Rosters getting frostbite HELP!

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by farmgirllvo, Dec 16, 2016.

  1. farmgirllvo

    farmgirllvo Chirping

    Apr 27, 2016
    It has been windy and well below freezing at my house the past week or so, and I've noticed already that my two rosters are getting bad frostbite on their combs. I tried more ventilation and less, neither seemed to help, I'm trying even less tonight, it has pretty good air flow I think and they have plenty of space to sleep and stay warm or cooler if they so chose. Tips?? Help??
    I'll post pictures of their combs and the ventilation tomorrow.

  2. Less space in cubic feet, not more is warmer.

    Commercial hen and fryer operations with mature (or mostly mature) birds seldom use any auxiliary heat source except for their poultry's own body heat.

    Ventilation must be balanced in relation to the number of warm bodies sleeping in the coop. This is not always possible and it is seldom easy. .
    1 person likes this.
  3. azygous

    azygous Free Ranging

    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    What breed is your roosters? I am having trouble right now with mine. He's a Cream Legbar and I've never had a rooster with such a large comb before. He is in my garage right now hanging out in a plant window. His comb froze last week and now two of the points are black and auto amputating. I even greased up his comb hoping that would protect it. At ten below, it's brutal on critters.
  4. centrarchid

    centrarchid Free Ranging

    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    My stags that are not dubbed are likely dealing with frost bite right this minute. Temperature is down around 0 F and we have a nice wind. Birds went into night with feathers covered by frost making it much harder to stay warm.
  5. 3riverschick

    3riverschick Poultry Lit Chaser

    May 19, 2009
    I read on BYC that someone who usd it said Bag Balm is better than Vaseline for trying to keep combs from frostbite.
    Just a thought,
    Karen ( who has been there and watched months worth of work and generations of show quality birds ruined by frostbite, sigh. It only takes one day of polar vortex temps. So now I am awaiting the arrival of my large fowl White Chanteclers and that problem will go away, yeah!!)
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2016
  6. azygous

    azygous Free Ranging

    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    Yes, I like Bag Balm for preventing frostbite, but mine is lost somewhere in my garage, so I've been using whatever grease I can find. I used Burt's Bees hand salve and when I managed to lose that, Vaseline with vanilla scent. Nothing says class like a rooster reeking of vanilla.
  7. Folly's place

    Folly's place Free Ranging

    Sep 13, 2011
    southern Michigan
    Vanilla flavored rooster? Sorry for his pain, but it's too funny! Chanties are the best, love those little combs. I have SS and Marans hens, but no roosters with big single combs, and it's much better. My Belgian d'Uccle boys don't seem to frostbite as badly as the big birds, also helpful. It's been slightly below zero F here, not -40! WOW! Mary

  8. iLikeMineFried

    iLikeMineFried Chirping

    Jun 29, 2016
    Northern Wisconsin
    I live in Northern WI and my coop is 9x6 with 10 chickens in it. This is my first winter with chickens, so I am learning as I go. 3 of them are roosters, 2 roosters are dealing with frostbiter right now, as it's been in the negatives for the last 4 days. One roo has huge swollen wattles, and the other has frostbitten tips on his comb. Every night I apply veterinary balm on everyone's comb and wattle, but it doesn't seem to be helping my boys. They drink from a 5 gallon bucket with horizontal nipples with a bucket heater, so no one is dipping their wattles in the water, and the covered bucket keeps humidity down. There is no frost on the walls, ceiling, or coop window, so my ventilation must not be too bad. There is a decent layer of straw on the coop floor, and I closed both the pop doors yesterday because it was supposed to get even colder. I guess the low temps are just too low and frostbite is going to happen no matter what.

    My flock:
    4 olive eggers (1 roo)
    5 gold laced wyandottes (1 roo)
    1 australorp roo

    The GLW roo has the huge frostbitten wattles, and the australorp has the frostbitten comb. I have read that nature has a way of dubbing our birds so we don't have to. The first winter is supposed to be the hardest, so I guess we just gotta do our best to keep them comfortable until winter is over with. On a happier note, one of my girls started laying 2 days ago!
    My poor big guy.

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