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Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by kaddidle, Dec 2, 2010.

  1. kaddidle

    kaddidle Songster

    Mar 23, 2010
    What does frostbite look like?

    I have two hens, a Production Red and a White Rock. Both are pets kept for eggs. They have a nice coop, well insulated on four sides, and they choose to sleep on top of it. It's inside of a larger shelter with a roof and three sides.

    We live in Alabama. It's been dipping below freezing this week, but not far below.

    My red hen has a larger comb and I think it's starting to look black in some spots. Is this frostbite? What should I do?

  2. Imp

    Imp All things share the same breath- Chief Seattle

    Can you post a picture? It may not be frostbite. Spots almost sound like fowl pox.

    I would expect that frostbite would start as a reddened swelling, followed by the tissue dying and turning black. Most likely to happen to a chickens comb, wattles, and toes. I believe the comb would start at the tips and work it's way down.

    Good luck,

  3. mulewagon

    mulewagon Songster

    Nov 13, 2010
    Are they pecking each other? It could be scabs.
  4. Ohhhdear

    Ohhhdear Songster

    Aug 15, 2010
    West Michigan
    I've read that if you rub petroleum jelly into combs and wattles it helps prevent frostbite. My mom used to rub my little hands with Vaseline before putting on our mittens. Since they didn't get wet due to the Vaseline, they didn't chap or frostbite.

    Little black spots are tiny scabs from chickens pecking each other's combs and wattles.
  5. BeardedLadyFarm

    BeardedLadyFarm Songster

    May 31, 2009
    Cobleskill NY
    You shouldn't be seeing frostbite this early. If you're in the low 30's or upper 20's they should still be okay. You might expect it on roosters, or floppy combed breeds, but not yours, not yet.

    My straight combed birds insisted on sleep outside the coop almost all winter in PA, and we got much colder than you are now. I saw only a touch of frostbite on my leghorn, and none on the other straight comb pullets.

    Frostbite always starts on the tips of the comb, so if it's somewhere else, look for other issues.

    Post some photos, but I would suspect fowl pox or some physical trauma to the comb (which happens pretty often in a flock)
  6. Mogli

    Mogli Songster

    i live in PA too and its 25 degrees now here thats not a problem for them there feet are alittle pink is that totaly normal?[​IMG]

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