Winter Troubles

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by wolfgirl9, Jan 13, 2015.

  1. wolfgirl9

    wolfgirl9 Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 11, 2013
    Where I live it gets very cold in the winter. I have 2 roosters with large combs. Their combs get little black points and blotches. I'm pretty sure its frostbite.I've heard of putting Vaseline on their combs but it doesn't seem to be working. Any ideas?[​IMG]
     
  2. Frindizzle

    Frindizzle Guitar Girl <3 Premium Member

    Do you have a heat lamp in the coop?
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2015
  3. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Chicken Obsessed

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    On the MN prairie.
    How cold does it get, and how is the ventilation in your coop? If your coop is closed up tight, you want to go out there and crack open a couple of windows, the pop door, or get vents in the roof. Nevada is generally arid, isn't it? When your chickens exhale or relieve themselves, it puts moisture in the air. You need to vent out that warm, moist air. Your chickens are much better off being dry and cool.
     
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    My Coop
    From all I've read(which is ALOT) Vaseline works...and it doesn't work.

    IMO leaving compromised (frostbitten) comb and wattle tissue alone is the best bet......
    ........unless it is grossly swollen and show signs of infection.

    Last winter I had 2 roos with big black patches on tender wattles.
    But those black patches sloughed off without any infection and very minor swelling and if you didn't know where to look you wouldn't even know it happened within a few weeks or so.
    Had other smaller black spots on some combs and more often grayish patches/spots(a mild frostbite) which heal up even faster.

    Keep their coop as dry as possible with good dry bedding a manure , with lots of ventilation to get rid of moisture and ammonia from breathing and pooping - but no strong drafts blowing on the roost area. If their feathers are moving, the air movement is too strong
     
  5. RonP

    RonP Chillin' With My Peeps

    How cold is very cold?

    How many birds in how large a coop?

    How many square feet of ventilation is currently in your coop?
     
  6. famousgrouse

    famousgrouse Out Of The Brooder

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    How cold does it get in Nevada? Surely not as cold as Michigan...:)

    It has been brutally cold here for the last two weeks. Highs in the single digits or low teens, and lows in the negatives with windchills down to -20. My coop is sealed up tight except for 4 3 inch diameter holes at each end of the peak (Coop is 6'x4' with 5 hens). During the day all the birds are outside no matter how cold it is. If it is snowing or the wind is blowing they will generally stay inside. The pop door is open from sun up until sundown. No light bulb or any other heat source. Water is outside and heated with a bird bath heater. I think Peak/ridge vents are key as hot, moist air generally rises and can escape through the vents.

    My Australorp has a pretty large comb and he just started to develop a few tiny black spots on the tips. I am going to keep an eye on it to see if it gets worse. It is amazing how hearty these birds are. If you poke you finger inside their breast feathers they are always nice and warm. I do worry about their combs and feet but we shall see. Still a few months of winter left. December was VERY mild.

    You can see photos of my coop here. https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/900812/pallet-coop
    So far I am happy with the design and the ventilation seems about right without letting in drafts. I try and scoop poop from the poop deck every day so there isn't added moisture. Poop is usually frozen solid. This morning I found my first egg that was frozen solid and cracked. lol.
     
  7. wolfgirl9

    wolfgirl9 Out Of The Brooder

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    You do have a point, it gets about I don't know maybe 15-20 degrees on the cold nights and I could put I heat lamp in the coop. Thank you for the replies![​IMG]
     
  8. RonP

    RonP Chillin' With My Peeps

    15 - 20 degrees is not that cold for cold hardy, fully feathered birds.

    Still seems to be a ventilation issue, but until you give us some more info.....[​IMG]

    How many birds in how large a coop?

    How many square feet of ventilation is currently in your coop?
     
  9. LipsChicks

    LipsChicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    When it gets cold here in North Dakota it gets minus 30 degrees actual temperature. A lot of my roosters have frostbite. They don't have any swelling and don't seem to be in any pain. I hate to see it-I feel so bad for them. They often go out into the run and don't seem to mind the cold. They'll lift one foot like their feet are cold but when I pick them up to warm their feet with my bare hands, the feet feel warm! They really are hardy critters! We have to remember that they aren't mammals so they handle the cold differently than we do.
     

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