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frostbite comb question

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Metalace, Jan 21, 2008.

  1. Metalace

    Metalace Out Of The Brooder

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    My roo has/had a frostbitten points on his comb. Well today I was feeding them and I noticed that the black points fell off and under them the points are still there just smaller and white. Will they fall all the way off or will the white points grow back?
     
  2. hinkjc

    hinkjc Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Combs don't grow back in my experience. Once frost bitten, they generally are white first, then turn black and then fall off. On occasion the roo could suffer an infection and die. It is best to put some petroleum based product on the comb to protect them, especially large combed roosters.

    Jody
     
  3. Metalace

    Metalace Out Of The Brooder

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    it already had turned black. now the black fell off and the points that had turned black are still there. Like the frostbite healed up and he didnt lose the points.
     
  4. ZuniBee

    ZuniBee Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You may have gotten lucky. Mine did the same thing and their combs are fine. I massaged vaseline on them right when the black was coming off and got the blood flowing You can barely tell he had the frostbite.
     
  5. MTtroutwithwings

    MTtroutwithwings Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I just discovered the same problem with my some of my pullets, the points, just one or two, on their combs are white, not black but assume frost bite. Should I put vaseline on them now or wait it out or what, please help! [​IMG]
     
  6. SpottedCrow

    SpottedCrow Flock Goddess

    When Slifer got frostbite on her comb and wattles, the tips of her comb turned black and eventually fell off. Her wattles blew up, but she didn't lose any pieces from those.
    Obelisk got a small amount of frostbite on HER comb and that turned white, but DIDn't fall off.
    I think it depends on how long it was before you caught it.
    MT, I'd put the Vaseline on now, it will keep a bloodflow to the combs.
     
  7. ivan3

    ivan3 spurredon Premium Member

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    I'm posting this as a heads up on using vaseline (just an FYI - whatever works, works). A long ago thread on the old board got a bit heated about the utility of various `rubs' to prevent frostbite. We had been using udder ointment and the roo was still developing whitish tips on the comb.

    Someone in the thread observed that high humidity level in the coop in freezing/subfreezing weather was the main culprit. I installed an indoor/outdoor recording weather gauge in the coop. The results led to my getting serious with creating adequate venting of the coop. We have had no further problems with frostbite (just finished up a run of 0° b.s.). Think the tarp windbreaks on west side fencing also help.

    Anyway, I'll put up this link again, but will post quote from the conclusions so you won't have to rummage through the entire study:

    The finns put up with a lot more of this weather than most of us do.

    http://herkules.oulu.fi/isbn9514259882/isbn9514259882.pdf

    "It is probable that one of the main reasons for the increased risk of frostbite, associated
    with the use of protective emollients in the cold, was not their actual, quite small
    lowering effect on the skin temperature, but indirectly their effect on facial thermal
    sensation. White petrolatum gave a skin perception of warmth, leading to a false
    sensation of safety in the cold, without having the presumed protective effect. This skin
    perception, observed both in the questionnaire study (I) and in the experimental cold
    chamber study (IV), forms probably the ground for the traditional habit of using thick
    greasy ointments and may lead to a neglect of efficient preventive and protective
    measures. It is also likely that people with cold-sensitive skin use emollients more often
    than people who have cold-resistant skin.
    It is possible that the increase of water content of skin under occlusive ointments may
    promote freezing.

    The increased risk of local cold injury indicates that the traditional use of protective
    emollients can not be recommended. This data wakes up also questions of the possible
    dangers connected with the application of cosmetic moisturizers on the face when going
    out and exposing the bare facial skin to an actual risk for frostbite."

    When our roo did start to develop this - he got to several nights inside the house in the folding dog cage (prevent refreezing of affected area).

    Anyway, just some info to add to your files.
     
  8. jjthink

    jjthink Overrun With Chickens

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    Hmmmm...wow. Thanks for the info. That does seem to be a vote for not putting anything on the combs in frigid weather...

    And as we know, other opinions say emollients increase beneficial blood flow to the area (not exactly sure how that works)

    I assumed the Vaseline, bagbalm or whatever primarily provided a protective barrier between the cold and the comb, kind of like when a person puts chapstick on.

    The notion that it could cause a bird to not sense the cold and seek shelter as soon as they otherwise would is interesting.....

    Drat. I'd just like to skip the cold altogether!!!
    JJ
     
  9. ivan3

    ivan3 spurredon Premium Member

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    Massage increases bloodflow (while massage continues).

    I think what the Finns observed was a condition that occurs whenever an impermeable substance is placed on skin (moisture produced by skin builds up between substance and the skin). Temp then drops and what amounts to `sweat' freezes on skin and the freezing continues apace.

    Not fond of the weather here, but I'll take a high temp of 10° and no wind to 32° and a fifteen mph wind.. Days are getting longer, right?[​IMG]
     
  10. scgamecock

    scgamecock Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 18, 2008
    Conway SC
    uh oh
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2008

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