Frostbit comb amd wattles - comb in "weird" place

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by pbjmaker, Jan 1, 2010.

  1. pbjmaker

    pbjmaker Overrun With Chickens

    May 9, 2008
    Central Iowa
    Tank is having all sorts of issues with the weather. His comb is frostbitten as are his wattles where they get wet when he drinks and then they freeze. My questions are: Should I watch for any kind of infection? I realize the black spots will most likely fall off.

    And he has a frost bitten spot right in the middle of his comb - will that just create a hole through his comb?

    He is looking pretty ratty - lowest man on the totem pole and gets picked on a lot. There is something just unco-ordinated and clutzy about him that the three other roosters don't like.


    Tank - you can barely make out the spot in the middle of his comb:

    [​IMG]

    Squatting in the snow - he does this often:

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Hennyhandler

    Hennyhandler SilkieJax

    Jun 10, 2009
    Cullman
    i don't have much experience with frostbite but I would watch it just in case. Can't be too careful. Does he have a place to stay out of the cold outside? Would it be possible to bring him into the house instead? I've heard that putting vaseline on their combs and wattles can help prevent frostbite but i've never had to use it so i don't know how that works. I hope he gets better. I don't know if any of this will help you but I hope it does. good luck!
     
  3. Hennyhandler

    Hennyhandler SilkieJax

    Jun 10, 2009
    Cullman
    Please let me know how it goes. I wonder how that will work with that spot on his comb. I now worry about the poor thing. [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2010
  4. pbjmaker

    pbjmaker Overrun With Chickens

    May 9, 2008
    Central Iowa
    He has the coop - this is his second winter but he was younger last year and his comb wasn't so big. I think I have my hubby convinced to build him his own digs for him and his ladies this spring. Actually come to think of it - he wasn't outside at all until like last February. He hatched Dec. 21st last year.

    Maybe if he does form a hole there I can put one of those "guages" the young kids like to wear in it and he can be ultra cool - then the other roos will like him.

    Two of the roos are summer babies and have new homes lined up so it will be back to just him and the alpha roo soon.

    I have heard mixed reviews on the vaseline - someone posted a convincing article last year on why it doesn't work. So I don't do it.
     
  5. ivan3

    ivan3 spurredon Premium Member

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    BOCOMO
    The tips will fall off and, with a bit of intervention, he'll be fine.

    This is our guy. Three years ago he and his flock went free ranging on a warm Dec. morning (about 70°), by 4pm it was 19° with a 25-35mph Northwest wind. He lost all the tips. We applied a mixture of pine tar mixed with neosporin to his comb (mix in a disposable med cup with a couple of toothpicks - nasty stuff to work with - warm a few seconds in microwave to melt pine tar just enough to mix easily and not stick to picks). We applied with a plastic spatula to comb and worked in with gloved fingers (don't use so much that it melts and gets into eyes). Pine tar, besides having serious antibiotic properties also tastes terrible, I'm betting the area on your roo's comb is actually a scabbed over/frozen pecking wound; hens peck at roo's combs now and again anyway, in the cold the comb has much less elasticity and an innocent nip can draw blood and they love blood. Pine tar is not tasty blood, but a substance so disgusting that it warrants a lot of beak scraping on the ground to clear it away.

    The Finns did a pretty comprehensive study on the use of emollients in humans. The conclusion was that they might make one feel protected and so stay out in the cold longer increasing the risk of frostbite. On the whole they did little to prevent it at temps well below freezing. That said, the roo will appreciate some time indoors having his comb massaged (will probably nap on your lap).

    http://herkules.oulu.fi/isbn9514259882/html/x2383.html

    The best one can do to decrease the chances of a really bad case is to keep them out of bad wind chill conditions (we have tarps over W/NW run fencing) and do what is possible (good venting) to keep the relative humidity inside the coop matching that of the outside air (if the coop is unheated - below freezing).

    None the worse for wear:
    [​IMG]

    Ed: forgot to mention: If one is using a heated dog watering bowl, cover with a plastic lid of some sort and wt. it down (don't want it kicked off) keep the bowl full and leave just enough room so the roo, in particular, can drink without immersing his wattles in the water (will also freeze). During our first winter with these guys I learned the hard way, the roo thought the heated waterer was a hot tub and I found him lounging away in it when I opened the coop!
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2010
  6. Lady_Cluck

    Lady_Cluck Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 17, 2009
    Northern Illinois
    This Phoenix rooster has been through 10 midwestern winters (including this one, which is turning out to be a doozy). All of his comb tips have frozen and fallen off, but year after year, he acts none worse for the wear. I never noticed any infection or treated him with anything.

    As long as Tank is in a well ventilated barn and out of the wind chill, he should be fine. (BTW, I love the name Tank!)

    [​IMG]
     
  7. ivan3

    ivan3 spurredon Premium Member

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    Lady_Cluck wrote: This Phoenix rooster has been through 10 midwestern winters (including this one, which is turning out to be a doozy). All of his comb tips have frozen and fallen off, but year after year, he acts none worse for the wear. I never noticed any infection or treated him with anything.

    Ours will be 5 next month, hope he's looking as good as your Phoenix 5 years on!

    The frostbite on the tips isn't as concerning as the penchant for the hens to go after a bleeding, half-frozen comb. Or the potential for wattles being frostbit (gets above freezing and injured wattles get in a lot of dirty places).

    ed:sp​
     
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2010
  8. pbjmaker

    pbjmaker Overrun With Chickens

    May 9, 2008
    Central Iowa
    Ivan - that is the study I was thinking of from last year. I might try a massage but the big guy HATES my guts. We do have an understanding though and he only tries to flog me on occasion otherwise I will sick the alpha roo on him and he knows it.

    See this link [​IMG]

    http://s350.photobucket.com/albums/q438/pbjmaker/?action=view&current=DSCN1337.flv

    Unfortunately his wattles are already frozen. I don't use a heated bowl but just switch out/refill the bowl several times a day. I quit putting the bowl in the coop because they are tipping it over. The coop is unheated but does have a light for egg production. It is pretty draft free and they tend to stay inside it on their own when the windchill is bad. Other than that they free range my city yard.
    I am working on making a space in the basement where I can bring him in if needed. I don't want him in here long term by any means.

    They were outside yesterday because it is the first time in weeks there was sunshine. I think they were just trying to remember what it was.
     
  9. ivan3

    ivan3 spurredon Premium Member

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    I wouldn't bring him in for any longer than it takes to rub in the ointment (just grab that bad boy up and apply plain neosporin to his comb and, particularly his wattles, will take a few minutes to become pliable) he's acclimated and if he has no other problems I'd leave him out. If you notice the girls hitting the comb or wattles then use either Blu-Kote or pine tar (we had the tar handy owing to our then sparring jake turkeys). Treat him daily.

    Our guy is no social butterfly either, but once he calms down he's pretty docile (know he ain't goin' anywhere quick). If he gives you too hard a time wrap him in a towel (our guy trances-out when his comb's being worked on kinda like rubbing the belly of a Horned Toad).

    By the way (re:vid) Mean Silkies, who'd have guessed [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2010
  10. pbjmaker

    pbjmaker Overrun With Chickens

    May 9, 2008
    Central Iowa
    Oh April isn't mean to anyone but Tank - and the cats. He is as docile as they come to people, likes to follow me around giving me a daily report.

    I will try the neosporin tomorrow - Tank is pretty easy to catch with all the snow drifts he has nowhere to run but the area we plowed for them. When I catch him as long as I tuck him by my body with his face away from me we do OK (until I put him down)
     

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