Frostbite in Chickens

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by MathildaMcThunderthigh, Jan 22, 2019.

  1. MathildaMcThunderthigh

    MathildaMcThunderthigh Hatching

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    Jan 22, 2019
    I have a small backyard flock of ten chickens (2 Buff Orpingtons, a Mille Flur d'uncle bantam, a porcelain d'uncle bantam, 2 barred rocks, a white crested black polish bantam, a white cochin, a speckeld sussex, and a lavender orpington) For the last few days there has been sub-zero temperatures here in Michigan and yesterday I noticed that one of my Buffys had a little bit of frostbite on the very top of her comb:barnie I decided to wait to see what would happen overnight and found today that it had worsened. I currently have her, my other buffy and the 2 d'uncles (they seemed really cold) inside in hopes to warm them up and help the frostbite. Any tips on what my next step should be? JPEG_20190122_170138_1487884875744092952.jpg JPEG_20190122_170247_3790845811250541682.jpg JPEG_20190122_171147_6098957639674589330.jpg
     
  2. Place a warm, moist cloth on the crest and gently wipe; it looks like the others started pecking her comb; make sure to clean it well. Good luck!
     
  3. sawilliams

    sawilliams Songster

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    Frostbite won't heal but that's not to bad and may just be surface. Watch for infection. Do you have an inclosed coop? Make sure it's clean and dry, and also well ventilated but no draft on the roosts. Most often frostbite is caused by moisture in the air so increasing venting in the coop may help keep things dryer. Also I believe you can put petroleum jelly on their comps to help reduce the occurrence of frostbite, but don't quote me on that one.
     
  4. Kessel23

    Kessel23 Free Ranging

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    I never do anything to treat comb frostbite because if I save their comb I will end up retreating it the following year or even later that winter. I just let the damaged tips fall off and the comb will heal. Then they will have comb size that is manageable for them next year. The whole process can be done without human assistance in most cases. Here are some roosters that have had frostbite.
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    This cockerel is at the end of his first winter in this picture. His comb's tips have already gotten frostbite, fallen off, and healed. He has not gotten any comb frostbite yet this winter.
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    Here is a mature rooster, 4 when this was taken, 5 now. His comb got frostbite and the tips fell off, he has not gotten frostbite on his comb since.
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    Here is a black australorp cockerel, his comb had the most horrible frostbite I have seen on a chicken's comb. He lost more than just the tips. In this picture the dead flesh that used to be his comb just fell off, you can see the skin up top is a pale white still.

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    Here is another cockerel going through his first winter. His dad is the RIR up above. You can already see the parts of his comb that will not make it through the winter with him.

    I have never worried about comb frostbite. Usually the flesh just dies, hardens, then falls off and then it's over. I guess there is always a chance of infection so that's something to watch for. I only see it in my roosters with massive combs here. Never had problems with the hens, as you can see by the leghorns who have already made it through their first winter and the RIR who is on her 5th.
     
  5. MathildaMcThunderthigh

    MathildaMcThunderthigh Hatching

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    Jan 22, 2019
    Thanks! I will do that right now!
     
  6. MathildaMcThunderthigh

    MathildaMcThunderthigh Hatching

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    Jan 22, 2019
    Thanks I didn't know that! My coop is inclosed but there are small openings that won't let moisture build up. The coop was just cleaned yesterday when I fould it but I will make sure to keep an eye out for infection. Thanks for the help!
     
  7. MathildaMcThunderthigh

    MathildaMcThunderthigh Hatching

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    Jan 22, 2019
    Huh I didn't know that it would grow back, thats super good to know! I am going to watch for infection and try to clean it. Thank you so much for giving me peace of mind about it not healing!
    Btw, you have gorgeous chickens!
     
    Kessel23 likes this.
  8. Kessel23

    Kessel23 Free Ranging

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    It doesn't grow back, I must of worded that poorly. I mean it grows over and heals. She will lose that little tip but her comb will heal over and she will be fine.
     
  9. MathildaMcThunderthigh

    MathildaMcThunderthigh Hatching

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    Jan 22, 2019
    Oh ok! Thanks for the clarification, I think I just interpreted it wrong
     
    Kessel23 likes this.
  10. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Crossing the Road

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    Can you post some photos of your coop?
    The frostbite does not look that bad, somebody probably pulled at the comb is why it's scabbed.
    I would leave the comb alone.
     

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