black spots on comb and wattle

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by poipollo, Jan 6, 2013.

  1. poipollo

    poipollo Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 16, 2012
    i noticed one of my cochins has these black specks on her comb and one of her wattles. it doesn't seem to be dirt or blood, as i tried to wash it off and the spots remained. i also put vaseline on her comb thinking it was frostbite (it's been about 12 degrees F here at night, and my 4 hens sleep in an unheated, uninsulated, though draft free and secure, coop. they all sleep in a pile on the floor and never seem cold, though i actually tried to put in a heat lamp in on the coldest night we've had so far, but it kept them up and making noise - i finally turned it off around midnight because they were being very loud and i have close neighbors), but i'm not sure. i've been reading about pox so now i'm a little worried. i'm relatively new to chickens and don't know what, if anything, to do. any advice would be appreciated. thank you!


    the spots on her comb are easier to see if you click to enlarge the photo:

    Last edited: Jan 6, 2013
  2. GretchenM

    GretchenM Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 7, 2011
    Those dots are so small and few, they might not be pox. If you get more spots, and the other chickens start to show the same thing, it's likely pox. If it is, it will go through your entire flock. Each chicken may have it for a couple or more weeks, as I recall, and it could take several weeks to go through the flock. The good news is that, unless you see any other abnormalities, it's nothing to worry about it! My flock of 35 got it summer 2011, when they were about 5-6 months old. Looks icky, but it passes with no permanent damage. As a new chicken rancher, I did tons of research at the time. As I recall, some folks said to watch for signs of respiratory illness. Bottom line, though, is if you see no other problems, they'll be fine. (It travels through mosquitoes.)

    Many of my chicks, from time to time, will have 2 or 3 small black spots on their comb at any given time, but it never seems to cause a problem, and it eventually goes away. I looked that up, too, when they got the pox, and can't remember the explanation, but it's not a problem.

    The rule of thumb I've come up with is: If you see no signs of external wounds or damage, no blood, no broken bones, and **no behavioral changes,** you chicks will probably be fine; just keep an eye on whomever you're worried about it. If you see someone behaving oddly, or out of character, even if you don't see external signs of problems, something is probably "wrong," though not necessarily serious. I've found that changes in behavior are the biggest warning sign; when you see that, start checking for potential problems.

    Good luck, and enjoy your chickens!!!!
    1 person likes this.
  3. willowbranchfarm

    willowbranchfarm Chicken Boots

    Oct 3, 2011
    My Coop
    Looks like minor injuries.
  4. llevise

    llevise New Egg

    Jan 6, 2013
    It's most likely caused by the cold. Every winter I get chickens that get random small dots. The Vaseline on the comb helps if you do it every night, but just like humans, some chickens just get a little colder than others. If the black is on the very edge of the comb, sometimes that part falls off.

    As long as your coop is draft free, you are feeding a healthy balanced diet, and supplemening for the cold, your hens should be fine.
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2013
  5. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    Looks like pecking injury to me.
  6. llevise

    llevise New Egg

    Jan 6, 2013
    Oh, by the way, pox would start out either white or yellow spots.

    Dry pox are raised white or clear bumps that turn yellow then red, grey, or black bleeding scabs in clusters. These cans pread to the eyes,head and face, feet and legs and vent.

    Wet pox bumps start on the face, eyes, throat and neck and are opaque white. They turn yellow, get bigger, and the bird has trouble breathing, has sinus discharge, and can suffocate to death.

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