Dark spots on comb - should I be worried?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by WisconsinGardenChick, Oct 20, 2009.

  1. WisconsinGardenChick

    WisconsinGardenChick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 30, 2009
    One of our Barred Rocks today has some dark spots on her previously perfect comb. At first, I thought it might just be a little dirt, but it doesn’t come off. She doesn’t act like it bothers her for us to touch the spots. They just feel dry and a bit rough. I don’t think it can be frostbite – we haven’t had weather that cold yet. The lowest overnight temp has been 29F, but that was a few weeks ago, and it’s always a few degrees warmer than that in their coop. (We have a remote sensor thermometer in their coop.) No one else has any spots. Should we be worried? Wait a few days and see whether it clears up on its own?

    1) What type of bird, age and weight.
    Barred Rock, 23 weeks, unknown – she’s pretty big.

    2) What is the behavior, exactly.
    No new behavior that I’ve noticed. She is the neediest of our birds. I used to think it was sweet that she wanted attention and to be picked up. Now she’s getting annoying! [​IMG] But that preceded the spots.

    3) Is there any bleeding, injury, broken bones or other sign of trauma.
    No.

    4) What happened, if anything that you know of, that may have caused the situation.
    Nothing I know of.

    5) What has the bird been eating and drinking, if at all.
    I haven't noticed a diminished appetite. She’s eating what everyone else eats – layer feed, greens (dandelions, grass, lettuce), part of a tomato today, and occasional cracked corn. Probably some bugs, too.

    6) How does the poop look? Normal? Bloody? Runny? etc.
    I have not seen any unusual poop in the pen or coop.

    7) What has been the treatment you have administered so far?
    Nothing; she doesn’t seem in distress.

    8 ) What is your intent as far as treatment? For example, do you want to treat completely yourself, or do you need help in stabilizing the bird til you can get to a vet?
    I considered putting Neosporin on the spots, but wanted to check with this group first. I don’t think she needs immediate attention from a vet.

    9) If you have a picture of the wound or condition, please post it. It may help.
    Two photos: They aren’t the best. The spots look brown in these photos, but they are blackish.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    10) Describe the housing/bedding in use
    Here are some photos of their housing. We use pine shavings in the coop and covered part of the pen; sand in the uncovered part of the pen. They get out in the yard in a tractor. Sometimes we put up temporary netting in the yard to let them out in a bigger space.

    Coop and Pen
    [​IMG]

    Chickens in Pen
    [​IMG]

    Inside coop
    [​IMG]

    Thanks in advance for any help or advice you can offer! I'm kind of in shock. We've been fortunate to have ridiculously healthy girls until now. Everyone gushes about how healthy they look. Or looked. [​IMG]

    Katherine
     
  2. mypicklebird

    mypicklebird Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 8, 2008
    Sonoma Co, CA
    Probably just minor scabs/wounds from pecking (other birds). Hens will fight with each other/pick on each other. Roosters will also grab hens by the comb sometimes. Pox can also look like that, but the blemishes are usually raised, and have a grey or white zone. Nice coop, but do they get to come out? If they do not get to come out, it looks a bit tight in there for that many standards. Crowded chickens will be more likely to pick on each other.
     
  3. WisconsinGardenChick

    WisconsinGardenChick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 30, 2009
    Quote:Thanks so much for your reply, PickleBird.

    Yes, they do get to come out, but not much, and that is worrying me. They have a tractor that we take them out in daily, but now they are bigger, it's not much room. So I got some netting and several times/week set it up in different places in the yard so they have a larger place to run around. They LOVE that, but ever since I started doing it, seems they've really gotten a taste for freedom. They go crazy banging their beaks on the wire of their pen when they see me come out of the house and struggle to get out of their pen whenever I come in to clean, fill feeder, etc.

    I planned to have them out in the netting for two hours today, but after about 40 mins one flew over and I had to chase her down. Then I was worn out and put them all away. They were NOT happy. [​IMG] (But the marks on the comb were there before all this happened today.)

    Thanks for listening - I will have to work on a solution.

    Katherine
     
  4. muell112

    muell112 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 4, 2009
    Bangor, ME
    My chickens were picking at eachother a little and I've found a couple of things that seem to work. 1) "flock block" - it's basically a square foot cube of tightly stuck together chicken/turkey food - seeds/grit etc. They pick at that and just love it. They have it at Abuchon hardware here in Maine - you can probably just google it and see where you could get it around you. It is about $10 and the one I just got (the wild bird one cause they were out of the poultry one) has lasted about 3 weeks and they're not even a quarter through it 2) suet container filled tightly with veggies/lettuce etc. They pick at that too. 3) scratch.

    It sounds like the black spots are just little scabs. I have one hen with a really big comb and she has quite a few since she started getting mated. She is totally fine.
     
  5. WisconsinGardenChick

    WisconsinGardenChick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Thanks, muell. That helps. I do have a suet cage and fill it twice daily with greens- usually dandelions, which are very nutritious and something they love. I just recently started giving them a little scratch. They all just started laying, too (except for one - who is still lazing on the job!) I wonder if this has got them cranky? They've gotten along really well, up to now.

    Katherine
     

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