Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Winter Warning - Blizzard of 2011 Has Arrived!

HelloooOOOOoooo Frenz!  Miss Lizzy here - Reporting to you from the Freezing State of Michigan!  We bring to you the concerns of poultry flocks everywhere.  oooOOOOoooo!  Just look at things here, at the home-front, as they were this morning, bright and early! 
Our Humble Home, before eatin' time
The Heated Water Bowl....buried, but still operative
"ATTENTION, LADIES!  MS. LIZZY wishes to SPEAK!"
Miss Lizzy Braves the Blizzard (the others are too CHICKEN...)
Refueling with Cracked Corn
One of the Barnevelder Sisters, warming up inside the Coop
Miss Llizzy
And now -  Miss Lizzy would like to extol upon you the importance of taking proper frostbite prevention with your flocks.  When temps drop, Miss Lizzy suggests shutting up the doors of the hen house and installing a small wattage lightbulb to add a slight amount of warmth to the room - just enough to assist the flock's body heat.  No big heat lamps or electric heaters, please.  Those can contribute to an overabundance of moisture, which can cause additional health problems.  (They also might could cause a fire - chickens do NOT care for flames or anything remotely connected with flames...reminds one of a SPIT or a POT put on to BOIL - not good, not good, NOT GOOD!  oooOOOOOooooo! )

If a hen should develop frostbite, one would notice blackened areas on the comb or wattle or feet first.  The hen would assume a sorrowful position with tail tucked down, head and neck scrunched up, and a general "I do not FEEL WELL" will appear in her overall countenance.  Bring her inside and let her warm up GRADUALLY (no heat blowers or hair dryers, please!).  A warm towel inside of a box would be plenty when she's brought in from the cold.  Massage her comb, wattle and feet with petroleum jelly.  Petroleum Jelly is NOT a prevention, but it can assist in holding body heat into these exposed regions.  (It will also make your hen feel and look like she's been at a spa.  oooOOOOOooo!)  When she is perking up and eating and drinking once again, she can be returned to the coop with the rest of her flock-mates.  Do NOT pick off blackened areas on comb and wattles, and do NOT remove blackened toes.  They will come off by themselves as the flesh dries and dies.  "Picking" only calls attention to the injuries, and flock-mates will attack and sometimes kill the frostbitten bird.  If they are overly interested in the injured bird, isolate the hen until it is completely healed, no opened wounds.  Your bird will thank you for your tender loving care!

Till NEXT TIME - 
Yours Truly - Miss Lizzy

17 comments:

Lisa @ Two Bears Farm said...

Brrr. I hope you all see better weather soon.
My hens better be thankful they're in Virginia! ;-)

Debbie said...

Yo, poor chickens. We used to put a warming bulb in our coop on super cold nights.
Hope things are improving down there today.
Debbie@lakehouse

Angela said...

Now that's a lot of snow! How did you ever get the gate open to even get in there with the girls? I'm so glad that your hens have you to take care of them in severe weather conditions like that!

Hope it warms up soon!
Angela

Terry said...

Howdy
Oh my goodness gracious what was Mother Nature thinking of allowing Jack Frost to run wild and free ?
Well I for one am so very thankful your such a wise bird and know all the tricks to surviving in a blizzard !!!!!
Wishing you warmer ,sunny days .
Take care now
Until Next Time
Happy Trails

^..^Corgidogmama said...

Goodness, the girls require so much care during the winter months. Even Jim had to look at your photos, he couldn't believe the popped eyes, sunglasses and red wattles! He hee!

Larkrise garden girl said...

That is the funniest picture of a chicken! Boy it sounds cold for you. Were having a cold Santa Ana wind today in San Diego County and my trees are leaning with the wind. The chickens and you try to keep warm! Cheri

kim said...

We are in for it tomorrow.It is very cold I am sorry you have to have so much snow.Thanks for the tips on keeping from getting hen frostbite.I bet all the girls will be ready to stay indoors here tomorrow.

Cherrie said...

Stay warm!

Country Wings in Phoenix said...

Oh Lizzie Sweetie...
You and the girls stick together and stay warm from each other. It is mighty cold up there at the coup. You all look lovely in your feather colored gowns. Just like royalty.

I guess your body said it was time to molt Lizzie, you needed a rest from laying. You can now work on keeping all the others in line. I know they love it when you speak and tell stories.

Have a wonderful warm evening. Many hugs to you and SO much love, Sherry

Chatty Crone said...

Oh my goodness - that IS a lot of snow and cold. I still don't see how they survive.

Now that one in the first picture looks like a relative of mine...

love,
sandie

Carol............. said...

All I can say is that Spring's around the corner...right? RIGHT? LOL

Nanniepannie said...

I'm coming to the party late...but better late than never. Hope your girls are seeing some warner days now.

Kelly Ann said...

Miss Lizzie...I think you will find this blog post rather interesting, you might even know some of my friends...
www.kellyannsquilting.blogspot.com

Verde Farm said...

Another great post Miss Lizzy. I see frost bite on some of my guys--small spots and I worry. I will try the petroleum jelly and so far the hens are in good shape :)
Stay warm up north lady!

Jean Tuthill said...

I don't have any chickens, but your information is still interesting to me. Why? I don't know...maybe some day I'll have some girls of my own. Stay warm!

Rose said...

poor hens having to deal with all of that cold good info.to share rose

Carol............. said...

Thank goodness Washington States weather (western part) doesn't usually get that cold an especially for any length of time but I'll keep this info handy just in case...
actually I'm going to send this to our caretaker..... thanks.