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Humidity/Dew Point & Frostbite

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Schwartzfarmnc, Dec 5, 2011.

  1. Schwartzfarmnc

    Schwartzfarmnc Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 28, 2010
    West Jefferson
    I know there are tons of info here about the % of humidity and such for your coop and what a high reading is.

    My question is: I have a 12x10 A frame coop insulated with the deep litter method currently at about 5 inches deep, I have 3 vents on the front of the coop and 4 in the back above the roost. During the day the humidity is between 35-45%, at night it will jump to about the low to mid 60's. I have noticed a few of the girls have the very tips of their combs turned black, not all of them but a few. Is my humidity level too high, or could they be getting frostbite when they drink and expose their combs to the water and then going outside in the cold air?

    Any thoughts or idea's would be great.
     
  2. JodyJo

    JodyJo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 27, 2010
    Colorado
    I am no expert, but I would assume your humidity is too high still.

    I live in the desert, and still have a couple with a tad of frostbite...not sure how to eliminate enough of the moisture and still keep the integrity of the coop draft free!

    I have 15 chickens, the body heat they emit must be just enough to cause issues.

    Maybe someone with more knowledge can add to this rambling!

    [​IMG]
    (this roo now has a tad of frostbite...but look at that comb!)

    [​IMG]
    (this roo had a tad last year)
     
  3. Schwartzfarmnc

    Schwartzfarmnc Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 28, 2010
    West Jefferson
    I don't know how to lower it? I've got 7 vents in the house currently and it stays around the same no matter what I do. I've read where 40-70% is a good reading, but when it rains like today it will be in the high 70s but there is no way to lower it when it's raining, unless someone else has an idea on how to do it?

    The coop feels dry, nothing seems wet bedding is dry with DE added each time I add more bedding and raked every other day, am I shooting up the wrong tree, could they get frostbite from being outdoors and maybe it's not the coop?
     
  4. Hunter0704

    Hunter0704 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 8, 2011
    Wentzville, MO
    What are the outside temps? If it is freezing or lower, there is the possibility of combs freezing. Put some vaseline on them to keep from getting frostbite. I don't think their combs are turning black from humidity...it's from freezing temps. Make sure you don't have any drafts in your coop, which will also help in freezing combs at low temps. Good luck.
     
  5. Schwartzfarmnc

    Schwartzfarmnc Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 28, 2010
    West Jefferson
    Quote:Nights have been in the middle 20's and the temps inside the coop have been hovering around 32, the coop is solid no drafts at all, all 7 vents are high up near the roof about 6 foot above the birds, reading the level now is 68% but it's raining too, so tonight I'm sure it will be higher than that, there is no condensation on windows or poop board or walls, just cold?
     
  6. bigg

    bigg Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 15, 2010
    Tullahoma, TN
    Have you tried Vaseline or diaper rash ountment on their combs
     
  7. bigg

    bigg Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 15, 2010
    Tullahoma, TN
    Just put a heater in your coop that will lower the humidity very well and very quickly.
     
  8. JodyJo

    JodyJo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:I have read that vaseline doesn't really do any good, in fact it gets all gunked up with shavings etc, which can lead to the other chickens pecking at the combs...they peck at any speck they see...I just let nature do its thing...I am thinking my BR I posted a pic of, was outside in the subzero when his was frozen...
     
  9. JodyJo

    JodyJo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:you don't want a heater....that is one of the worse things to do...it will increase the humidity...and the chickens will not acclimate to the cold outside the coop...
    they like the cold a lot more than the heat!
     
  10. elmo

    elmo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 23, 2009
    DFW
    I have a humidity gauge both inside my coop and one outdoors. What I want to see is humidity inside the coop no higher than the humidity outside (which of course varies with the weather). You're right in that there's no real practicable way (that I know of) to get the humidity inside the coop lower than the humidity outside.

    In your coop, I suspect that the spike in humidity at night comes from the chickens' respiration, in which case you might not have enough ventilation. The number of vents is less important than the total square footage of the vents. Do you have around 1 square foot of vent per chicken? That's a good ball park number, I think.

    I guess there might be a spike in outdoor ambient humidity at night, but I've never seen anything like that around here.

    I don't know what type of waterer you have, but with the regular type chicken drinker we use, there really is no way for the chickens to get their combs dipped into the water. The space is just too narrow.

    Some people have reported success with massaging Vaseline into their chickens' combs before cold nights, others report that this has made no difference. I remember reading once that it was actually the massaging that helped, because this increases blood flow to the area, and increased blood flow helps to keep the comb warm and protect it from freezing.

    I haven't needed to try this, so I can't speak from personal experience about it.
     

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