frostbite is like a why use vaseline I ponder....

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by SandraChick, Feb 21, 2007.

  1. SandraChick

    SandraChick Songster


    I've never had a chicken with frostbite and I know vaseline is used as a preventative and understand that theory.

    Then at somepoint in the last few days, it dawned on me that frostbite has been described as a type of burn and then my brain goes for a loop and says for burns you shouldn't use things like vaseline to treat it. There is such a thing as burn creame (which I've used on myself and is quite effective).

    Just one of those things that's bugging me and I need to understand....anybody help? I'm one of those gotta know why people!

  2. bigzio

    bigzio Crowing

    Jan 20, 2007
    The thing is to use vaseline before they get frostbite to prevent it. It is a protective layer so moisture from when they exhale from breathing in extreme cold weather can't settle on the comb and waddles. Frostbite is caused by moisture in the air and that is why ventilation in the coop is so important. Leaving fresh air in and moisture out.

  3. TheBigWRanch

    TheBigWRanch Songster

    Feb 12, 2007
    Wenatchee, Washington
    This is an interesting article about frostbite, and vaseline. You'll have to read a ways to get to the part about frostbite.
    know that once a chicken gets frostbite you should never rub the area, it will cause further damage. For an actual burn you should use nothing but 100% Aloe Vera, anything else will hold the heat in and cause further burning.
  4. SandraChick

    SandraChick Songster

    Well Big W ....that was Sooooooooo interesting to me I decided to just post the relevant section....

    The second thing that seems to come up a lot is those frozen combs – or frostbite. Some people mistakenly think that frostbite can only occur on single comb chickens, and even then, only on the roosters. The truth is that although the single comb breeds are more susceptible, any type of comb (or wattle) can freeze, given the right circumstances. The reason most females don’t experience this is because they sleep with their heads buried under their feathers. But a hen that doesn’t follow this practice is just as susceptible to frostbite as any rooster, if she has a larger comb.

    Primarily two things cause frozen combs – drafts and moisture when below freezing temperature conditions exist.

    If you can eliminate the drafts and keep the moisture level down inside of the coop, then you’re halfway there. If the temperature gets low enough though, there isn’t much you can do. But there is one practice that seems to help reduce the damage. Many people believe that if you massage Vaseline into your birds’ combs and wattles, they will not freeze. I ran a study of my own on this last year and found that although Vaseline versus no Vaseline made little difference, what did make a difference was the time I took to massage the Vaseline into the comb. In other words, although I think the Vaseline does work to seal out moisture and drafts – the two main culprits in frostbite – what was actually more important was the activity of massaging the Vaseline in. The longer I massaged it in, the more effective it was. So the conclusion I came to and later confirmed with a Vet was that the most vulnerable combs were those with poor circulation, and by massaging these combs, you can actually increase the blood flow to the area and therefore help keep it warm

    for the full article go to:

  5. Deanw

    Deanw In the Brooder

    Feb 8, 2007
    I'm sure this discussion stemmed from me suggesting that Jill treat her rooster with Vaseline, I heard this remedy from an old timer and unfortunately had to try it once on 5 of my hens and it worked great on all of them. I agree it does sound alittle strange but nevertheless very affective.

    I am anxious to hear how it worked for Jill's rooster.

  6. SandraChick

    SandraChick Songster


    You're one of many people who suggest it....heck...I've heard such good things about it, I've suggested it. I totally understand how it works as a PREVENTATIVE...but I'm at a loss for what's the best thing to do as TREATMENT once frostbite has happened. My braincells want to know!

  7. Deanw

    Deanw In the Brooder

    Feb 8, 2007

    I agree with you it is probably better as a PREVENTATIVE, but it did seem to work as a TREATMENT, but I'm sure there is something out there that would work better. Maybe a basic burn cream?


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