Black Tips on Roo's Comb

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by tulie13, Dec 18, 2009.

  1. tulie13

    tulie13 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 12, 2009
    NW Florida
    My BO roo has developed a black scabby-looking patch on 3 or 4 out of the 6 or 7 little triangular "spikes" on his comb. If we were in the north, my first guess would be frostbite. But I'm in Florida, and we haven't even gotten below 30 F here yet this winter. They are randomly scattered, I'd say on spike #2, 3, 5, and maybe a little on 7. So it's not all toward the front of his comb, nor all toward the back. I'll see if I can get a picture. But in the meantime, any ideas? It's NOT Fowl Pox, I've already had that run through the flock and it cleared up.

    Is there some other nasty disease that makes black spots on combs? Or is my dominant hen just biting the crap out of him? [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2009
  2. tulie13

    tulie13 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Replying to my own post - I found this while poking around:

    Histomonas melagridis is a protozoan parasite of turkeys, and occasionally chickens, pheasants and game birds that acts together with facultative bacteria to produce the condition of Blackhead.

    This condition has high morbidity and mortality in turkeys. Although chickens are relatively resistant to the condition, significant disease has been seen in breeding chickens and free-range layers.

    The parasite is ingested in the ova of Heterakis worms or as larvae in earthworms or faeces and there is an incubation period of 15-20 days. Outwith earth worms or H. gallinae the parasite is easily destroyed.

    The problem is seen in high-biosecurity facilities, presumably introduced with worm eggs. Within a turkey shed transmission is rapid in spite of the fact that it is difficult to infect birds orally with unprotected parasites.

    It has recently been demonstrated that infection occurs readily via the cloaca when birds are on contaminated litter.

    Signs

    Depression.
    Inappetance.
    Poor growth.
    Sulphur-yellow diarrhoea.
    Cyanosis of head.
    Blood in faeces (chickens).
    Progressive depression and emaciation.
    Post-mortem lesions

    Enlargement of caeca.
    Ulcers, caseous cores with yellow, grey or green areas.
    Liver may have irregular-round depressed lesions, usually grey in colour, however they may not be present in the early stages, especially in chickens.

    I did notice a few days ago that his comb tips were purple, I thought probably because of the cold (it has been in the high 40's at night a few nights lately). And now I believe it's the same comb tips that are black. But this description of "blackhead" does not say anything about black spots on the comb, only they cyanosis in the head area... I don't think he seems depressed, but I have seen some yellowish poo around the run - mostly the poo from the flock looks normal, brown with some white on it. I'll keep any eye out, and if anyone has some ideas in the meantime, I'd be glad to hear. Trying to get hubby and the camera so we can get pics.
     
  3. Big Red's Mom

    Big Red's Mom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Terry, Mississippi
    I live in Mississippi and have a RIR roo that has done that also. It is the cold....When the temp get down the comb is like your fingers. It is warmer toward the body. Those little tips may come off but it is gonna be okay as long as it does not get infected. I put a heat lamp above where they roost and it helps some.....It will happen when it gets really cold here. Good luck with him....
    I hope this helps...I am not an expect by no means....this is just what I have found to be true with my birds.
     
  4. tulie13

    tulie13 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    NW Florida
    OK, here are pics of his comb from both sides:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    Also, I asked a question about the red bumps on his legs a couple of weeks back and was asked to post pics, never got around to it, so here they are - I think they are just a normal coloration, they don't seem to be bothering him. Not the best pic, but of course hubby was taking them and not really interested at the time, just following instructions to "take pics". [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Do the black things on the comb look like cold damage? And is that even possible if we haven't hit freezing here? Do the red bumps look normal on the legs?
     
  5. HEChicken

    HEChicken Overrun With Chickens

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    My Coop
    Hmmm...I wouldn't think it would be cold damage in NW Florida. I dispatched 3 roos three weeks ago, two of which were BO's. One of the BO's had similar markings but I didn't take a pic so can't compare directly. Since I was processing him I didn't worry too much about it. My remaining roo is a BR X. In the past couple of weeks we've had two cold fronts come through, with temps getting down to 0. We had several days in a row where the high temp for the day was in the teens. My BR X's comb is still as red as ever and I would have thought it he were going to have problems with frostbite, it would have happened on one of those really cold days/night. So I tend to think you are right and this is not frostbite, but hopefully someone with more experience and/or who has seen this before will be able to give you a more definitive answer.
     
  6. Dragonfly Ranch

    Dragonfly Ranch Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 13, 2009
    Happy Valley, CA
    We have had these dark marks on our chickens and from what we are told they are bruises. They will go away and all our chickens are fine. It seemed to happen more when they were establishing their pecking order. Haven't noticed them in a while. I too am not an expert but that is what it looks like to me. Don't know about the red bumps on the legs.

    Sandee
     
  7. tulie13

    tulie13 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 12, 2009
    NW Florida
    Thanks - I think my Speckled Sussex hen is picking on him... [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     

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