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At what point (temperature) should one worry about comb frostbite? And what do you do to prevent it? I have read about putting vasoline on the comb.

I have Buff Orpingtons and a few mixed chickens - mostly look like barred rocks, dominiques and I think one is a black sexlink. Not sure who the parents were, I am just going by the looks.
 

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Discussion Starter #3

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I have a couple older rossters who chose to roost in trees their combs froze last winter . the combs simply turned black and fell off with no other ill effects they now look like their combs were dubbed or trimed
 

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Thank you. That is a good article.

I know the cold hardiness varies by breed, but in general, what is considered extreme cold? Anything below freezing? We had a couple cold nights recently - one night it dipped into 14 degrees and one night into low 20s. Is that frostbite weather?
Probably not. A lot depends on how much humidity there is to go along with the cold. If the air is fairly dry, the temp can get colder before frostbite is a problem. I consider extreme cold to be anything below 0 degrees Fahrenheit. Probably the more important thing is to monitor what the temp and humidity inside the coop are like. Get a digital thermometer with a remote transmitter, and you can monitor the coop conditions from inside your home. My coop is pretty large (IMO) for the number of chickens that sleep in it, but I find that the temp inside is at least 10 degrees warmer than outside. At this moment, there is a full 20 degree difference, and I don't use any heat source in there.
 

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Chickens give off a certain amount of heat, so usually if you have a rooster with a bunch of hens it's not as bad as a lone rooster in a pen by himself. I keep game roosters, and beyond a certain age they need to stay separate. For our humidity levels it seems like it needs to get below twenty to be an issue. If it gets down around zero it takes more than just the points and gets down into the flat part. If it turns black it is OK and will just fall off, if it turns yellow or green they can go septic. I prefer to dub them to make it more of a controlled situation. You could pick the more rose combed breeds if you were somewhere really cold. Most of the roosters that we have had that stayed with hens never lost more than a point or two, but if you were going to show or something I wouldn't trust a big comb in anything less than 20 degrees.
 

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unless you are showing them don't worry. Last winter we put the ones we were going to show at 4H in the garage if it got below 20. As stated above the comb will turn black and fall off.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks, everyone. I am not showing him, just do not want him hurting. Of course, we are getting another blast of cold air tonight like most of the country. We have 13 birds and they all roost together.
 
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