aisle) soaks into the skin overnight and any oil that gets on the feathers disappears by morning (and my hands feel so soft and nourished too) -- no dust-bath dirt stains the feathers. On white chickens like Leghorns or Rocks no stain/grease was important to me. I even use Vitamin oil on my feather-footed breeds like Silkies and Breda because there's no greasy residue lingering on toe feathers. I apply the vitamin oil to each chicken after they go to roost and then put them back on the roost after a treatment -- the chicken is calmer plus the oil has a chance to soak into the skin overnight. Vaseline-ugh! Vitamin A or E oil-hurray!

    P.S. I have a small backyard flock so it's easy. It may take more than one person to help apply vitamin oils if you have a LOT of chickens to treat.
    Bogtown Chick and greggooo like this.

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