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Frostbite

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
Is anyone familiar with essential oils and/or Melaleuca products? My poor Red (Buff Orpington roo) has frostbite on his comb. I have no bag balm, no Vaseline, no Neosporin. I DO have MelaGel, and essential oils. Is Tea Tree oil safe to use on chickens? What about essential oils, such as Lavender, or Frankincense? What other essential oils can I use on it?


Edited by NysiaAnera - 11/26/16 at 1:28am
post #2 of 10

It doesn't require any treatment at all really, but Vetericyn wound spray is a good non-toxic product to help disinfect wounds. Keep in mind that frostbitten combs are very painful, and should not be massaged. Some milder cases of frostbite on the tips may heal, but you will usually see the damage done after a few days. The tips may become rounded off gradually as the comb heals. Tea tree oil should be used with caution, and may need to be weakened down. Here is a good article to read:  http://www.the-chicken-chick.com/2013/12/frostbit-in-backyard-chickens-causes.html

post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 
Thank you. I have been reading everything I can find about frostbite on chickens. I thought we would be okay, but yesterday it looked like one of the tips was bleeding a little.
post #4 of 10
Bleeding can happen, especially if the comb is pecked. How does it look today?
post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 
Looks like no open wounds, but a couple spots of dried blood that looks like it is from yesterday. There is a little more color. It still looks a bit swollen to me. I am working on adding more ventilation, that should be finished tomorrow. Tonight it is warmer than it has been the past couple weeks, but tomorrow the temperature is going to start plummeting and go lower than it has been. Right now the frostbite is mild, so I am hoping I I can prevent it from getting worse.


Edited by NysiaAnera - 11/26/16 at 10:21pm
post #6 of 10

Prevent direct drafts of cold air, keep things dry as possible to prevent high humidity, and high up overhead ventilation is helpful in preventing frostbite. When temps reach zero-ish it might help to provide a heat source. Here is a great article about ventilation that all BYCers should read:

http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/chicken-coop-ventilation-go-out-there-and-cut-more-holes-in-your-coop

post #7 of 10
Thread Starter 
Thanks. I spend the majority of my time actually researching and reading on various topics. By majority, I mean at least 90% of my time is spent in research and learning. But I am finding relatively little information about chickens and essential oils. Do you have any good articles about them? I have found a few, but not much that is helpful to me.
For Red, his comb has not changed, and no fresh blood, so I haven't messed with him. The temp is dropping, so I will be watching even more closely.
I was going to make sure that added ventilation all got done today (yesterday now) but I remembered why I haven't yet... we have chicks hatching and I haven't wanted to risk them. So I am just waiting for them to all finish up, and for their momma to start taking them out, before doing any kind of modifications. This is our last broody hen actually on eggs for now. Anyway, there has been quite a storm going on outside, a lot of wind, and I went out and closed myself in and felt around, no wind was entering, and I could not feel any drafts, so I am sure it is draft free, but also sure they need more ventilation (obviously, because there is frostbite). Unless he got it while out of the coop, and not while roosting, which I guess is possible too...
Edited by NysiaAnera - 11/27/16 at 11:48pm
post #8 of 10

Hi all! Try as I might, the one time I accidentally forget to slather the wattles, my beloved Minorca, Rory, gets frostbite. I checked on them at about noon today and did not see anything wrong, but this evening at about 7:40 I went back out for one more check, and I saw his wattles. Now, Minorcas have very large combs and wattles, so they are especially susceptible to issues, but nothing like this has happened, and I know that the winters here have been more bitter before. They are warm to the (gentle) touch, like the rest of his wattle, they are just a dark color and swollen. I moved him inside our heated barn (is about 60 degrees) I made sure his food and water was in a place that would not bother his wattles. Is there anything else I can do to help him out? They don't seem to be painful to him, just a pain in his tail.  

post #9 of 10

Welcome to BYC. Unfortunately this can happen when they get their wattles wet when drinking water, then the temps are way below freezing. You might try raising the water bowl a bit. Don't massage the wattles since it can cause further damage and pain.

post #10 of 10
Thread Starter 
Awe, poor guy!

I have been watching Red's wattles, and so far, nothing on them. I thought for sure they would get hit when I watched him getting a drink one day. But they dried and turned out fine. His comb is not looking so hot, but no blood, so I have left it alone.
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