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vaseline on a comb, yes or no?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

Someone mentioned vaseline on a comb and feet/legs in another thread, so I had some questions. Temps here at night have been JUST below freezing on some nights. My cockerel's comb is a bit off on a couple of the tips. What temp for vaseline? Is it safe if it warms during the day here? And how to keep it from gunking up? Also, do the pullets/hens try to mess with it?

Is it really anything I need to mess with? If I don't do something and his comb looks blueish on the tips what should I do or do I need to do anything at all? Would it be ok like that?

 

I haven't had any issues with their feet/legs, they have a bar they roost on at night (it's on the edge of their nesting shelf), so I think it's been helping to keep their toes/legs safe (from what I've read they're less at risk than if they are flat at night).

 

Keep in mind, I live in a fairly humid area year round, humidity mixed with cold can be a big problem from what I understand?

 

I don't want to do anything to compromise my babes, I just want to make sure they're all safe. My cockerel is the one with the issue of discoloration on his comb, the girls all look good.

 

On the RARE occasion we actually have a winter storm, I also need to be prepared for possible issues that may come up. Once in a while we may have an ice storm or snow roll through, it doesn't USUALLY last long, but we did have a nasty one several years ago that went on for a little over 2wks before FINALLY warming up enough to melt the ice (which also means we were stuck here with no power for those 2wks, we don't have the plows etc like I grew up with in Illinois).

 

 

I've tried to take in/do as much research as I possibly could BEFORE owning chickens, but it seems like there's ALWAYS something to learn (but I love that).

post #2 of 8
I live in Wisconsin, unfortunately any large combed birds especially roosters will get frostbite, most of mine have lost their points, I am not going to chase chickens around with a jar of Vaseline, they get frostbite, it turns black a bit and the tissue falls off, I don't even notice it, next winter it isn't a concern, I haven't seen anyone act differently or unwell during it. The hens combs shrink and they tuck their heads under a wing at night so they don't get frostbite. I plan to try to keep mostly small combed roosters in the future to prevent it.

As far as frostbitten feet, if they have proper roosts, hay or bedding to stand on and no spilled water it shouldn't happen, I did have a rooster in the last two years get frostbite on his feet, I was unable due to health reasons to care for my birds, my husband did, so I'm unsure why he got frostbite, I did cull him after finally seeing what was going on, so I will never know why but he was the only one.
Chickens, muscovy ducks, turkeys, donkeys , goats, dogs, fish, parakeets, a parrot, and a cat.

Chickens and dogs are healing to the soul.

I brake for squirrels.

Some of my birds.
http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/my-wisconsin-flock
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Chickens, muscovy ducks, turkeys, donkeys , goats, dogs, fish, parakeets, a parrot, and a cat.

Chickens and dogs are healing to the soul.

I brake for squirrels.

Some of my birds.
http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/my-wisconsin-flock
Reply
post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 

My cockerel is a buff orpington. All of them were suppose to be already sexed as females, but there is always that 1 huh? I was already in love with/bonded with him by the time I realized it (new owner mistake lol) so I've kept him. He has proven himself a GREAT protector of the flock though so I am SO glad I made the decision to keep him!!

 

I was glad to read they're a more docile cock too. I don't deal too well with aggressive animals of any kind. In the future, what are some breeds that are docile that have smaller combs?

post #4 of 8
I personally haven't seen breed as a determining factor for being a nice rooster, I don't have human aggressive roosters, ever, so it comes down to how a rooster treats the ladies, I have two buff Orpington roosters, the older one is a gentleman but he is getting older, the younger one I'm still debating, I am going to try a Wyandotte rooster and down the road a chantecler, I also like my Barnvelder rooster but he's prone to frostbite too.
Chickens, muscovy ducks, turkeys, donkeys , goats, dogs, fish, parakeets, a parrot, and a cat.

Chickens and dogs are healing to the soul.

I brake for squirrels.

Some of my birds.
http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/my-wisconsin-flock
Reply
Chickens, muscovy ducks, turkeys, donkeys , goats, dogs, fish, parakeets, a parrot, and a cat.

Chickens and dogs are healing to the soul.

I brake for squirrels.

Some of my birds.
http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/my-wisconsin-flock
Reply
post #5 of 8

IMO it's best not to even touch it......it's compromised tissue and touching it could very easily make it worse.

Had several birds with frostbit combs and wattles last winter, most were the mild graying of the tissue, some had black necrosis that eventually soughed off. I think the wattles get bit because they drag them thru the snow.

I just keep a watch for swelling that lasts more than a few days or obvious infection.

Woody's wattles were swollen for 2-3 days, then swelling receded and tissue turned black, took a couple months before black tissue came off and pencil thin scars developed, by spring you could hardly tell it had happened.

 

Here's some pics of frostbite on my cockbird last winter.

http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/697050/michigan-thread-all-are-welcome/34980#post_16265188

Great article on VENTILATION, one of THE MOST IMPORTANT aspects of coop design.

Fantastic treatise to help decide how much SPACE your chickens need.

 

Chicken math is not just 'addition'...but also should include Division, Multiplication and especially Subtraction!!!

 

Quoting centrarchid:

"Make every effort to understand your chicken's biology and the environment that supports it."

Reply

Great article on VENTILATION, one of THE MOST IMPORTANT aspects of coop design.

Fantastic treatise to help decide how much SPACE your chickens need.

 

Chicken math is not just 'addition'...but also should include Division, Multiplication and especially Subtraction!!!

 

Quoting centrarchid:

"Make every effort to understand your chicken's biology and the environment that supports it."

Reply
post #6 of 8

Buff Orpingtons are supposed to be winter hardy.  My BO hens are totally winter hardy, but I've had two BO roosters that are the least cold hardy out of everyone.  I only have one now, and I have to keep an eye on him, even though the housing is right and no one else has a problem, he does.  He just gets cold very easily, and doesn't eat enough.  I have one chicken house with a hanging heater, that I use when the temps get under 10F, and have the heater adjusted to keep the coop temp just above 32F.  It does help keep those hens laying.  I move him there just at night to warm up.

 

He was in the house last winter, because of frost bit wattles.  I've never had to put anything on the frostbite, and it healed just fine.  

 

He is wonderful protector, good to the hens, keeps the young cockerel in line, and has been worth the extra care.

 

I haven't had problems with other roosters with single combs getting frostbite, but in the future the plan is to keep breeds with small combs.

...what you know for sure that just ain't so...--Mark Twain;  is what harms future generations.--me
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...what you know for sure that just ain't so...--Mark Twain;  is what harms future generations.--me
Reply
post #7 of 8
Thread Starter 

Ill try to see if I can get a good picture of him to show. I don't think I'll mess with it then. I don't want to do anything to cause further issues with him. He's a big boy, not sure how much he weighs, but he eats pretty well. He doesn't eat too many treats, he calls the girls over and lets them eat most while he only takes nibbles. 

post #8 of 8
Buff Orpingtons are cold hardy, but have large combs and wattles that get frostbite and can be a source of heat loss, my 4 year old rooster has most of his comb gone from repeated hard winters here so him and my younger one may be the last of the breed for a while, I plan to try chantecler.
Chickens, muscovy ducks, turkeys, donkeys , goats, dogs, fish, parakeets, a parrot, and a cat.

Chickens and dogs are healing to the soul.

I brake for squirrels.

Some of my birds.
http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/my-wisconsin-flock
Reply
Chickens, muscovy ducks, turkeys, donkeys , goats, dogs, fish, parakeets, a parrot, and a cat.

Chickens and dogs are healing to the soul.

I brake for squirrels.

Some of my birds.
http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/my-wisconsin-flock
Reply
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