Help! Chick With Really Bad Frost Burn!!!!

happyhens44

BroodyAddict
9 Years
Apr 25, 2010
1,446
3
159
Northern WI
I went to church and spent the night for a 30 hour famine, and mom and cousin was taking care of my chickens, (broody with chicks) and Why I was gone she decided she doesnt want them anymore (6 weeks old) Well I came back and one of my chicks has really had feet frost burn, The feet are swellow and pussing. Right now I have it in a brooder in the house and the other chicks are in a seperate brooder. And there another wound on his stomach, like a hole near its breast, and im treating that with neosporin (sp?) I dont know what happend and I feel bad for the poor chick, he chirps fine, and they I fill up its waterer alot and he runs/wobbles toward it.

PLEASE HELP
 
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ChickensAreSweet

Heavenly Grains for Hens
9 Years
Jun 8, 2010
15,100
706
398
Pacific NW- where the Douglas Firs grow
I have no experience with frostbite but if it were me, I would also put the antibiotic ointment on the feet as best you can. Then I would cover the litter with paper towels to keep it from sticking to the wounds. Sounds like the chick needs some serious indoor recovery time.

Oh poor baby!!!!!
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CMV

Flock Mistress
10 Years
Apr 15, 2009
6,770
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If you haven't brought him inside, you will need to. He has two issues going on and he will likely need to be separated from his coopmates to recover. The frostbite will go through several stages of healing- first the burned stage, then the weepy stage, then the drying and sloughing stage. The areas will hopefully heal up without any major intervention. Keep the legs clean and coated in Neosporin. You will need to re-apply the ointment often to keep the legs covered. I would use some towels as bedding in his recovery cage to keep shavings and straw out of the wounds. You will need to keep the cage very clean to prevent infection in both the legs and the chest wound. He is going to be laying on the chest wound, so it is going to take a while to heal up. The legs should stop being oozy in a week or two. The swelling will go down at the same time. A light touch of frostbite should heal in about a month with the damaged tissue withering up and falling off. A worse case of frostbite may cause the chick to lose some toes. If this should happen it's not something to panic about. Chickens survive without toes all the time. Roosting may present some challenges, but overall a bird with lost toes will be OK. The toes will start to get dark and dried up looking. Keep applying the Neosporin (carefully so as not to break off a toe prematurely) and wait until the toes fall off by themselves. I don't advocate chopping into living birds to remove frostbitten areas. The areas will frequently fall off on their own, the risk of infection is quite small if you practice good hygiene and wound care, and I just hate deliberately inflicting pain if I can avoid it. The chest wound can be treated with the Neosporin, as well. That should be okay as long as the chick has no internal damage. A little bandage on the chest wound (gauze pad wrapped with Vet Wrap/Coban) may help to heal that up a little faster. It is going to get irritated and take longer to heal if the chick is laying on it.


I hope this helps. Keep us posted on the chick's progress.
 

happyhens44

BroodyAddict
9 Years
Apr 25, 2010
1,446
3
159
Northern WI
Quote:
Thanks soo Much.im out of neosporin So I put some Granulex on it. I tried to gauze And I diddent understand, So Im just going to keep it clean. Right now Im not putting bedding in there, Im laying down a flat paper bag for him to lay on. The one foot seems pretty purple, What would I do if he lost his hole foot
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CMV

Flock Mistress
10 Years
Apr 15, 2009
6,770
202
281
Well, if he loses the whole foot then you will need to see how well he gets around. I once knew a rooster that lost both feet to frostbite. He stalked around on 2 stumps for years after. He couldn't roost (obviously) and couldn't really service his girls anymore, but he seemed largely unaffected by the loss of his feet. He was still as miserable as he ever was. You will need to decide if the chick can have a decent quality of life with his impairments. If he can adapt to the handicap then he can live a good life, but if he cannot then you will need to decide if he should be euthanized.

I hope he is able to recover. Good luck.
 

CMV

Flock Mistress
10 Years
Apr 15, 2009
6,770
202
281
I think you should give him some time. Chickens are very resilient. Frostbite initially looks terrible, but heals up pretty quickly. I think you would be jumping the gun if you decide right now whether or not he needs to be euthanized. Give him a week or 2 and then see how the feet look. I nearly dubbed my rooster this winter after he got a terrible case of frostbite to his wattles. He looked awful and I was sure he was going to get an infection, but I left him to heal for a few weeks and all the frostbite has gone away on it's own. His wattles are about 1/3 the size they were because the frostbitten areas just withered up and fell off. In retrospect I am really glad I didn't start slicing him up when he looked so bad.
 

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