black frostbite on comb?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by erindubb, Dec 11, 2010.

  1. erindubb

    erindubb Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 18, 2010
    I have read and re-read the discussions on heating the coop. I live in Northern KY and right now it is almost 50 outside. But, last week it was down in the single digits at night. SOO COLD! The night it was only 7 degrees I put a lamp in the coop. Then I came inside and read the boards. It was about 11 o'clock at night when I finished reading and decided that if they don't use heat in ALASKA - then I certainly don't need to in KY and I went out and unplugged the lamp. Good thing too since they were all still awake and seemed confused! Poor girls - at least I only did it for a few hours. [​IMG] So, anyway, the coop is small and I have two bantams and two standards. The bantys have been getting cozy in the nest box at night even though they used to sleep on the roost. I guess it's a little warmer in there. But the standards (one is Easter Egger with small comb and one is Barred Rock with a big floppy comb) still roost. I have tried to make it as draft free as possible. I have a hutch type coop and I covered the outside with heavy gauge plastic - but left enough ventilation so it doesn't get moist in there. This morning I went out and the barred rock has black spots on the tip of her comb. And it looks like the Easter Egger has a few too. What can I do now? Will the comb fall off? Poor things!! I feel so bad for them. It did get really really bitterly cold last week and we are about to have a huge snow storm tomorrow night. Of course it is almost 50 right now - so it might be a rain storm. [​IMG] What should I do?
     
  2. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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  3. PepsNick

    PepsNick Back to Business

    May 9, 2010
    Egglanta, GA
    Black frost bite? Hmm... to me it sounds like it's dry fowl pox. Have you read about that? And did they just appear overnight? If they appeared overnight, than it is probably the frost bite. Read ddwan's article.
     
  4. spammy

    spammy Out Of The Brooder

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    After frost bite the area turns black. The black part falls off usually with a picking hens help and life goes on. Had a BSL roo with huge comb, lost most of it from frostbite had a crew cut, 2 years later he is still around and head roo.
     
  5. erindubb

    erindubb Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 18, 2010
    Oh no - pox? That sounds terrible. I looked it up just now and I really hope it's not that. I have no way to quarantine her. I will have to take a picture tomorrow and post it so you guys can help see if it's frostbite or pox. I looked up pictures of both and I can't decide. Although if it has been so cold and I am just now noticing it - how can it be from a mosquito bite? There are no mosquitos. hummmm.
     
  6. WonderChicken

    WonderChicken Out Of The Brooder

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    My best guess would be covering a small hutch type coop with impermiable plastic may have retained to much heat/moisture from the chickens then adding additional heating source contributed to the moisture level causing the skin surfaces to be wet then freeze causing frostbite.
     
  7. erindubb

    erindubb Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 18, 2010
    Yeah - I think you're right. Should I take the plastic off? I left some spaces - but maybe not enough. I never saw that it got foggy in there or anything. I ended up putting a small red heat light in there last night because it was going to be really cold and we got about 5 inches of snow. It is also really really windy with wind chills below zero. Ahh. I don't want to use a heat lamp if they don't even use them in Alaska. That seems crazy that I would need to. Also - I couldn't get a picture but I did hold her for a while and took a good look at it. It is definitely frostbite and not pox. It is just right on the tips of her comb. Poooooor thing. I feel so so bad.
     
  8. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    I'm not in favor of heating coops -- but it occurs to me that it would help evaporate some of the humidity. But then, so would removing the plastic from over any holes.

    Fowl pox is transmitted by mosquitos so highly unlikely in this cold. If and when they do get it, though, I wouldn't worry about quarantine. It's true they can pass it around but if one got bitten by a mosquito, surely the others will, too. Mine had it a couple of summers ago, the whole bunch at once, I think about 20 of them then. I really didn't do anything; it happened to be processing time for extra roos, and I did process the worst case because her whole head was swollen and they were attacking her. Usually it just stays there for 3 weeks then suddenly disappears. Good news is then they are immune for life. You can have some complications and they can be dealt with, though. If they haven't had it already, you're likely to see it next spring or summer. Some of mine had small enough spots that if I didn't look closely I might have missed it entirely.

    Are your vents up high? (They really should be - a window isn't the best vent.) Maybe you can wrap the walls to cut the wind, but leave the areas under the eaves open?
     
  9. saladin

    saladin Chillin' With My Peeps

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    the South
    This is why dubbing is important.
     
  10. erindubb

    erindubb Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 18, 2010
    Oh my goodness! I had no idea what dubbing was....then I looked it up. OUCH! Poor chickens. My two bantams and my one Easter Egger have tiny little combs - so they haven't had a problem. It is only my barred rock that got frost bitten. And what the heck - I thought they were very cold hardy. She is my cold hardiest breed of the four. But, her comb is huge and floppy. I think she thinks shes a rooster sometimes with that giant comb. I guess it won't be so big now, after the tips fall off. Poor girl.
     

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