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Frostbite/Winter care help..

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by GirlieChick, Dec 27, 2010.

  1. GirlieChick

    GirlieChick In the Brooder

    Apr 30, 2010
    I think a couple of my chickens have frostbite but I want to make sure before I treat them. The points on their combs turn white but on warm days it goes back to normal. On my rooster, the front of his wattle is all black. I would like to know how to prevent this and treat the already blackened wattles. I would also like some winter care tips if anyone has any. Please and thank you!

  2. tammye

    tammye Songster

    Mar 22, 2010
    you can put some utter butter or vasaline on the combs to help protect them from frost bite. Also, you must have some air flow in your coop, no drafts, but you don't want the coop to be air tight, just like our homes, an air thght home can be dangerous. I put about 6 ' of pine shavings on the floor and a bail of hay for them to kick through. I do use a heap lamp, 250 watts red bulb when the temps get below freezing. Many people say heating is bad, but I don't see whats wrong with raising the coop temp from -10 degrees to 2 degrees , boy it is still super cold in there, also, you will need a heated bowl for water-worth the money and cracked corn for treats, helps them to produce body heat.
  3. janinepeters

    janinepeters Songster

    Jun 9, 2009
    The blackened tissue is frost bite, and it is probably painful. It is definitely stressful and has been associated with reduced fertility. The whitened tissue at the tips is just cold, not quite frostbite. It might be uncomfortable, but to my knowledge it doesn't seem to stress them much, if at all.

    If you are in a cold climate and do not provide heat in your coop, you should seriously consider limiting your choices to breeds with low, thick combs that are known for cold hardiness, the next time you get chicks. The low thick combs have much less surface area exposed to the cold and do not tend to suffer frost bite. Or, just be sure none of your roosters have large single combs. Their combs are much bigger than hens' combs, and therefore more susceptible to frost bite. I have 2 barred rock hens which have small single combs. My rooster and all the other hens have pea or rose combs. No frostbite, and I don't provide heat.

    I wouldn't say heating is bad, but it might cause some problems. I know it's been debated a lot here. Right now, you have the birds that you have, and would probably be better off providing heat if you can, if you are already seeing frostbite.

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