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Before I do this...another dubbing frostbit wattle question....

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by moenmitz, Jan 8, 2009.

  1. moenmitz

    moenmitz Songster

    Apr 15, 2008
    Been reading the posts regarding this on here, but I am not 100% clear on when it is necessary to do it. Poor Axel, our rose comb brown leghorn has some seriously frostbit wattles. Despite vaseline, the -20 temps we have had here lately have been too much for them. The chickens have been kept inside whenever it is below freezing, but the barn is unheated and not particularly warm. He has HUGE wattles, and I suppose they drag in the water when he drinks. Anyway, at first they were covered in grey/white crust-now they have been mostly black for several days.

    So, this means the tissue is dead, correct?

    Is it necessary to remove it, or should I let it fall off on its own? it is black, stiff-not smelly, oozy or greenish. It does not look infectd, just dead.

    He does not appear to be in pain, is not lethargic, eating fine. I have been continuing to rub vaseline on them and he doesnt seem to mind it-so I am thinking they aren't hurting him...but I thought I read somewhere that if I leave them alone he could get infection and die, which of course I dont want!

    His rose-comb fared better, just a few black tips on some of the points- should I do anything with them, or leave them alone?

    Also, Slash, our Speckled Sussex has a little bit of frostbite on his comb. Wattles are fine. His comb is gigantic, but amazingly has only a few spots here and there, which are also black. He too seems no worse for wear and I am wondering if I should leave well enough alone and let his body deal with it.

    So, can someone tell me when I MUST step in, or if I can wait and watch for now, WHAT should I watch for?
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2009
  2. I had a couple of Andalusian roos a couple of years ago and one of those got frost bite on his comb--it too went black (at the back of the comb). That part eventually fell off--- he was fine---until the fox got him. Also one of my miniature White Rocks roos got in a fight, his comb got ripped, also at the back, turned black and that section turned black and dropped off. But these two were combs and therefore not getting dipped in water. If he seems not in pain and eating well and it's not smelly or oozy I would leave him BUT keep a close eye out as they go downhill very fast! I put Aloe Vera Gel on my two (you put it under the Vaseline). This will combat any infection as well as soothing any pain. I was told by a vet to use this and to put it on every 2 or 3 hours---it's great for all wounds (on all animals and on us)! The big animal parks here in the UK use it. I use the stuff from www.foreverliving.com which is a US company
  3. jhm47

    jhm47 Songster

    Sep 7, 2008
    I've had hundreds of birds (both roosters and hens) get frostbite. I have never had a problem with infection or anything. Just let nature take it's course and allow the dead tissue to fall off on it's own. If you try to remove it surgically, you will have to be very careful not to cut into the living tissue, or it will bleed profusely. And---I'm totally sick of below O, and snow. Come on Spring!
  4. Poohbear

    Poohbear On a Time Out

    Nov 12, 2008
    My advice to a person dubbing for the first time. first get a partner/helper to hold the chicken. Just cradle him/her in your arms, helper and hold her feet together with your left hand. OK, cutter! Have your alcohol in a container big enough to hold your LARGE SHARP SISSORS and keep them in the alcohol if you are dubbing more than one. A small amount of flour handy in case they bleed you can drop some flour on the cut part and it will stop bleeding some. Have somewhere nice and quiet to put the chicken after you dub so they can relax and be quiet. Cutter, sissors in right hand, put you thumb of the left hand in the chickens mouth and hold firmly with the thumb IN his beak and forefinger UNDER his beak. Just the beak now, you hold JUST the beak. Don't close his breathing off. Holder, Pull the roosters EAR out a little with your right hand and hold it firmly to allow the cutter to snip it cleanly and quick. Now do the other ear. Next, Holder hold the wattle so the cutter can snip one side quickly. Now hold the other wattle. do not PULL on it, just HOLD it steady. All that's left now is the comb. Cutter: while you STILL have hold of the chickens beak with your thumb and forefinger, make one cut from the back of the comb to the front about 1/2" off the top of the chickens head. If you need to straighten the cut to look good, do it now. Do not cut closer than 1/2" from the head. Some good things to remember are: Always dub roosters when the moon is holding water. Do your dubbing at night as quietly as you can and get it done as FAST as you can. After the chicken settles down, it will stop bleeding if it is bleeding at all. I personally use a medium pair of sissors for the ear and wattle and a large pair of sissors for the comb. Makes iit easier on the chicken. always use SHARP sissors and clean them in alcohol in between chickens. Nightitme is the quietest for chickens. hope this helps on dubbing. After you get your chickens dubbed, they can put their head under their wing at night to keep their head warm like the wild birds do. I dub my large combed chickens but mine are dubbed mostly so they can escape mosquitos at night during the summer by roosting with their head under their wing. Just My Humble Opinion.
  5. moenmitz

    moenmitz Songster

    Apr 15, 2008
    Thank you for the advice. I will probably just keep a close eye on them for now then. I appreciate the dubbing instructions. Cant say I am eager to do it though-I have a hard time watching my husband vaccinate our goats even, so I would definitely be just the "holder"!

    Spring can not come soon enough.
  6. Poohbear, Thank you for your very clear explanation of dubbing---it's always been a mystery to me up till now. I hope I never have to do it but I've saved it so I would have the info to hand if I had to. I can forsee situations (fights between my roos---they usually get along fine BUT......?) when I'd need get in there and do it. Thank you again--I learn something every time I come on this site.

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