Frozen comb

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Delly, Jan 26, 2014.

  1. Delly

    Delly New Egg

    Jan 26, 2014
    I have my 3 chickens in there coop with a tarp covering to keep the wind and blowing snow out and a light in the coop for warmth and two of them still got their combs frostbit. One of the combs is white with a black tip and the other a couple of the combs are white with black tips. I will dub them and I will put bag balm or whatever but I would really like the advise. They have gone through 3 winters now but this was the worst so far. They are pets so I don't want them to die, should I take them to the vet?
  2. Saerie

    Saerie Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 20, 2014
    The frostbite shouldn't be fatal, however, if it eases your mind then you could consult a vet. In my opinion they just need to get warm, to prevent the frostbite from getting worse.
    Definitely keep putting bag balm or Vaseline (whatever you prefer) on their combs, but if it were me I'd bring them inside somewhere warmer.
    I have a friend who has this problem, a few of her hens get really bad frostbite in extreme winters, so she brings them into her basement room near the wood-stove for the worst of the cold weather. I don't know if you want to do that though, so maybe just add another heat lamp and secure the coop a little more, make sure they'll be warm inside.
  3. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Flock Master Premium Member

    Apr 3, 2011
    southern Ohio
    Welcome to BYC. Frostbite like you have described is very common this winter. Put some plain Neosporin ointment, bag balm, or coconut oil on the combs gently--don't rub or massage. Can you move them into a garage or basement for a couple of weeks? Dubbing may not be necessary--the tips may fall off on their own. Here is a link to read on frostbite if you wish:
  4. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    I have ten with frostbite combs and have dealt with it before. Generally I do nothing but watch for signs of infection. All is well so long as flesh on face remains bright red and weight does not decline. Complications from infection can result in additional frostbite, especially on feet. To prevent future frostbite, also make so birds have wind protection while awake as that is time comb and wattles most exposed. If bird looks poorly then get it into a more protected location and make so it spends time on dry straw or hay. Also confirm good crop fill when bird goes roost. Birds under weight for whatever reason are more prone to frostbite.
  5. Wyandottes7

    Wyandottes7 Overrun With Chickens

    Jul 24, 2013
    Your birds will probably be fine. I've had several chickens get frostbite on their combs, some quite severe, and they've all lived. As others have stated, put some antibiotic ointment on the comb to prevent any infection. Vaseline may also help prevent any further frostbite, though it doesn't always work.

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