Can an old foot injury make your chicken more prone to frost bite? (Photos)

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Bogtown Chick, Jan 21, 2013.

  1. Bogtown Chick

    Bogtown Chick Overrun With Chickens

    5,636
    1,544
    361
    Mar 31, 2012
    Northern Minnesota
    My Coop
    Yesterday it was -5 to -10. The chickens wanted out in their run and I let them out to do that. I opened the pop door. I've got hay down in the run. Pine shavings in the coop. (these might be getting some frosty layers in them). We had -22 F this morning. I did put a heat lamp in the coop last night anticipating this extreme in temperature.The coop was -4 when I opened the door this morning to feed, water and clean. I kept the pop door closed today. This morning I noticed a slightly larger Pad on one of my Rooster's toes, but had to get to work. When I came home for lunch 4 hours later I noted while he was scratching at the BOSS on the coop floor shavings that the toe was larger in general and not splaying out like it usually does when he scratches and brought him up to the house. It didn't "set right" on the counter and it was paler, lighter yellow, and definitely larger than the same toe on the other foot. Ugh, not afraid of slightly black tips on his comb any more, I dreaded this. Freezing of toes and feet. I'm not sure why he didn't lift it to warm it or to go up on the roost if his feet were cold. He's got a nice 2x4 to roost on cozily with all his hens.

    What I did was run some luke warm water in the laundry tub and let him wade in that for about 5 minutes. I then took him out, dried his feet. Sat down with him and took some vaseline and started massaging his foot from the pad down to the toe. For about 10 minutes I did this. At the end of the massage he was curling that toe around my finger quite strongly. This was encouraging and the color seemed alot better. I debated keeping him in tonight as it will be colder even tonight. But I did place him on the roost next to the heat lamp (which I know he wasn't near last night). I know it would be less stressful for him to sleep in the coop than the house.

    Plan for the morning: toss and deepen the pine shavings on the floor again. Another bale of hay for the run. (but tomorrow they definitely will stay in the coop with the cold cold temps we'll be having.) And another massage of the toe, no matter how it looks.

    Anybody else dealt with frozen toes or feet out there? Can you add anything to my current treatment plan? I like this Roo alot. I actually need him for my flock. I'd hate for this to happen to him.
     
  2. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

    39,707
    1,236
    516
    Jul 9, 2009
    Northern CA
    My Coop
    Is your 2X4 wide side up? It's easier for them to cover their feet if the wide side is up, not the narrow side.
     
  3. Bogtown Chick

    Bogtown Chick Overrun With Chickens

    5,636
    1,544
    361
    Mar 31, 2012
    Northern Minnesota
    My Coop
    Yep. Wide side up. They can crouch down and cover their whole leg and toes. Looked a little better this AM. Coldest of the days was this morning -25. Coop was -4 at roost level with heat lamp on again. I brought in another 2 inches of pine shavings (all that I had left in the bag) he got down pecked very little at his boss then climbed back up on his roosting ladder and sat next to the heat lamp. Then he stood up like he might want to get down again. so I helped him down. He ate directly under the brooder lamp and drank. Toe still flexing, a little swollen and pale to the second knuckle. I picked him up and massaged that Pad and toe for about 5 minutes. I left him to it went to the house for an hour. When I came back he was up on the roost again. feathers down around his feet and a girl on each side. Hopefully we're past the worst with him and I'll give him another massage or two today. Oh my sweet Roo boy.

    Picking up more bales of hay for my Run. I've found this dairy farmer with Kentucky Blue grass hay. And it's just gorgeous, light and fluffy. I though there was plenty out in the run but it might have lost some if it's fluff for an all day stand out there.

    I think Roger will be okay though.
     
  4. Bogtown Chick

    Bogtown Chick Overrun With Chickens

    5,636
    1,544
    361
    Mar 31, 2012
    Northern Minnesota
    My Coop
    I've been thinking about Roger and his toe today. Was down at the coop over my lunch just watching him. He holds it up and protects it quite a bit now. Uses it sporatically. I gave it a good massage again today and will again tonight. Night time temps will reach -30 (no wind chill factored) This cold stuff is relentless.

    This summer late June or maybe even July, while I was walking scratch out to the coop and under their tall pine trees. He was following me pretty closely and he got under my feet. I stepped on him. He limped and hopped back to the coop one footed for a bit until I carried him the rest of the way. I helped him roost that night and took him down the next day to be sure he didn't injure it further and that next day he went on with life without issues or limping there on. In fact, I'd forgotten about the incident until today. I wonder though if there was some scarring or circulatory damage from that incident that didn't repair quite right and he might be more sensitive to cold with that particular toe.

    Just thinking out loud. The coop has been maintaining at about -5 to 10 mark with the brooder lamp in the coop. They seem comfortable for the most part. Just that toe that keeps me worried.
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2013
  5. Bogtown Chick

    Bogtown Chick Overrun With Chickens

    5,636
    1,544
    361
    Mar 31, 2012
    Northern Minnesota
    My Coop
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    OKay. Yay. I got these to upload tonight. In looking at these pictures again. I feel like we'll be okay. These were taken Tuesday. Roger had 3 foot massages and 1 warm soak to help with circulation already when these photos were taken. The Monday before things were much whiter and the toe seemed to not splay as well or function well especially while he was scratching. But it is something for me to watch for sure when we have extreme cold temps this winter. And maybe with time there will be some new vessel regrowth where this won't have to be so high maintenance for following winters. Tonight this toe felt warm as the others while he roosted, not noticably hotter or warmer as in inflamed. -30 tonight and frigid yet tomorrow. Another day in the coop --day #4 for these guys (Thursday). Friday -- next Tuesday they'll have a warm up to stretch their legs a bit. And I've got the run all fluffed out in new hay.
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2013
  6. Bogtown Chick

    Bogtown Chick Overrun With Chickens

    5,636
    1,544
    361
    Mar 31, 2012
    Northern Minnesota
    My Coop
    Good morning to everyone. Day #4 in the coop while the deep freeze has set in. There will be some run time coming up here this afternoon or tomorrow morning for sure. Though. The cold is loosening it's grip for the weekend. Thank goodness. Everybody is behaving their chicken selves down there at the coop....

    Roger is not carrying or favoring that toe/foot today. Was able to maintain 5-10 degrees in the coop during the -30F last night. The color of the foot remains paler and the pad on the bottom still pronounced.

    Plan is to just check that foot over really really good with somebody else holding him to be sure there's no core or cyst in the pad that's making it more of a bumble foot scenario. Anybody seen bumble foot in a toe pad vs. the foot pad?

    Thanks all. Keep Warm!
     
  7. shell3

    shell3 Chillin' With My Peeps

    569
    8
    113
    May 14, 2012
    Hertfordshire England
    bogtown chick- yes i see why your concerned, it dosnt look too bad but theres the worry of it worsening. i think your doing right keeping them in most the time til the weather improves. they may be annoyed but better annoyed than in discomfort and i always wonder why they dont take themselves in! sounds like youve kept a close eye on him and done a good job warming him up and keeping the blood flowing when he needed it. plus that way you notice the smallest difference straight away when you can act to correct. rogers a lucky boy to have you xx
     
  8. Bogtown Chick

    Bogtown Chick Overrun With Chickens

    5,636
    1,544
    361
    Mar 31, 2012
    Northern Minnesota
    My Coop
    Thank you shell3 for taking a peek at my toe story. And for your reassurances. I think we're on the right track too, but it always feels good to have another person on the bandwagon. xx
     
  9. shell3

    shell3 Chillin' With My Peeps

    569
    8
    113
    May 14, 2012
    Hertfordshire England
    Glad to be along for the ride [​IMG]
     
  10. shell3

    shell3 Chillin' With My Peeps

    569
    8
    113
    May 14, 2012
    Hertfordshire England
    good morning/middle of the night, to you.
    i wonder what weather youll wake up to today.
    i guess sunshines too much to hope for lol so ill hope for 'slightly warmer' for you and roger. x
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by