Frostbite Help!!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by tenderkat, Dec 4, 2009.

  1. tenderkat

    tenderkat Chillin' With My Peeps


    We have been having a severe coldsnap for the last several days, and it appears it will last at least for the next week. Temps are averaging in the teens during the day, and dip down to about 10 below or more at night. I have done all I can think of to the coop to keep the cold out, but the temp in there is averaging around 5 degrees or so. I am terrified of putting a heat lamp in the coop, but do temps like these justify the risk of fire?

    I have put vaseline on my girls combs, but I'm pretty sure one of the tips on Doris Mae is frostbitten. Poor girl!! I want to put some more vaseline on all of them, but I'm worried about hurting Doris Mae's already damaged comb. What is the treatment/approach for this?

    Thanks so much!!
  2. Keara

    Keara Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 24, 2009
    If you worry about a heat lamp, just use a regular 60watt bulb instead. Gives off a fair amount of heat, but is nowhere near the fire hazard, or electrical draw, of a heat lamp. I'd put it in a heat lamp base though, 'cuz it's just safer.
  3. tenderkat

    tenderkat Chillin' With My Peeps

    When you suggest a heat lamp base, are you referring to the same ceramic thingy I used for their brooder, woth the reflector shield?
  4. Keara

    Keara Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 24, 2009
  5. tenderkat

    tenderkat Chillin' With My Peeps

    So, I noticed there is another new post regarding frostbite. We are both dealing with subzero temps, and although I have insulated my coop as much as I possibly know how, it's just bitter cold all around. I have done a search on frostbite, but haven't stumbled across anything that addresses treatment. I don't know, perhaps I'm missing something. Posts DO mention how painful it is for the chickens, and that vaseline may or may not help prevent it. But, for those of us who are new to chicken rearing, frostbite can seem kind of scary, and I know I feel horrible that one of my girls may be suffering from it. But, I still have no answers as to how to treat it!! Is this just something minor that the chickens just deal with, and eventually heals itself? Maybe I'm being impatient, but please, if anyone reads this and has any info, please respond! Thankyou so much!!!
  6. Opa

    Opa Opa-wan Chickenobi

    May 11, 2008
    Howell Michigan
    You can apply vaseline or Udder Balm to try and minimize the chances of frostbite but it is not guarantee. I treated a rooster every other day all winter last year and he still got frost bitten even though the temperature in my coop was never below freezing, it was when he would go out into the run that he had problems. His comb and wattles turned black and then fell off resulting in his appearing to have been dubbed. If you'd like you could treat the affected areas with an antibiotic ointment to staved off the chances of infection but it will not prevent the sloughing off of any black or frozen tissue.
  7. Rare Feathers Farm

    Rare Feathers Farm Overrun With Chickens

    Make sure you use acid-free Vaseoline. I insulated my coop and I have one 90 watt regular heat bulb and one 250 watt heat lamp in my 8' w x 16' L coop. I leave the 90 watt on all of the time and the heat lamp is plugged into a thermocube. So far, the coldest it's gotten IN the coop was 28 degrees, Wednesday night (it was 14 outside).

    Also, I thought I'd add that I'd give them some electrolytes in their water...just also make sure there is plenty of ventilation and no drafts in there...some of the larger combs are hard to deal with in colder climates. I resisted getting anything with huge combs for a while...but eventually gave in. The Sussex have the 90w lamp on them (they are youngest and just came from FL) but I may end up with another lamp on the Spanish...they are my biggest worry right now.
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 4, 2009
  8. tenderkat

    tenderkat Chillin' With My Peeps

    Well, I'm pretty sure I was freaking out yesterday, and I'm not sure what I thought I saw on Doris Mae's comb, but everything appears perfectly fine today. I think the cold temps are making me delirious!! Thanks for everyone's input, it sure is nice to know what to do when and if frostbite ever does occur!!
  9. Eggcellent

    Eggcellent Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 30, 2009
    Michigan's Thumb
    I am just a newbie chicken keeper, but I have read a lot about winter chickens... From what I understand, temp is not as big of a concern as is humidity. Chickens apparently can handle some pretty wicked temperatures if they are in a dry wind-free coop. How is your ventilation and humidity level in the coop? Does it smell funky in the coop when you go inside? Any frost or condensation anywhere? I would make sure your humidity is good as well. Chickens can get frostbite even right around the freezing point if there is high humidity.

    It's been only dipping down to the teens here but all my chickens still look good. Best wishes to you and keeping your chickens warm this winter!
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2009
  10. txchickie

    txchickie Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 15, 2008
    My rooster appears to have frostbite on his comb. We had cold, cold, cold temps here the past few days (as low as 3 deg. farenheit) along with strong winds, snow, ice, has warmed up today and I noticed his comb appears bruised and purple [​IMG] They're in an insulated, well ventilated, draft free coop, I'm not sure how it happened. My bantam roosters that roost in the trees at night appear to have no signs of frostbite, I don't get it. [​IMG]

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