1. chicknewbie326

    chicknewbie326 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 5, 2013
    This is our first winter with our girls. We have decided not to heat our coop but there has been a cold spell the past week. Last night even got to 15 below. We have 6 hens in small coop. Draft free and a small wire window we open during the day for ventilation. We have put straw bales around the exterior of the coop and run for wind blockage and some extra insulation. 3 of our girls...2 Bo's and a leghorn are getting frostbite on their combs. The leghorns frostbite is especially alarming. What can we so for them? Anything? Do we need to heat or just let the frostbite run it's course? I don't want to lose any girls this winter!
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2013
  2. Mei&Popcorn

    Mei&Popcorn Chillin' With My Peeps

  3. BantamLover21

    BantamLover21 Overrun With Chickens

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    How bad is the frostbite (could you post some photos?)? If it is just the tips of the comb/wattles, then it would probably be fine to let it run its course. But if the entire comb is being affected, you need to do something, as you don't want it to become infected. Some ways to prevent frostbite, other than making sure there is enough ventilation, include applying Vaseline/Petroleum jelly to the comb/wattles, providing a heat lamp above the place where the birds roost, or heating the coop. Until you can find a way to help prevent frostbite, I'd temporarily bring the affected birds into a warm house or garage.

    As for treating the frostbite that has already occurred, I'd massage the frostbitten areas. You can also apply some vick's vapor rub or VetRX; both the massaging and the rub/RX will help stimulate blood circulation in the comb. Put some vitamins/electrolytes in the chickens' water to boost their strength, and keep the frostbitten areas clean. If you want, you can put some antibiotic ointment (with no caine/cain ingredients, as those are harmful) on the frostbite to help prevent infection. Black parts of the comb are dead and will fall off, but white, purple, and yellow parts may be able to be saved. The comb will likely scab up, with the dead parts falling away, and the less severely frostbitten areas being left healed.
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2013
    1 person likes this.
  4. schnebbles

    schnebbles Chillin' With My Peeps

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    my d'uccle has some, I'm going to put vicks on it. I am bummed because he's so pretty. It's not even that cold. teens-20's-low 30's.

    could that help save his comb?
     
  5. BantamLover21

    BantamLover21 Overrun With Chickens

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    How bad is the frostbite (what color is it; black, yellow, white, etc.)? Any parts that aren't black/dead have a good chance of eventually healing. Last year, I had two roosters with frostbite. Some parts turned white, yellow, and purple, and others were black. The outside part of the non-black areas scabbed up, but when the scabs fell off, very little of the comb had been lost.
     
  6. schnebbles

    schnebbles Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It's kind of blackish, maybe more dark purple. I'll check the color closer. I keep hoping it might heal. I've kept it protected and I've also kept them in the coop when it's so cold so that probably helps a lot.
     

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