frostbitten heads on chicks

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by chickenannie, Dec 5, 2008.

  1. chickenannie

    chickenannie Chillin' With My Peeps

    3,156
    21
    231
    Nov 19, 2007
    Pennsylvania
    I awoke this morning to a terrible sight. The heads of 3 of my two-month-old chicks were purple and blotchy and one was completely blind. The other 2 just half their head was purplish, and blind on that one side. The blind one was walking into walls and buildings head on so I am sure it was totally blind.

    At first I thought it was a disease or a fungus or something, but now I think it was frostbite. anyone heard of this?

    last night was about 28 degrees. The chicks are too big to be buried under their momma's feathers at night, so they leave their heads stick out. They don't put their head under their wing like adult chickens do to stay warm. Tonight, they look much better, all eyes are open and seeing, the purple has receded except around beaks and lower part of their head. (It was warmish today, up to 45).

    None of my other chickens have anything similar, and I believe it was frostbite and maybe their eyelids were stuck shut.

    I will bring them inside the house tonight, but wanted to share this dangerous situation and find out if anyone else has ever experienced this. They were born in October and they may be just too young to handle cold weather.
     
  2. WriterofWords

    WriterofWords Has Fainting Chickens

    13,212
    26
    313
    Dec 25, 2007
    Chaparral, New Mexico
    I haven't and I hope I never do have that happen! I'm glad they are somewhat recovering, good thing you are taking them in tonight.
     
  3. snowydiamonds

    snowydiamonds Chillin' With My Peeps

    My Goodness! I'd make a spot inside for them and then begin looking at how a heat lamp could be run to the coop for them! I felt so badly when I tried to keep my Silkies out in the coop w/their surrogate hen/mothers and lost most in the eggs and one after their first trip out of the nesting box when it froze, I revived the other but had to tape its feet for quite awhile- we learn from our mistakes!

    I've got my four Silkie chicks from Tori inside along w/the EE chicks inside and just separated them into two cages so they'd have more room to exercise and stay cleaner. Just the opposite of trying to integrate a flock, so they've been calling to each other even though they are side by side.

    The EE's want to fly and hop, perch and the Silkies don't so they wouldn't know of course, they were becoming unhappy w/each other. The silkies are taking it easier than the EE's who are a bit younger and spunkier. The EE chicks are just now perching and can see the Silkies from their perch. I'll be posting pics tonight...

    I sincerely hope yours recouperate and stay healthy!
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2008
  4. chickenchickenbulkbulk

    chickenchickenbulkbulk Chillin' With My Peeps

    415
    0
    129
    Jul 9, 2008
    OHIO
    mY GOODNESS, i AM SO SORRY. I have my chicks with there mommy in a cage with a heat lamp in the cage. That is what I was afraid that would happen. I have close to 40 more chicks in the house. I am to afraid to let them out even with a heat lamp..especially with out a momma to help keep them warm. Did yours have a momma with them? My blue cochin got his comb frost bit. He won't roost, he sleeps by the door..the frost got his comb!! It is looking better, but he will not sleep away from the door. This winter has been so cold, hasn't it. I feel for all the animals that have to be out in this. I'm glad your bringing them in. Your a good momma!! DeeJay
     
  5. chickenannie

    chickenannie Chillin' With My Peeps

    3,156
    21
    231
    Nov 19, 2007
    Pennsylvania
    Yes, mine had a momma with them. They're inside tonight. I'm still trying to identify what their head wounds are from -- frostbite or something else.... Anyone know what frostbite looks like on a chicken (other than on a comb?)
     
  6. snowydiamonds

    snowydiamonds Chillin' With My Peeps

    There's a thought...if they were in w/other chickens, they could have had some pecking done on them. Frostbite starts purplish, then white, then turns black...
     
  7. chickenannie

    chickenannie Chillin' With My Peeps

    3,156
    21
    231
    Nov 19, 2007
    Pennsylvania
    These are Buff Orpington's and the damage around their head is purplish. They do have one or two spots on their combs, but since their combs are so tiny, the purplish stuff shows up mostly on their faces. (wait, do chickens have a face?) well anyways, it's on their heads.
     
  8. chickenannie

    chickenannie Chillin' With My Peeps

    3,156
    21
    231
    Nov 19, 2007
    Pennsylvania
    Quote:Since you're in Alaska, have you ever had bad frostbite on chicks?
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by