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Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Reinbeau, Dec 1, 2008.

  1. Reinbeau

    Reinbeau The Teapot Underground Premium Member

    There's an article about dubbing in Backyard Poultry. I can't help but equate it to docking puppy tails - is it really necessary? I don't see myself doing it - I've got a Buff Orpington roo who has a gorgeous comb, and I understand in some climates it would be susceptible to frostbite but - that must hurt?? Should I even worry about it here, in zone 6a, southeastern Massachusetts? It gets cold here, sometimes well below freezing for a couple of weeks at a time.....[​IMG]
  2. OHChick

    OHChick Songster

    May 8, 2007
    my NHR roo lost all of the tips off his comb last winter, he splashed water up on it while drinking and then got frostbite. i think the main concern is if they get frostbite, then they could get an infection, etc. my guy survived, but i considered dubbing. but i think nature took most of his off as is. so i am hopeful this winter he'll be better off.

    [​IMG] so i think it's kind of a personal preference
  3. DTchickens

    DTchickens Crowing

    Mar 23, 2008
    Bailey, Mississippi.
    dubbing doesn't hurt a bit, If they did i wouldn't dub all my chickens (their OEGBs so i must for shows otherwise i get DQ'd )
  4. skand

    skand Songster

    Sep 29, 2008
    Odessa, Tx
    If done early, when they are a chick, it wouldn't bother them as much.
    It's mostly done with birds that have huge combs. I'm almost considering it with our leghorn hens, thier combs flop over so badly, sometimes it affects the eating and blocking the depth perception.
    The combs do help with the cooling system, blood flows across, wind cools down the blood. Cooled blood flows back into body.
  5. estpr13

    estpr13 Songster

    May 18, 2008
    Lexington, Ky
    My roos will end up with dark patches of dried blood on their combs and wattles where the have been fighting each other. I think a few have lost some of their points. I'm not going to dub any of mine unless they show signs of bad frostbite and/or I fear infection.

    I think I would wait and see how well your chickens handle the cold and if frostbite is a big problem. If so, then dubbing would be a good preventive. Of course, a heated coop would help too.

    Skand is right about the combs helping the chicken cool down. Chances are a chicken with large combs were bred for hot climates.

    Chanticleers (ms?) were bred in Canada specifically for cold weather and they have a button combs. Brahmas have a small rose comb and feathered legs to help with to cold.

    I would wait and see.
  6. Cuban Longtails

    Cuban Longtails Flock Mistress

    Sep 20, 2007
    Northeast Texas
    Honestly folks, dubbing does not hurt a chicken. Yes there may be some blood, but it does not hurt them. They show no signs of stress when it is being done.

    I would rather dub comb and wattles (ear lobes too if they were too large) than have the chicken suffer the real pain of frostbite and possibly death from the infection it causes.
  7. Just curious how you know it doesn't hurt if it's not happening to you. A body part that contains nerve endings generally can feel pain. That's kind of the point to nerve endings, yes? If they had no feeling in their combs, then why would frostbite be painful?
  8. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Crowing Premium Member

    May 7, 2007
    Forks, Virginia
    I am having issues with removing body parts myself. I don't clip or cut anything on my chickens.

    I have ewes that should lamb Feb/March and I am not anticipating docking lambs tails. [​IMG] So many people say it is for their own good but from what I read it is a matter of being about to see genitalia and their milk bag more than any other reason. What to do?!???!?
  9. Cuban Longtails

    Cuban Longtails Flock Mistress

    Sep 20, 2007
    Northeast Texas
    Quote:Let's see. I go by their reaction to the stiuation. They aren't thrashing around and screaming while the dubbing process is being performed. Once finished, they're up and running around as if nothing happened.

    Now - with frostbite you have swelling, decaying flesh that could potentially burst open on it's own if not drained properly an infection with the potential to turn systemic as well as septic. The afflicted bird is put off from eating or drinking, huddles all alone by itself - all obvious signs of stress.

    [​IMG] You make the call.
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 2, 2008

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