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Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Allie Grace Sanders, Dec 3, 2017.
Would coconut oil work alone?
I read that someone used coconut oil on their chickens so I'm sure any oil will work. I personally cook with coconut oil when a recipe calls for oil but I do find coconut oil a bit greasy, especially when I'm trying to soap it off my dishes or hands so I never chose to use straight coconut oil on my hens. I use the Walmart Vitamin E oil in a less greasy formula that has coconut and soy oils added so I feel I'm still getting the coconut benefit. It's a little bottle but goes a long way. I keep it refrigerated to keep from going rancid.
My vet's point about the vitamin A or E oils is they serve a double purpose -- preventative for frost bite or even leg mites (as any oil or vaseline would work) but the vitamin oil is an additional health benefit serving a secondary health benefit to the chicken's skin, legs, toes, comb, wattles, etc. Vitamin A and E are high on a chicken's feed diet too. My personal reason for using the Vitamin E oil is that it's not greasy on my chickens' feathers when applied overnight plus it makes my own hands benefit from massaging the vitamin E into legs and face of my hens who seem to love the gentle oil massage. Spoiled hens! I try to give my hens one of these Vitamin E massages at least a couple times a month during hot dry summer nights too -- I have a Silkie that gets very dry skin and sometimes her eyelids can dry shut -- that was when the vet suggested Vitamin A or E oil year-round for all my hens. Of course, my vet is a strong believer in vitamins period! Every time I leave his office he suggests strongly to give additional vitamins in my hens' diets.
Boiling point is when a liquid turns into a gas. Freezing point is when a liquid turns into a solid. Vaseline is normally a solid.
I think what the Vaseline does is it keeps the water from contacting the combs.
Petroleum jelly is hydrophobic--doesn't absorb water. It's also non-soluble in water--doesn't dissolve in water. It provides a barrier between the skin and water that condenses from the air. If water droplets form on the comb or wattles get dipped in water, the water can be shaken off. This is important because water on the skin allows for heat loss via conduction--up to 30% faster than dry skin. Keeping water away from the skin helps the tissue stay warmer.
Petroleum jelly keeps moisture IN the tissue, keeping heat in by preventing heat loss through evaporation of moisture from the tissue. This is useful if the air is very cold, dry and windy.
Welcome to BYC!
And thank you, that sounds like a nice simple explanation that I seem to have forgotten since my school days.
I think I might be grasping the concept... that even though yes the jelly is the same temp as the air it does not create the evaporation effect that water does, there by minimizing the super cooling that takes place kinda like after you wash your hands when it's really cold they get even colder for a bit when you try to dry.
Simple nice smelling solution, chap stick. Yep,chap stick the combs and wattles. Frostbite damage chances lessened and the birds have kissably soft combs.
Every winter, when the temperature dives down far below the teens, I am always well loaded with Petroleum Jelly (or Vaseline) I put a thin (note the word thin!) coat on their combs and wattles.
Before a huge cold front comes in, or we are about to be snowed in, I do a deep coop cleaning (I clean my coop out every 2 weeks) Put a soft layer of hay and pine shavings down. And remove all wet spots.
VENTILATION. It plays a big part when it comes to preventing frostbite. I have screen windows in my coop, and it keeps my coop well ventilated.
Yes! Removing the wet doodie piles is absolutely key in preventing frostbite.
Yes, I know A LOT of people overlook this. It is very important for their (and your!) health.