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Author Topic: Chickens and frostbite  (Read 1031 times)
thomashton
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« on: January 18, 2007, 06:46:12 PM »

Those of you with chickens, how do you prevent frostbite in those really bitter winter months?
I have to 100w, red spot lights that are doing some good, but are there other things you suggest?
I read that putting up a cheap emergency "space" (foil) blanket above the roosts helps keep the heat down. Anyone tried this or have other ideas?
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After 18 months of reading and preparation, my girls finally arrived on April 11th (2006)!
michelleb
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« Reply #1 on: January 18, 2007, 07:55:11 PM »

It doesn't get cold enough here to worry about my birds, but I've asked the question before myself.

Some folks put Vaseline on the combs and waddles, to keep them from frostbite. Have fun with that!
Often, snow accumulated on the roof--if not heavy enough to cave it in--is enough of an insulator.
Don't let ventilation get blocked by anything--snow, insulation wraps, etc.
Make sure they have plenty of water (not frozen!) as water is important for their metabolism to keep them regulated.
As long as they have dry bedding in a draft-free coop, they should be okay. Remember, they've got down coats on!
Too much heat can probably cause as many problems as too much cold, so make sure they can move out of the heated area as necessary (different temp zones).
Good perches will let them cover their feet.
The key is dry and ventilated, but draft free.
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Kev
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« Reply #2 on: January 19, 2007, 08:53:19 PM »

Those of you with chickens, how do you prevent frostbite in those really bitter winter months?
I have to 100w, red spot lights that are doing some good, but are there other things you suggest?
I read that putting up a cheap emergency "space" (foil) blanket above the roosts helps keep the heat down. Anyone tried this or have other ideas?

We just started keeping chickens and have used Reflectix, which is foil-faced bubble wrap. It reflects and has a higher r-value than the emergency blanket alone. Our hens have been out in single digits with no trouble. It hasn't gotten too far below zero, though.

Kev
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randydrivesabus
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« Reply #3 on: January 21, 2007, 03:36:43 PM »

i haven't had the frost bite problem with hens..only roosters. it gets down to single digits here. supposedly rose combed chickens are more resistant to frostbite.
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thomashton
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« Reply #4 on: January 22, 2007, 12:32:53 PM »

Rose combed chickens do seem to be doing better than the others although I do have a barred rock pullet with a rose comb who has a bit of frostbite. My huge turken pullet has had it even on his waddles.

I have put two red lamps out there (only 100w each with focused reflectors) which seems to help, but not solve all the problems. Biggest problem is that the coop wasn't finished before winter really set in, so there are some drafts. I think if I can get out there and close up some of that, they will be much more comfortable.
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After 18 months of reading and preparation, my girls finally arrived on April 11th (2006)!
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