when and how to prevent frostbite

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by <3 N.C Chicken Chick <3, Oct 6, 2011.

  1. <3 N.C Chicken Chick <3

    <3 N.C Chicken Chick <3 Chillin' With My Peeps

    989
    4
    113
    Sep 24, 2011
    Jacksonville N.C
    When do you have to start preventing frostbite in the combs? How do you prevent it? What dose frost bite look like in chickens? [​IMG]
     
  2. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    Dry conditions. That is the number one aspect of your winter management. Humidity causes frostbite. If the coop is steamy, you'll have frostbite issues when the temps fall below 20F. A chicken is almost better off in a shelter or 3 sided arrangement then it would be in a coop that is all locked up and holds humidity. The chicken's poop is wet, their exhaled air is moisture laden and the bedding can be damp.

    On a number of occasions last winter then temps in our unheated barn dipped briefly to -25F and -30F. We did not suffer a speck of frostbite. The barn is built to provide an "open eave" type ventilation. In other words, it is wide open and breathing. That to me is the key issue. Venting out the humidity. Best thoughts for your flock this winter.
     
  3. Johnn

    Johnn Overrun With Chickens

    8,670
    626
    326
    Sep 5, 2011
    I put vasaline on my chickens combs
     
  4. <3 N.C Chicken Chick <3

    <3 N.C Chicken Chick <3 Chillin' With My Peeps

    989
    4
    113
    Sep 24, 2011
    Jacksonville N.C
    when do you put the v. on their combs? What dose it look like?
     
  5. Pinky

    Pinky Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,723
    11
    183
    Nov 15, 2008
    South GA
    Just a heads up, if you put vasaline/ petroleum jelly on the comb and let the chicken have access to dirt, thier comb and every other part the vasaline touches on them may become dirty. My WLH's comb was covered in dirt the next day, as well as his neck where he tried to rub it off. Might not happen but just letting you know so you won't think their comb fell off [​IMG]
     
  6. JackE

    JackE Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,213
    453
    231
    Apr 26, 2010
    North Eastern Md.
    I'll second what Fred said. I have a open air coop, and it gets pretty cold where I'm at, and I DON'T use any vasaline or anything else on my chicken's combs. They did not have any problems at all with frostbite. Good ventilation is key.
    Jack
     
  7. featherz

    featherz Veggie Chick

    5,297
    71
    286
    Mar 22, 2010
    Saratoga County, NY
    I tried using vaseline once last year on my leghorn combs and it was a huge mistake. They didn't get frostbite anyways (even without it) and as a poster above said, they roll around in the dirt and look like mud covered messes for months and months. I did have a rooster that got a bit of frostbite in another coop but he just lost the tips and was fine without them.
     
  8. DanyyChicken

    DanyyChicken Chillin' With My Peeps

    158
    0
    99
    Mar 30, 2011
    Southern NH
    Is it mostly the rooster with large combs that have a problem? Can single comb hen's have a problem with frostbite too?
    My rooster has a pea comb...is it less likely to have frostbite?
    Sorry don't know if this is off subject?[​IMG]
     
  9. featherz

    featherz Veggie Chick

    5,297
    71
    286
    Mar 22, 2010
    Saratoga County, NY
    None of my pea combed birds had any problems, just the straight combed rooster. Hens with large straight combs (like leghorns) can also have problems, but if you keep the moisture out of my coop, it's less likely to happen. I had a heated water bowl in the coop until I figured out that was adding humidity and put it outside - seemed to help.
     
  10. <3 N.C Chicken Chick <3

    <3 N.C Chicken Chick <3 Chillin' With My Peeps

    989
    4
    113
    Sep 24, 2011
    Jacksonville N.C
    [​IMG]
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by