frostbite blisters?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by pipthepeep, Dec 17, 2010.

  1. pipthepeep

    pipthepeep Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 19, 2010
    this is my first winter with chickens, and, for the last few days, or temps have been below/barely reaching 30 during the day, and between 14 and 19 at night-- fairly cold for NJ. My one roo has a small area of one of his comb peaks turning black (I know that is frostbite), but my other roo started with what looked like a tiny little blister and has progressed to this (notice the big yellow blister towards the back...it is filled with puss). this roo is my baby so I started putting vaseline and 3x oint on the tips of his comb every other day as soon as I noticed the first little blister...I am assuming this is frostbite. three questions: 1) is this frostbite or something else? and 2) is this more mild or more severe frostbite than when the area turns black? annnnnd 3) any thoughts on whether vaseline or bag balm or similar product works? some people say it is actually harmful so I just want to be sure I am not making things worse....

    Thanks!



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  2. chicks4kids

    chicks4kids Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 22, 2009
    Northern Indiana
    I'm not much help when it comes to this knock on wood. But yes, he does have frostbite and I've read on here before that people use vaseline as well as neosporin. You want to make sure he is out of any drafts in the winter time. I hope someone will chime in with experience on this, but it sounds like you're doing just what you need to be doing.
     
  3. pipthepeep

    pipthepeep Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 19, 2010
    thanks for the response...makes me feel a bit better. I have heard frostbite also may be brought on by moisture in their coop/ lack of ventilation. but i'm thinking that a week of temps in the teens at night is pretty chilly for roos with such big combs and waddles...so maybe if i am getting minor frostbite, it can be expected in a small coop with insulation but no heat source and only 2 birds? would you classify this as minor frostbite?
     
  4. chicks4kids

    chicks4kids Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 22, 2009
    Northern Indiana
    It looks pretty minor to me. Humidity and cold temps can definitely cause frostbite. From what I've read on here, it's pretty near impossible with cold temps like you're getting NOT to get some degree of frostbite on your chickens. There are alot of threads on here about it...you should do a search (upper right hand corner). Maybe you'd be able to find some useful information in past threads.

    Good luck!!
     
  5. CMV

    CMV Flock Mistress

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    Apr 15, 2009
    That is a very mild case of frostbite. Vaseline will prevent frostbite if it is applied regularly. Your humidity is too high if your birds are getting it. Cold temps does not necessarily equal frostbite. Cold temps with high humidity does.

    Good luck.
     
  6. pipthepeep

    pipthepeep Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 19, 2010
    Thanks:) in that case I will keep applying the vasoline since it seems to be minimizing the damage, and will work on figuring out the humidity issue. The frostbite didn't start happening till the temp dropped below 20, and I know leghorn roos are notorious for their tendency to get frostbite...so we will see what happens I guess. I hadn't come across anything on yellow blistery frostbite in my BYC searching, so just wanted to make sure it was nothing more serious:)
     
  7. MamaChic21

    MamaChic21 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 2, 2010
    Jackson, NJ
    If that light colored comb is a frostbite, a minor one, then what do my rooster have on hic comb with dark purple areas ? They're currently in a shed that is 7x7 with 2 big heat lights and the their door is open just enought for them to go out to the run. Here in NJ it does get to be very dry cold.
     
  8. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    Frostbite starts out light colored and turns black if the tissue gets necrotic (dies.)

    Correct that the cause is usually humidity in the coop; the birds put out a lot of humidity, so does their water, esp. if heated to prevent freezing. The solution is ventilation, high up, so the warmer humid air can go out. They should ot be getting frostbite in 17 degree weather, unless it has something to do with only having two chickens, I don't know about that. It got below 17 here last week, with wind chills in single digits; no frostbite here; this is the south so my coop is fairly open air.
     
  9. pipthepeep

    pipthepeep Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 19, 2010
    Although temps have been warmer and I increased the ventilation, the yellow frostbite on my one roo seems to be getting progressively worse. The whiteish-yellow point seen in the picture I posted is now swollen and looks to be puss-filled. I have been putting neosporin on the yellow areas. My other roo (the one I never put any vaseline on) still has hardly any sign of frostbite except for one tiny black area on the top of one of his comb points, and his frostbite definitely is not progressing even though they share a coop....what is going on?! Is there a chance that it is not frostbite, but something else?
     
  10. chicks4kids

    chicks4kids Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 22, 2009
    Northern Indiana
    You're not mistaking extra ventilation for a drafty spot are you? Drafts could easily cause frostbite in his comb. I think you're right on with it being frostbite and nothing else. This is my second winter with chickens and I don't put anything on their combs. I figure if they're supposed to lose it they will. This may just be something that is going to happen to the tips no matter what you do. I don't really know what else you could do for him.
     

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