My rooster got very bad frost bite last night. I am in new york and temperatures were around 8 degrees. I am working on fixing the coop to make it more winter appropriate but my question is how should I treat the frost bite. I brought him inside and am slowly warming the area with a luke warm damp towel.
While making sure the coop is draft free is a good idea, blocking up all ventilation is a really bad idea. With those kinds of temperatures, it's not so much cold that is the problem, but moisture. Moisture in the air will condense on the comb and freeze, causing frostbite. Keeping the coop as dry as possible and well ventilated will help more than closing things up.
Don't touch the comb if not necessary since it is very painful. I usually don't put anything on them, but iodine or plain neosporin just dabbed on gently would help to prevent infection. It will take several days to see how much damage is done. Sometimes it turns out not so bad, but any parts that remain black will become rounded off. Large combed roosters are very prone to this, and if you can make everything as dry as possible with good ventilation high up in the coop to help remove excessive moisture in the air, that is about all that you can do. If my temps get below 15 F I will put a heat lamp in my large coop, but those can be very dangerous. If you have a basement you can bring them inside when temps are very low, but ours only get down to single digits a couple of times this time of year.
Can you post a picture of your rooster's comb for those that haven't seen frost bite in a comb?
Here are 2 "oldie but goody" threads that have so many good tips on coop ventilation and winter weather:
Edited by Eggcessive - 1/5/16 at 12:01pm