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Anyone making chicken balaclavas out there?

 
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I just had a million dollar idea!  Or maybe a billion dollar idea?  

How about making little hats for roosters that protect their combs and waddles on cold winter days?  I'm not sure if they'd have to be knitted or sewn or ?  They'd still need to be able to see, eat, drink, etc.  But if something could help them keep the heat in those parts they might not get frostbite as bad.

Has anybody done this before?  It's probably horribly silly but it could be cute as hell too.

 
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Mike Jay wrote:I just had a million dollar idea!  Or maybe a billion dollar idea?  

How about making little hats for roosters that protect their combs and waddles on cold winter days?  I'm not sure if they'd have to be knitted or sewn or ?  They'd still need to be able to see, eat, drink, etc.  But if something could help them keep the heat in those parts they might not get frostbite as bad.

Has anybody done this before?  It's probably horribly silly but it could be cute as hell too.




The drawing sure is cute. My rooster had long pendulous wattles and I worry a bit about him. The comb is tall too, and it did get frost bit these last 2 days. I'm sure if you knitted them you would find buyers. I think that someone already thought of it. They do look cute!
I let them out of the coop when the temps are above 0 F. and put out some scratch and table scraps.
To dish out the scraps that I don't want to end up in the litter, I used a wide gutter and fastened it to the long side of the building inside. I need to fashion a device to prevent them from jumping in. It is narrow enough that the others chase them out fast, but still...
Back to the hoodie, besides keeping them in when it is too cold, they go out when I throw some corn out in the yard and at night, they've taken to placing their head under their wings, a little like swans do. I'm not sure they would accept a hoodie and others might peck at them.
 
Mike Jay
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These last two days have been rough.  -29 this morning.  My 2 year old rooster is getting frostbite on his comb in a new spot.  He lost the points of his comb last winter so I was hoping he would be over that.  And his waddles are getting bitten too.

I've had a heat lamp pointing at their roost the last two nights which I think helps.  The hens tuck their heads but the roosters are too gentlemanly.  I wish they'd point themselves towards the light but I think they have their backs to it.

I've been bringing them a warm bowl of lightly boiled wheat berries each day along with their normal scoop of corn.  They like both.  The compost in their greenhouse run is still cooking so they have warm feet and a decent place to spend the day when it's sunny.

I had a broody hen a month ago that decided to molt a week ago.  I thought she was a goner.  But she's hanging in there and eating heartily.  I make sure she gets all the food she wants.  She's also pretty tiny (maybe it's the missing feathers).  

But if I had a balaclava for Do (my rooster), I'd put it on him in a heartbeat.
 
Cécile Stelzer Johnson
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Mike Jay wrote:These last two days have been rough.  -29 this morning.  My 2 year old rooster is getting frostbite on his comb in a new spot.  He lost the points of his comb last winter so I was hoping he would be over that.  And his waddles are getting bitten too.
I've had a heat lamp pointing at their roost the last two nights which I think helps.  The hens tuck their heads but the roosters are too gentlemanly.  I wish they'd point themselves towards the light but I think they have their backs to it.
I've been bringing them a warm bowl of lightly boiled wheat berries each day along with their normal scoop of corn.  They like both.  The compost in their greenhouse run is still cooking so they have warm feet and a decent place to spend the day when it's sunny.
I had a broody hen a month ago that decided to molt a week ago.  I thought she was a goner.  But she's hanging in there and eating heartily.  I make sure she gets all the food she wants.  She's also pretty tiny (maybe it's the missing feathers).  
But if I had a balaclava for Do (my rooster), I'd put it on him in a heartbeat.



- 39 F this morning here. Our thermometer went on the fritz shortly after but revived once the sun rose.  Yep, his comb took a hit, even though he stayed inside. So did his pendulous wattles. His plumage is quite shiny, so I figure he is healthy. As far as additional food, I make sure they always have food in front of them. They need fat and corn calories in that kind of cold.
The trough that I installed has 5 compartments, so I can try different things on them and see what they prefer. Forget about the pelletized alfalfa. They won't touch it. I bought some game bird feed at Tractor supply. It is no more expensive than their regular layer pellets and right now, they are really preferring it. It has more protein, which enables them to keep up with the molt. Since then, I found a feed that has even a higher protein concentration It is fish food for large ponds. It is a little more expensive, but not that much, like a dollar more for a 50 Lbs bag. Since feathers are mostly protein, and eggs are protein too, they need a lot of that to keep laying right now. When I'm done with the last of the game bird feed, I'll try that and report. I got again 23 eggs for 25 hens, which is not too bad, considering... If your molting hen needs special help, you might want to isolate her and give her a can of sardines: delicious, and super high in protein and calcium. She will polish it in 20 seconds!
I will have to address the litter problem this weekend, when the temperature climbs in the low 40s! right now, their poop is frozen solid and stuck to the floor. Yikes! It will be a job!!!  I wish I had built a covered run  if not, a hot house like you have: When they can go out, they do a lot of their pooping outside, and the other half under their roosts.
I wonder if the red lights are infra red? It would explain why they turn away from them: Infrared rays can make you sunburn. I'm not sure how sensitive their crest and wattles are or if they can sunburn. They don't seem to mind. Mine just don't go out when it is cold. I have a heat lamp, like for baby chicks, but closer to their water. They don't stay under it long, even though I give them a treat there once in a while. I toss grit there too, and oyster shells. It goes fast.

I happened on a treat they really like: I get some lard [yep, some places still sell it. I get mine at Walmart but places specializing in Hispanic foods also have that. They call it Manteca]. So I melt some lard in a kettle, then I add cracked corn: I had noticed that they liked cracked corn but left most of it in the trough in the form of powder: They'd pick the bigger pieces but left the 'flour'. So I melt the lard, then add enough floury cracked corn to really, really saturate the lard. I can then shape it. [I have a pan to make mini loaves but muffin pans would work too, or shape them like balls or cookies. They barely hold together if they are well saturated. The chickens go wild as soon as they see them, so I bring them 4 at a time and spread them. they disappear in 2 minutes flat! I tried suet cakes on them. They hardly touched them: The suet cakes have too much suet and in this cold they can't break them well. The lard cakes, they can because they are quite crumbly.
Are you ready to go to the Garden Expo? I got my ticket already and I'm really looking forward to it.
 
Mike Jay
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Now that we're through the cold spell I'm pretty sure she'll make it.  I hope Do's comb does ok.

It's the same light I used for chicks and it's 4' away from them.  I think he just naturally faces away from it due to habit...  I hope it's not giving them a sunburn as well

Good idea with the lard and corn.  I just finished feeding them venison scraps from the deer I shot this fall.  All the little bits that were too hard to turn into burger.  Diced them up and the chickens sucked them down.  

23 eggs from 25 hens?  Holy crap.  Despite the cold we had our best day in months today with 7 eggs from 15 hens.

I'll see you at the Expo, we'll be there for all three days
 
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I have two hens molting as well. Great idea for the lard. I cooked oatmeal that someone gave me in a bag of bird scraps and added some random scraps.  Yhey seemed to enjoy a warm meal.  I have been giving mine handfuls of meow mix as a treat.  They usually chase the cat and take hers but I wanted to make sure everyone got plenty of calories.

If I could get them in hoodies, I'd be set!
 
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Considering that chickens will scratch at their necks/faces with their feet when they're itchy, I would think that they would pull the hoods right off. I have aprons on two of my girls who were getting pecked/scratched by the rooster, and they tried very hard to get the aprons off. They didn't succeed since there was elastic going under their wings to secure it. How would you secure the hood?
 
Mike Jay
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I don't know...  But I guess that could be part of how it could be a million dollar idea.  Figure out how to keep it in place and make sure it helps more than it hurts.  

I'm imagining something that you'd install from behind the rooster's head, first covering the comb.  Then it wraps around the head, waddles and upper neck and zips/velcros up the front under his beak.  So the comb part would be like a pita pocket.

If you put it on at dusk, maybe he wouldn't kick it off right away.  Then in the morning he may realize how cool he looks and try to keep it on.  Or I'm just being silly.

My rooster eats out of my hand, maybe not all roosters are that cordial.
 
Cécile Stelzer Johnson
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Tina Hillel wrote:I have two hens molting as well. Great idea for the lard. I cooked oatmeal that someone gave me in a bag of bird scraps and added some random scraps.  Yhey seemed to enjoy a warm meal.  I have been giving mine handfuls of meow mix as a treat.  They usually chase the cat and take hers but I wanted to make sure everyone got plenty of calories.

If I could get them in hoodies, I'd be set!




Good idea, this meow mix: Cat food and dog food are richer in protein. During the molt, they really need it. You should see the plumage really improve  and get shiny as a result [if it wasn't very shiny before, of course]
 
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My first reaction on reading the title of this thread was: "wow, that sounds REALLY gross..."  but then I realized you were talking about the headgear, and not the dessert - much better.
 
Tina Hillel
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I have done this in the past and the cat food definately seems to make a difference even more than the dog food.  They steal both at any opportunity. I would be happy to see them with any feathers at this point! Been threatening to glue the hair from my always shedding german shepherd to them. Molting in February🙄
 
Cécile Stelzer Johnson
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Mike Jay wrote:I don't know...  But I guess that could be part of how it could be a million dollar idea.  Figure out how to keep it in place and make sure it helps more than it hurts.  
I'm imagining something that you'd install from behind the rooster's head, first covering the comb.  Then it wraps around the head, waddles and upper neck and zips/velcros up the front under his beak.  So the comb part would be like a pita pocket.
If you put it on at dusk, maybe he wouldn't kick it off right away.  Then in the morning he may realize how cool he looks and try to keep it on.  Or I'm just being silly.
My rooster eats out of my hand, maybe not all roosters are that cordial.



If it is to protect the comb and the wattles, it has to cover the comb and the wattles and have some sort of elastic under the chin, which might make swallowing difficult?
I giggle thinking of trying to sneak behind my rooster in the middle of the night to slip one of those on him. I'm also a bit worried as to how the other chickens would react. They do pick at anything abnormal in their environment and they are not beyond killing and eating one of their own [!] I've seen it even in young chicks. One had a deformed leg... they ate it [the whole chick, not just the leg] ;-)
 
Tina Hillel
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Dustin Rhodes wrote:My first reaction on reading the title of this thread was: "wow, that sounds REALLY gross..."  but then I realized you were talking about the headgear, and not the dessert - much better.




Ewwwwww...

But if you did it with spinach and feta, skip all the sugar syrup it would be like a spanakopita.  Which would be excellent!
 
Tina Hillel
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Cécile Stelzer Johnson wrote:

Mike Jay wrote:I don't know...  But I guess that could be part of how it could be a million dollar idea.  Figure out how to keep it in place and make sure it helps more than it hurts.  
I'm imagining something that you'd install from behind the rooster's head, first covering the comb.  Then it wraps around the head, waddles and upper neck and zips/velcros up the front under his beak.  So the comb part would be like a pita pocket.
If you put it on at dusk, maybe he wouldn't kick it off right away.  Then in the morning he may realize how cool he looks and try to keep it on.  Or I'm just being silly.
My rooster eats out of my hand, maybe not all roosters are that cordial.



If it is to protect the comb and the wattles, it has to cover the comb and the wattles and have some sort of elastic under the chin, which might make swallowing difficult?
I giggle thinking of trying to sneak behind my rooster in the middle of the night to slip one of those on him. I'm also a bit worried as to how the other chickens would react. They do pick at anything abnormal in their environment and they are not beyond killing and eating one of their own [!] I've seen it even in young chicks. One had a deformed leg... they ate it [the whole chick, not just the leg] ;-)



But if you could add a little elastic band to stay on and maybe cat ears or something just to be a sarcastic bird, it would be perfect! Maybe add comb and wattles  to it which could turn into quite the interesting cycle...


(Edit for unreasonably bad spelling.)
 
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