Will Vaseline really help the combs from not freezing?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by redhen, Dec 21, 2008.

  1. redhen

    redhen Kiss My Grits... Premium Member

    May 19, 2008
    Western MA
    ..i just put some on my birds...lets just say..they were not happy with me...[​IMG]...one tried to peck me in the eye!....[​IMG]....so, anyways..my concern is..i just dont know..it seems to me the vaseline being kinda moist would help the combs freeze...no?...i just want to make sure i did the right thing by them...they say its supposed to hit very,very cold temps tonight...i'm bringing my ducks in my cellar tonight (that should be fun...)...i hate this winter crud!...[​IMG]..
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2008
  2. Wildsky

    Wildsky Wild Egg!

    Oct 13, 2007
    I "think" how it works is by keeping any moisture OFF the comb, so there won't be water drops or anything to freeze on the comb.

    There has been a few debates about this in the past.
  3. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Try waiting to put it on til they have gone to roost for the night. Go in there, in the dark, with a headlamp (or with a small penlight held between your teeth) and apply it then. Presto! Lubed up chickens and no struggles or hard feelings [​IMG]

    I have no proof it works but many long-time chicken keepers swear it does. I vaseline my largest-combed chickens when things seem especially chilly (not just cold temps, but also when around freezing but with humid air due to weather, you know?) and thus far knock wood have had no frostbite.

    (e.t.a. - I wouldn't call vaseline moist, I'm not sure it has any meaningful amount of water in it (?)... I'd call it *greasy*. So possibly it creates a barrier to decrease evaporation of water from the comb? Plus certainly the massage would increase circulation, temporarily. I dunno, despite being a research scientist in previous life, with livestock my PRIMARY consideration is 'does it seem to actually work' more than 'should it theoretically work' [​IMG])

    Good luck,

    Last edited: Dec 21, 2008
  4. BJ

    BJ Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 20, 2007
    I have been trying utter balm. Got it at Tractor Supply. It is to help protect cow's utters in the cold. It is definitely not as messy as vaseline. My girls were very cooperative. One in particular loves her waddles to be rubbed anyway, so she enjoyed the "massage"!!

    Not sure about the whole concept myself. I think they will be fine with OR without the stuff as long as they STAY DRY and out of the draft. Usually hens tuck their heads at night.

    I don't think vaseline will hurt...but just not sure it will help either!

    It is ZERO here and negative wind chills. My bantam isn't feeling too good and I'm hoping she will huddle with the big girls.
  5. redhen

    redhen Kiss My Grits... Premium Member

    May 19, 2008
    Western MA
    thanks guys!..i hope it works!...[​IMG]..my one sex links comb looked a bit swollen already..so, it cant hurt to try i guess... and good idea about the bag balm!..i used to have some around here...i'll be looking for that tonight...thanks again, Wendy
  6. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    I just greased up any bird with a large comb. Most of the time, I mix vaseline with bag balm; I catch them and DH greases them up. Never had any issues with frostbite, but the main thing is to keep it as dry as possible in the coop with no drafts that blow across the floor or them on the roost.
  7. chickiebaby

    chickiebaby Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 2, 2008
    western mass
    I dont bother any of them with it, tho my temps are the same as yours, UNLESS its a bird that isnt made for these temps, and that's the issue. I have all cold hardy breeds who seem to thrive no matter weather EXCEPT for Andalusian, a breed which as the names indicates is native to the African side of Spain. The way such birds survive the intense heat is to lose it all through their insanely large and pendulous wattles and combs.

    Ther danger isnt that their wattles just get cold , it's that every single time they drink or anything, their wattles hang into the water, etc, and therefore are soaked and subject to frostbite.

    We too are using bag balm tonight . Vaseline is made of petroleum, and like bag balm would block the water, make it bead and run off.

    Anyway, here on day 3 of THE BLIZZARD, good luck shovelin'. Hpe that neither your chickies OR you freeze to death!
  8. redhen

    redhen Kiss My Grits... Premium Member

    May 19, 2008
    Western MA
    thanks...i hate having them out in this cold!..Brrrr!..and the wet snow dosent help either!...chickiebaby..yup!..day 3 of it here also....[​IMG].....pretty!...but hard on the critters!..[​IMG]....
  9. deenamr

    deenamr Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 6, 2008
    Central Oregon
    I am not sure that it works but think it must be similar to using chapstick to protect our lips when outside. Makes me think of the chapstick commercials with the skiers.
  10. redhen

    redhen Kiss My Grits... Premium Member

    May 19, 2008
    Western MA

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