Frostbite help please

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by MrsJWells, Dec 13, 2009.

  1. MrsJWells

    MrsJWells Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 28, 2009
    We are in Nebraska, last week we were in blizzard conditions, one of the girls got left outside. [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG] We found her after she had been out for 24 hours in well below freezing temps, windchill - 20 . [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG] We brought her in the house, warmed her up in a towel, she slept peacefully in our arms for about an hour or so and then got restless, we put her in a big rubbermaid tub and she ate and ate and ate, drank water and then was busting out. She wanted to go and be with her flock mates. The coop is small but heated with a heat lamp. She is acting fine but her comb and wattles are very ugly. [​IMG] When we brought her in her comb was frozen solid. As she began to warm up her pretty deep red comb was more puprle. Today it is very swollen and whiteish and just ugly looking. She is acting fine. She is eating fine. Drinking fine. She is a White Leghorn. I don't know what to do for her. She does not act like it hurts but it looks like it should hurt.

    It is not black like I keep reading frostbite should be. Please share your knowledge with me.

    Thank you,
  2. Miss Sebright

    Miss Sebright Little Hen.....Big Attitude!

    Apr 3, 2009
    In a nutshell
    I don't know, but it'd be nice to know. I have a similar problem, but not as sevier.
  3. snowydiamonds

    snowydiamonds Chillin' With My Peeps

    You usually will not see the black right off, first is frostbite, then as the tissue warms its white, red, black and then all black or brown and black...then falls off.
  4. Miss Sebright

    Miss Sebright Little Hen.....Big Attitude!

    Apr 3, 2009
    In a nutshell
    [​IMG] It doesn't hurt them terribly, does it?
  5. chicknjane

    chicknjane Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 2, 2009
    Pine Grove, PA
    I remember reading somewhere to put vaseline on it or neosporin if it seems infected. Some people suggest dubbing in cases of severe frostbite.

    Please search the forums there are a few good thread on dealing with frost bite. I've only read about it and haven't had to deal with this yet. I hope you get a more experienced response. Good luck. I hope your little one doesn't suffer from it.

  6. snowydiamonds

    snowydiamonds Chillin' With My Peeps

    I don't know if it hurts chickens or not, I do know it hurts humans a lot! I dubbed my BO roo a year ago Dec 20th because he had very small parts of frostbite beginning on very large comb and wattles. The next time I had frostbite occur was last Spring, our very last ground storm which is when we have severe cold and added high winds that make the windchill factor dangerous. That night my young EE cockerel I wanted for a main EE rooster was on the night perch, on the end and the wind blew a part of the foam insulation out so he got the brunt of the wind on his feet. He lost all toes on one foot and had stubs for toes on the other foot in the end. First thing the next morning I went out, found his feet doubled in size, brought him inside the house and kept him inside the house for three months to recouperate. His toes turned black and fell off. He and I developed a close relationship while he was inside the house in a dog cage. He spent all summer hopping around and happy, healed but toeless on one foot and stubs on the other. I made sure prior to this winter that he would live in the warmest coop and re-insulated my biggest coop that he was harmed in, then restocked that big coop full of Buff Orpington's and their chicks so that coop is nice and warm this winter from all the body heat but has a tiny bit of ventilation for good health, not dangerous to their health. Last year, I used electric heaters when this happened. This year, I am only using two heat lamps for their water container and the coop along with the birds are very warm and happy while its been very cold outside. I'm sorry I didn't post more above, but my computer kept closing on me, saying it encountered a serious error and had to close, very irritating, especially since that little message also included: I hope you weren't in the middle of something serious...or words to that effect:(
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2009
  7. PandoraTaylor

    PandoraTaylor RT Poultry n Things

    Jun 29, 2009
    My only frostbite Experience was human feet. a teenager I know was running through snow at -45 without shoes! That was a bad case...But we managed to save his feet and toes. He was not real happy about it at the time it was happening though. It hurt terrible to thaw them out. Even Cold water felt like it was burning him.
  8. snowydiamonds

    snowydiamonds Chillin' With My Peeps

    (Posting pic separately in case the computer closes on me again!)
    Dubbed BO roo after healed:
    My EE roo after healing from losing his toes, he has never attempted to mate hens since losing his toes:
  9. Mrs MIA

    Mrs MIA Chick Magnet

    Mar 3, 2008
    I've had several birds that had their combs turn black, or swollen wattles... and now they're fine.
    Keep an eye on your girl, watch for blisters or signs that an infection has set in. Keep her from getting that cold again until she heals. I don't know if chickens are like humans in this respect, but I know I got frostnipped on one cheek and ever since then it's been the first spot to start hurting when I'm out in the cold again. So keep her from the extreme cold for the time being. She may lose some tips (will dry up and fall off just like a scab), but I think you'll be surprised to find that she heals just fine.
  10. Natural Chicken

    Natural Chicken Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 3, 2009
    Eastern Washington
    MrsJWells...I have been having frostbite issues with my NH x Buff Orpingotn roo--black tips on the comb, grayish white wattles. I don't think it is a serious as yours (no swelling), but it is definitely a concern. We have a fully insulated coop with a heat lamp, but we allow our chickens to free range, and they seem to enjoy going out no matter what the thermometer says. We have had an unseasonably, bitter cold winter so far (I keep praying that it will warm up enough to snow!), and these are our first chickens, so we really didn't know what to expect, but we did choose breeds that are supposed to be "cold hardy". [​IMG] I've tried petroleum jelly on the affected areas as recommended, but unfortunately our roo drags his wattles through the water when he drinks, so it's kind of an uphill battle. I am saddened and frustrated by the situation, but he appears to be fine--just not as handsome as he was before the frostbite. [​IMG]

    snowydiamonds...your BO roo is still quite handsome even though he has been dubbed. It appears to be a moderate dubbing--not as extreme as the dubbing I've seen in other pictures. I hope our roo will heal up completely, but if not, moderate dubbing might be necessary. Did you do the dubbing yourself, or did a vet do it? I need to start checking to see if we have an avian vet in our area, because I'm pretty sure there's no way I'll be brave enough to attempt dubbing. BTW...your little EE roo is quite a handsome guy as well! [​IMG]

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by