Help! Buff's comb is black, bloody and falling off!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by NC DixieChick, Oct 30, 2011.

  1. NC DixieChick

    NC DixieChick New Egg

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    Eek! I am new to this backyard chicken thing and am kinda freaking out. Have been gone for a few hours and come home to find my beautiful Buff Orpington named Ginger with a bloody comb. It isn't just bloody...it is all but severed off! All black and flopped over. Seriously looks like something sharp sliced into it.

    I have NO idea how this happened. My gals are not allowed to free range due to city restrictions so they are confined to their coop and enclosed 8X4 run. Ginger is the "middle" gal in the pecking order of three hens. Could one of the others have done this to her? It is really severe....hanging by a thread and turning black. Ewww...

    Will her comb grow back? She doesn't seem to be bothered by it...still pecking around and otherwise acting normal. What should I do? I don't really have a way to separate her and they are not allowed to be out of their cage b/c of ordinances. Should I call a vet? Just watch it and see what happens?

    I've only had by backyard girls for 2 months, so I am a newbie owner. Any advice anyone can offer will be welcomed and appreciated.
     
  2. Yay Chicks!

    Yay Chicks! Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Perhaps someone pecked her and the rest saw a little blood and went after it? I don't know. My first thought would be to make sure it is not still bleeding.
     
  3. AngelzFyre

    AngelzFyre Chillin' With My Peeps

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    She may have gotten caught on something. Clean it up with some Betadine Scrub or dilute Betadine Solution to the color of weak tea and clean it off with that. Neosporin over the cut area would help too. You will probably have to put Blu-Kote over the entire wound so that they don't pick it anymore and keep an eye out for any infection, swelling or drainage. It'd be best to separate her into a dog kennel with food and water til she's healed, but if you absolutely can't do that then just keep a good watch on her to make sure they don't do her in by picking at her.
    The black part doesn't grow back, sorry!
     
  4. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    If you didn't know, some chickens are dubbed, which just means cutting the comb off. If she were mine, I would cut it the rest of the way off, to avoid infection. I would probably then spray with BluKote as an antiseptic and to keep the others from attacking the bloody wound. You might have to separate her for a day or two, to prevent this attacking by the others. (There's always the bathroom.... [​IMG]) You could do a search on dubbing (or google it) to find out more about how it's done.

    ETA it could also be an accidental injury. Chickens are artists at getting parts hung on things. And no, it won't grow back.
     
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2011
  5. NC DixieChick

    NC DixieChick New Egg

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    thanks everyone for the replies. Here are some newbie follow-up questions regarding this issue:

    So...where do I buy this BlueKote? Is it something to find at Tractor's Supply or like a regular CVS pharmacy?

    And, if I cut off the part of her comb that is flopping and turning black (ewww) will she feel it and go ballistic? Or are chicken's combs more like people's nails or hair and there is no pain when they are cut?

    It literally looks like someone came at her come with scissors. But, since the coop is fully enclosed and all of the others gals are fine, I feel like it was probably some freak accident. Per Flockwatcher's comment, she probably got hung up on something or caught it somehow.
     
  6. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    I have a bottle of generic BluKote that I bought from TSC. I just asked where the BluKote was and they took me to it. The main ingredient is gentian violet, which is an old timey remedy that pharmacies used to carry, but I don't think they do any more. You could use Neosporin or some other antiseptic (avoid "caine" drugs, like cetacaine or benzocaine. They numb, but will kill a chicken.) The only reason for BluKote rather than any other antiseptic is the blue (more like purple) color masks blood so others will leave it alone.

    Yes it will hurt her -- but when an infection sets up in it, it will hurt her a lot worse. The black means tissue is dying so it will get infected and really needs to come off. Actually it will get necrotic and maybe gangrenous. Grit your teeth and take your sharpest scissors to it, be quick, or that's what I'd do. A helper will be almost necessary, to have a firm grip on her. I'll bet she will act like nothing happened within a few minutes.
     
  7. NC DixieChick

    NC DixieChick New Egg

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    Ewww. Judy, I wish you were closer to the Peidmont Triad area of NC.

    Of course all of this is happening at 6 p.m. on a Sunday night. Of course....

    is there any logic to waiting till she is in bed for the night and then reaching in and trying to do it while she's sleeping?

    Oh and is the BluKote a spray or a gel or a liquid? Do you just dab it on with a cotton ball or a rag?
     
  8. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    Surprised someone else didn't answer -- I was gone a while.

    Grabbing her off the roost is a very good idea; it's often the only way people can handle them easily, unless they've been trained to be pets. You'll wake her up but she should be groggy and will be much easier to handle, and should go right back to sleep. My BluKote is a spray bottle but I think it comes in other forms, like dab on. It stains, by the way.

    Truth is, I'm a retired nurse, so your sense that this wouldn't bother me much is right -- but I know you can do it! (If you haven't already, that is.) Let us know.
     
  9. Davian

    Davian Chillin' With My Peeps

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    On blukote, the aerosol spray is better than the squirt bottle...at least in my experience. The squirt bottle version is far messier to me.


    Also, wear gloves as the ink doesnt come off easily.'

    Oh and is the BluKote a spray or a gel or a liquid? Do you just dab it on with a cotton ball or a rag?

    It comes in an aerosol spray or a squirt bottle usually. Its a matter of personal choice on which you pick.​
     
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2011
  10. AngelzFyre

    AngelzFyre Chillin' With My Peeps

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    And another warning about the Blu Kote..they'll shake their heads and it goes everywhere! Be prepared! Does not come off skin easily...though would make a great alien costume for Halloween!

    I prefer the dauber only because the spray seems to get more of it all over but it's whatever you prefer to use.
    Scarlet oil will do the job too and keep them from pecking it.

    Most feed stores carry Blu Kote or something similar. I've also used Icthammol Ointment since I had it on hand from our horses.
     

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