Mite and -28 degree issue

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by rosinsk1772, Feb 11, 2015.

  1. rosinsk1772

    rosinsk1772 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    so half of our chickens have been slowly loosing feathers and there skin is extremely red. I don't notice any pecking so we've assumed its mites. We sprayed the chickens and have cleaned the coop. My question is this weekend is supposed to be negative 28 degrees. We have never had heat in the coop all winter but with the exposed skin should we add heat?

    Thanks
     
  2. 21hens-incharge

    21hens-incharge Chicken Obsessed

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    Knowing the number of chickens and the size of the coop as well as just how bare these chickens have become will help.

    If you do add heat I would advise against the standard red brooder light as it can cause tragic fires very easily.
    Do a home depot search for a sealed oil space heater. It is what I have on hand for emergencies.
    I used mine when we were -16 and the hens were molting with some being nearly totally naked.
     
  3. rosinsk1772

    rosinsk1772 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We have 12 hens in a 8x4x8 coop. Their bottoms are bare but that's about it. The coop has the perfect amount of draft and is sealed to keep in natural heat from them. I use the deep litter method as well even though I know that's all frozen its at least good insulation. I'm afraid of adding heat since they've never had it. Does the bare skin in a well insulated coop with the cold temps equal potential frostbite or am I worrying about nothing
     
  4. 21hens-incharge

    21hens-incharge Chicken Obsessed

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    I would think with that many hens in the coop they should be ok but the temp you describe is down right bone freezing.
    I do not think you would have room for a heater in there with them being inclined to stay in during the cold and at night.
    I am hoping others that have had extreme cold and naked chickens will chime in. My coop is very large at 8x14 and the space heater could only raise the temp by about 10 degrees.
    Since they are only bare on the bottoms I am thinking they may be inclined to sit down to conserve heat in the nether regions.
    I would add a thick layer of pine shavings so they have some added insulation against the cold floor.
     
  5. rosinsk1772

    rosinsk1772 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I appreciate the input!
     
  6. ella&clara

    ella&clara Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have absolutely no advice, but this South Carolina girl just cannot imagine negative 28 degrees!!! Wow! I'm feeling cranky because it's supposed to get down near 20 above this weekend (though it's sunny and 60 now).
     
  7. deacons

    deacons Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I had some late molters this winter with large bare patches (primarily down the front of their necks, chest, and butts) and they did ok overnight with actual temps down to about -10*F. The only thing I really did was make sure that the "naked" ones were tucked in between fully feathered birds- so I did physically move them around on the roost a little. This was mainly because one who was missing a lot of feathers kept roosting alone, away from the other 7. In the last couple of weeks, they are all finally fully feathered again, and don't seem any worse for it.

    -28*F is starting to get down to what feels like, to me at least, the most extreme temp I would think the chickens can really withstand. Is it actually -28 in your coop if that's the outside temp? Mine seem to stay between 5-10* warmer in the coop than the outside temp. If your setup is similar, then I do think they will be ok. Do you have a thermometer in there so you can monitor the temp differentials over the next couple of nights?

    Personally, I would not add any heat. Before I did that, I'd probably consider moving them into the garage in a dog crate covered in a blanket or something like before heating. But hopefully you have enough of a bump from retained heat that you can just leave them in their normal setup even when it gets extreme.

    I totally sympathize though, this winter is really hard for everyone.
     
  8. rosinsk1772

    rosinsk1772 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It's supposed to get down that cold with the windchill. I have the coop sealed tight except for the vents. If they are molting what suprises me is their egg production hasnt dropped at all. Don't they usually stop laying during a molt?
     
  9. 21hens-incharge

    21hens-incharge Chicken Obsessed

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    I would think the egg production would be down if molting was the issue.
    Have you seen any bugs? I knew mine had mites when my skin was crawling with them after reaching under a broody hen. [​IMG] You may not see them but you sure would feel them. [​IMG]
     
  10. Michael Apple

    Michael Apple Overrun With Chickens

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    You don't need to assume about mites if you know what to look for. Red mites cause much irritation and generally are found at night when birds are roosting. Here are some examples of various mites that prey on poultry: http://parasitipedia.net/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=2540&Itemid=2816

    What did you treat the birds with, and when you cleaned the coops out, did you remove all shavings and dust before treating the premises? What did you treat the premises with? Birds should be fine as long as shelter has good ventilation without drafts blowing on birds at night. -28 is dam cold. I do not bear temperatures that cold where I am, so perhaps some midwesterners may have some good advice for those temperature extremes.
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2015

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