Red Bucket Farm is an urban farm on a quarter acre property in an average residential neighborhood. We are located in Wisconsin, USDA Zone 5. We focus on chickens, bees, orchard fruit, and raised garden beds for fruits and veggies. We hope to reduce our footprint on the planet by growing some of our food, reducing our use of fossil fuels, and gardening with sustainable practices. Thanks for visiting!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Combs and Wattles

It's downright chilly now at Red Bucket Farm. Daytime temperatures struggle to reach freezing, and overnight temps are in the teens. Regrettably, there is no snow, but winds have been brisk. I've noticed that the chickens' combs and wattles have been looking pale and dried out from the cold, dry weather. I've started to worry about frostbite in their delicate extremities. It's helpful to rub a little petroleum jelly or bag balm into combs and wattles, although it's a kerfuffle to try to accomplish the task. Once caught, though, the girls seem to enjoy a gentle massage, and the color revives instantly in their combs. The photo above is Rhoda the Rhode Island Red, with her tall, single comb. We'll need to tend her comb carefully all winter.

Rosie the Redstar also has a tall, single comb. She has already survived one winter, and she practically purrs when I rub her comb with petroleum jelly.

Wisteria the Columbian Wyandotte is completing her first molt. She looks much better than she did a few weeks ago, although her comb and wattles look a little dull. This kind of comb is called "walnut" and is far less susceptible to frostbite since it is so close to her body.

Petunia, a Barred Plymouth Rock, used to have a lovely single comb until she got into trouble with the rest of the flock. Her trimmed comb probably won't be too worrisome over the winter, although this is not typical of her breed.

Poppy is a Partridge Plymouth Rock. Her comb is moderately tall and undamaged. We'll keep this one greased up.

Crocus is a hybrid variety known as an Easter Egger. Her comb is a "pea" comb, small and bumpy, and very close to her head. This comb isn't much trouble, but Crocus enjoys the attention of the massage.

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