Due to the Artic Vortex, the past several days could have been life threatening when concerning my chickens. Temperatures dropped down to -8 below with wind chill factors of -25. Greg and I were aware that such frigid weather could destroy our chickens. We already supplied the two coups with heat lamps and plenty of bedding. Yet, we were aware that heat lamps might not do the job. Time was of the essence, the Artic Vortex was heading our way. Unfortunately, I became very ill with bronchitis, so Greg was on his own. He went to work inside the two coups by adding a thicker layer of bedding. Fresh water, and a lot of it, is essential in chicken survival, so Greg put heated water bowls inside each coup. He filled the feed containers, then, closed the doors. He checked on our chickens twice daily. They were nested down in the bedding or perching on their roost, getting closer to the lights.
Housebound, I was worried about my two roosters, Coop and Stu. Both roosters have large single combs and large wattles which means that frostbite is an enemy. Petroleum jelly is to help slow down any frostbite to the combs and wattles. As ill as I was, I entered the frosty cold with petroleum jelly in hand. Both roosters didn’t put up a fight, as I gently rubbed the jelly on their combs and wattles. Stu, my crested cream legbar, already had some frostbite on his comb and wattles. He might have some permanent damage on the top part of his comb. Only time will tell. Coop’s comb has a touch of frostbite but his wattles are another story. I believe he could have some permanent damage. And, again, only time will tell. Thankfully, my sixteen hens are all doing quite well.
After several bitter cold days, the Artic Vortex has gone and it is 30 degrees in Cincinnati. We’re having a heat wave!! I will give an update on my roosters’ physical conditions at a later date.