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What about frostbite?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by trish5909, Dec 2, 2011.

  1. trish5909

    trish5909 In the Brooder

    Nov 28, 2011
    Erin, Ontario, Canada
    I've been reading all the posts on keeping chickens in winter and everyone seems to agree they can take pretty cold temperatures. Our coop is well-insulated but I'm wondering when they are at risk of frostbite when they're outside? This week it's been hovering around freezing and while our Red Sex Link (with their large single combs more prone to freezing) have been frolicking outside, our supposedly cold-hardy Chanteclers have been cowering indoors! Earlier this week it was cold, raining and windy and I kept all the birds indoors.

    We're in Southern Ontario where we experience winter temperatures averaging minus 5-10F but it's a damp cold. Maybe the solution is for some creative BYC members to knit little chicken-sized toques so they birds can enjoy fresh air all winter long??!!! (P.S. No actual chickens were forced to wear headgear during the Photoshopping of the following pictures)

    1 person likes this.

  2. six_eclectic_chickens

    six_eclectic_chickens Chirping

    Oct 2, 2011
    Rub vaseline on their comb and wattles. That takes care of it.
  3. OnBorrowedWings

    OnBorrowedWings In the Brooder

    Aug 4, 2011
  4. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Crowing

    May 8, 2007
    I find that my chickens use their coop as a warming house in winter. As it starts to get a lot colder, they start to come inside during the day, to warm up. Later, they go back outside. I usually see this more when the high for the day is in the single digits, Fahrenheit. So, it's well below freezing for daytime highs. Highs in the teens, they're rarely in the coop. Highs below zero, they tend to stay in the coop during the day.

    It varies among chickens. Some take more cold outdoors, some less. Sometimes, it just depends on what they're used to. I think they're pretty good at figuring it out. I only really worry about very young chickens. Adults seem to be able to decide where they need to be and get there.
  5. flockof4

    flockof4 Songster

    Feb 10, 2010
    Webster Groves, MO
    Love the photos and yes, vaseline on their combs and wattles will help fend off frostbite. Good luck.
  6. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Free Ranging

    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    Our weather is the same as yours. Always humid and same lows but maybe not for as long. My coops are uninsulated, I have some really big combed varieties and get very little frostbite.
    I shoot for more ventilation rather than worry about heat.

    I wouldn't keep them in because you feel cold. Let them choose. If it's too uncomfortable they'll go inside.

  7. kota1369

    kota1369 Songster

    Dec 17, 2009
    Kansas City, MO
    My weather is not as bad as yours but gets pretty nasty at times. I think they will be ok. The vasaline from what everyone says works. I personally have never felt like I needed to use it so far. My girls are in my rabbit area, so when its real cold in the day they will dig a spot in the area under the hanging cages and get warmer.
    And when it comes to your coop, you need to make sure it has enough ventalation so that there is no condinsation build up.

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