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comb discolouration? is it due to cold?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Ema, Jan 13, 2011.

  1. Ema

    Ema Songster

    Jun 4, 2010
    N. Ontario CANADA
    I searched the forum for answers but can't find anything that really fits what I see on my chickens. 21 RIR's.

    Dh gathered the eggs this morning and came and told me that my chickens seem to be lifting their legs a lot and some have fluffed out feathers. I went to go see them and I noticed some of my chickens have an off white colour to the tips of their combs. Now they are not solid white or purple and no black spots, but more like a pinkish off white.

    the steady temps here have been about -19C (-3F) its been colder in the past few weeks and they haven't had any issues, so I am confused as to what is going on, and whether this is the first sign of cold or frostbitten combs? I laid down 2 more bales of straw, and refilled their nest boxes with fresh straw too. there is good ventilation in the in-barn coop and no drafts. Once I laid the fresh straw they stopped lifting their legs so much. Now its not all chickens that are doing this but the ones with the lighter coloured combs, I did a thorough check on them and they seem fine, no health issues that I can see, their vents are good, their crops are good, they are eating and drinking fine.

    However the last 5 days, I went from getting 21/21 to 18 or 19 out of 21 eggs, the inside temp of the coop is a steady -10C (14F) so I cannot see this being due to cold, or am I wrong?

    any other health issues that could cause their red combs to lose their colour and diminish egglaying?

    this is my first winter with them, maybe I am worrying for nothing?!!

  2. Ema

    Ema Songster

    Jun 4, 2010
    N. Ontario CANADA
    I forgot to mention, that at the same time some stopped laying I had to switch their layer feed, from their regular feed to an organic feed made in a nearby town because the feed store didn't have our regular pellets, I currently don't have the names of the feed. But I didn't think it would make a difference since they are both layer pellets.
  3. dsqard

    dsqard Crazy "L" Farms

    Jun 11, 2010
    York PA
    Could you post pictures? It sounds like it could be the start of frostbite but I am not sure. Has the humidity gone up recently? It is the moisture in the air that can cause frostbite more than the cold temps. As far as them standing on one foot, mine do that when they are standing in the cold. I figure they are warming up one foot near their bodies while the other foot is on the ground.
    ETA - If you are concerned that it might be the start of frostbite, you could put vaseline on their combs to protect them from the moisture staying on the combs and freezing.
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2011
  4. Ema

    Ema Songster

    Jun 4, 2010
    N. Ontario CANADA
    Quote:I will try to get a pic in a couple of hours, just running out now to deliver eggs. I cannot say for certain that humidity is or isn't a factor, I do not think so as everything is quite dry in there, but what I am going to do is go get a humidity thermostat and see what it is at. they broke my last one a couple weeks ago by flying into it to try to peck at it, so when I last checked it humidity was real low.

    I guess I better get some vaseline too while I am out. thanks again :)

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