Desprate need of help!!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by brothers, Nov 29, 2013.

  1. brothers

    brothers Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 2, 2013
    I need some quick help here.
    We have a 20 week old Buff Orpington Rooster.He is very dear to us.The last few nights have been getting a little below freezing.We keep a heat lamp and a 40watt bulb going untill about 9:30 each night..I just went out to check for eggs and our poor rooster (earl) has black tips on his comb and his "gooblers" are totally black and ripped and bleeding quite a bit...He looks just awfull.I assume the black is frost bite?How is he going to make it through the winter?t has only been -8 and he's already looking so bad he's hard to look at.
    Please advise me what to do to help him out.should I confine all of the chickens to the coop and leave the lights on during cold days or nights?

    Thanks in advance
    Brothers.
     
  2. Wyandottes7

    Wyandottes7 Overrun With Chickens

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    It is probably frostbite, or poor circulation. Could you post a picture? -8 degrees is plenty cold for frostbite to happen. I've had frostbite happen on some of my large combed roosters at about 28 degrees.

    If it gets down to -8 degrees, there really isn't much you can do to prevent frostbite. Some people put vaseline on their rooster's combs-- I've tried this, and while it worked down to maybe 26 degrees, it didn't work very well. I also used a heat lamp, and the heat lamp would melt the vaseline, causing it to make a sticky mess on the neck feathers. I haven't had much sucess with heat lamps. Heat lamps only really heat the area right beneath them, so if a bird moves away, it can still get frostbite. I now use a small space heater in my coop. It heats the whole area to just above freezing, preventing frostbite.

    Moisture is one of the key problems that causes frostbite. If a rooster dips his comb in the water while drinking, it may freeze and he may get frostbite. The wattles of large wattled birds can also get frostbitten in the same way. I use small cup waterers that my birds can't dip their wattles or comb into.

    Frostbite doesn't usually kill a bird. However, it can reduce fertility, destroy the comb, and make a bird uncomfortable. Some people dub their birds (cut off the comb and wattles-- this is usually done in game birds, but can be done to other birds to prevent frostbite) to prevent frostbite.
     
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  3. brothers

    brothers Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks so much for this info...What are "cup waterers"?
     
  4. realsis

    realsis Crazy for Silkies

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    Cup waterers are a small waterer that the bird can not dip his wattles in while drinking. It allows the bird to drink without the wattles getting wet in the process. Wet wattles contribute to frost bite. When the bird drinks if his wattles are able to fall into the water during the drinking process then they are more likely to freeze being wet. So the OP is suggesting a smaller cup waterer that prevents the wattles from dipping in while drinking. This should help prevent frostebite on the waddles. Also you can try to vasoline the comb and wattles to help the bird.depending on how cold your area is this may help. I agree with above poster that a drinking area provided where he can't dip his wattles in during drinking may be helpful. If you choose to use heat use it very cautiously because many coop fires have started with the use of a heater. Hope this helps and hope I explained the cup waterers . best of luck to you.
     
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  5. brothers

    brothers Out Of The Brooder

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    Here he is...I just put some Vaseline on him.We look at our chickens as livestock and we understand that things happen on farms...Earl is the exception to this for us..We are quite upset and will do anything to lesson the damage.I will he handing a small heater in the coop tonight.
     
  6. ivan3

    ivan3 spurredon Premium Member

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    We switched to a heated pet water bowl (about $20) and covered all but an 1.5" of the dish with an plexiglass remnant. This allowed the chooks to drink/kept our roo's wattles out of the liquid and prevented undo humidity from escaping into coop. We keep an indoor/outdoor thermometer/humidity gauge in coop. Only thing we watch for (from around freezing to around 20° F) is a higher humidity in coop than out of coop. As long as they match up the chances for frostbite lessen considerably. Once the temp drops far enough the moisture carrying capacity of the air drops accordingly and then the temp alone becomes the issue. We rarely make it below -5° F and so have only ran a heating lamp during daylight hours when the wind is intense (only small opening into coop but...). Our first roo lost half his comb owing to a rapid drop in temp and subsequent high winds (was out ranging).

    Actually, fix the water issue (wattles), the tips don't look half bad. If the hens start picking at him - consider a mixture of pine tar & neosporin (a dab of pine tar microwaved for a few seconds - makes it pliable - and mix in a little neosporin after heating). Wear gloves and gently apply light coating to wattles/tips. Our guy was pretty bad off but recovered nicely - if the wattles become swollen or there is any other sign of infection consider a systemic antibiotic.
     
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  7. Wyandottes7

    Wyandottes7 Overrun With Chickens

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    Yes, that unfortunately looks like frostbite. He'll probably lose part of his wattles. In a few weeks, the black parts with slough off. He won't lose all of the damage areas, but he'll lose part of it. The comb doesn't look too bad so far, but he'll lose some of the points on it. When my roosters got frostbite, I put antibiotic ointment on their combs and VetRx. I'm not sure if it helped with anything, but you could try putting some on. The VetRx helps improve circulation, and the antibiotic ointment will aid in preventing any infection.

    Be careful with the space heater. You don't want a space heater with a fan, as it will attract more dust/debris, and might be dangerous (could start a fire). I have my space heater in a small wood and hardware cloth enclosure in the middle of my coop so that the chickens can't touch it and fewer woodshavings will fall against it. It doesn't have a fan, and I haven't had any problems with it. Actually, it doesn't feel that hot-- I can probably touch my hand to it without a problem, so it doesn't pose the greatest fire hazard. Just be careful.
     

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