He could have been a contender…

…but for the frost bite.  Since we haven’t yet put winter’s  cold temperatures  behind us (this morning it was a chilly -20 outside of this Goldstream coop), my mind is still on keeping the birds warm and protected.  And as I mentioned in the previous post, if you are planning to  show a bird at your local state fair (a thought that crossed my mind as my young rooster matured), you  definitely don’t want to  risk the possibility of  frost bite.

Compare these before and after pictures to see why.

Before:  The comb has the kind of well-developed spikes important in judging.

Before: His comb and wattles are well-formed and straight – important attributes in poultry trials.

After:  His comb has lost all of its handsome spikes.

After: His comb has lost most  of its handsome spikes, and his wattles are notched from frost bite.

Roo Paul is a red-sex link, and as he matured, he sprouted the most handsome, near- perfect comb and wattle set I had ever had in my coop.  Although I keep birds for eggs and because I like chickens, last fall I began to entertain the notion that I might enter Roo Paul next summer at the Tanana Valley State Fair.

And that notion is as far as I am getting with this particular rooster, now that he suffered frost bite.  Overall, other than about a week of what I am sure was a painful, itchy comb, his health was not impaired.  However, since the conformation of  comb and wattles is a significant part of poultry judging, Roo Paul’s potential as a show bird, was well,  nipped in the comb.

About Mara Bacsujlaky

As a 4-H agent with the University of Alaska Fairbanks Cooperative Extension Service, I offer workshops and information about raising and keeping small backyard flocks in Alaska. These services are designed for the hobbyist that keeps primarily laying chickens for home use of eggs and, secondarily, meat.
This entry was posted in Health, Roosters, Showing birds and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to He could have been a contender…

  1. katie's coop says:

    So great to have discovered your blog! As a relatively new chicken care-taker I look forward to reading and learning more. You’ve already mentioned the one area that I am constantly worrying over: ventilation in the coop. I struggle with protecting them from drafts (we’re near Palmer and get the glacial winds), while also providing adequate ventilation.

  2. I will talk about ventilation in a post one of these days – so many topics, so little time! and of course welcome any experiences, insights into how best to manage moisture build up in such cold climates (without losing too much expensive heat to the outdoors)

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