Frostbite?

BabyAndPoki

Chirping
Mar 28, 2019
49
114
89
Arkdale, Wisconsin
FD952BFD-1DCB-43F8-A618-CBB748538AF2.jpeg

Yesterday he was totally fine but the temperature was below zero most of the day/night yesterday too. He doesn’t seem to be in any pain and I can still see some red under the purple (if that makes sense) What should I do? I’ve never dealt with frostbite this severe before. He’s also a Batam so what should I do to prevent this from happening to my 3 other bantams?
 

Eggcessive

Enabler
Premium member
9 Years
Apr 3, 2011
50,699
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southern Ohio
Yes, that is frostbite. Do not massage the comb—it is painful and that may cause more damage. It may take a week or more to know if it is bad or may heal. This is common, and usually nothing will treat it or prevent it. Some use vaseline to prevent, but it actually can freeze, making it worse. If he can be brought inside, Vetericyn, Theracyn or a similar wound spray can be used, but otherwise I would not use anything on it. If it blisters or weeps, bring him in and treat that. It may eventually round off the tips of his comb, but that doesn’t look as serious as some. It actually may heal with little damage. Here is a good article about frostbite:
 

BabyAndPoki

Chirping
Mar 28, 2019
49
114
89
Arkdale, Wisconsin
Yes, that is frostbite. Do not massage the comb—it is painful and that may cause more damage. It may take a week or more to know if it is bad or may heal. This is common, and usually nothing will treat it or prevent it. Some use vaseline to prevent, but it actually can freeze, making it worse. If he can be brought inside, Vetericyn, Theracyn or a similar wound spray can be used, but otherwise I would not use anything on it. If it blisters or weeps, bring him in and treat that. It may eventually round off the tips of his comb, but that doesn’t look as serious as some. It actually may heal with little damage. Here is a good article about frostbite:
Thank you so much!! I’ve been taking him inside to heat up a bit and to spray his comb with Vetricyn. I’ve noticed that Vaseline makes things worse cause our winters are very bitter :(
 

gtaus

Crowing
Mar 29, 2019
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View attachment 2026927
Yesterday he was totally fine but the temperature was below zero most of the day/night yesterday too. He doesn’t seem to be in any pain and I can still see some red under the purple (if that makes sense) What should I do? I’ve never dealt with frostbite this severe before. He’s also a Batam so what should I do to prevent this from happening to my 3 other bantams?
Yes, that looks like frostbite to me. It does not look all that severe. I live in northern Minnesota, and I noticed some frostbite on combs last week. We had a few nights at -23F and I think it takes a toll on the birds. Anyway, they look better this week.

I did not do anything as far as frostbite treatment for my birds. I got 10 different breeds in my small flock of 10 chickens. They all have different size and type combs. Part of my experiment this winter was to see which breeds are best able to handle our Minnesota winter in an unheated coop. So far, they are all doing good, but I do wonder if the chickens with larger combs will make it through the winter with their combs intact, and/or if their combs recover after a frostbite.

I have heard of using vaseline on their combs, but that is not for me. If I find a breed of chicken is prone to damaging frostbite on their comb, then I will eliminate that breed from my flock. There are just too many other breeds that will do just fine, even in our Minnesota winters.
 

hayley3

Crowing
12 Years
Aug 16, 2007
982
897
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Southern Indiana
View attachment 2026927
Yesterday he was totally fine but the temperature was below zero most of the day/night yesterday too. He doesn’t seem to be in any pain and I can still see some red under the purple (if that makes sense) What should I do? I’ve never dealt with frostbite this severe before. He’s also a Batam so what should I do to prevent this from happening to my 3 other bantams?
He's a beautiful bird...and great pic you took of him! Hope it warms up a little for your birds...We just had some very cold weather but it has warmed up since.
 

gtaus

Crowing
Mar 29, 2019
1,760
5,787
387
Northern Minnesota
My Coop
My Coop
Interesting, and informative, article on frostbite. Lots of good info, but I think it was geared more to the chicken owner who keeps the chickens as pets. If you raise your chickens as livestock, some of the ideas in that article would not make any sense. For example, the article recommends you take your chicken to the vet if it gets frostbite. Really? I can buy 20 healthy chicks for the price of one visit to our local vet - who know nothing about chickens anyway. I enjoy my small backyard flock, but I guess I treat them more as livestock then pets and I need to keep the cost of owning them down to a reasonable amount. it's more important to me to figure out which breeds thrive the best in our cold winters and go with them. But, I imagine if chickens are your pets, then cost of ownership is not much of a consideration.
 

BabyAndPoki

Chirping
Mar 28, 2019
49
114
89
Arkdale, Wisconsin
He's a beautiful bird...and great pic you took of him! Hope it warms up a little for your birds...We just had some very cold weather but it has warmed up since.
Thank you so much! He’s so handsome lol yesterday it got up to 53° and today it’s going to be warm too so he’s improved greatly!! There’s still some purple but it’s no where near as bad as that picture :)
 

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