Icicles on Polish Crests

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by linlake, Jan 10, 2015.

  1. linlake

    linlake New Egg

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    Jan 10, 2015
    I have 4 polish with very full flouncy plumes on the top of their heads. As many others experience, they developed icicles from drinking water that froze. They got very bad and very heavy. I couldn't cut them off because they were too thick. The other chickens started pecking at them and their scalps became very red with some blood on the feathers. To avoid cannibalism, and help them to be more comfortable, here is what I did.

    I brought them into the bathroom of my house. I removed all the rugs, towels, toothbrushes - everything. I closed the shower curtain so they wouldn't try to jump into the bathtub. I closed the door and put down some food and water. After about 1 hour, the ice had melted and while my husband held them, I trimmed their feathers around the top, sides, and front - leaving the back feathers. I only cut the soft plumage - and did not cut into the stem of the feather. At the end, they had "mullets" - short afros, longer in the back.

    Then, I took "Blue Coat" and poured a bit into a small container (like a bottle top). With a Q-tip, I dabbed the red spots on their scalps. Then I applied some "Chick Pick No More" ointment over that - again, using a Q-tip.

    Finally, my concern was how to return them to the barn - since the bathroom was at about 70 degrees and the barn was only 1 degree. I moved them from the bathroom into my laundry room (considerably cooler) - then after about 30 minutes - I cracked the door a bit to cool it down further. The idea was to gradually introduce them to a cooler environment. This way, they wouldn't suffer a chill when taking them back out to their coop.

    I waited until the late afternoon, when the other chickens went to roost to bring them back to their coop - so they wouldn't be focused on as newcomers. We wrapped them in towels and carried them back outside.

    Hopefully, this will do the trick. I will keep my eyes on things, and if I notice that the other chickens are pecking at their heads again, we will separate them inside the coop until their scalps fully heal. But the Blue Coat and No Pecking Lotion are very dark in color and have hidden all signs of redness.

    Hope this helps -
     
  2. Folly's place

    Folly's place Chicken Obsessed

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    Welcome! That's why I don't have Polish, Silkies, or frizzles. Too high maintence for me! You will have ongoing issues unless you can redo the waterers to prevent this, and you need to trim those cute feathers. Mary
     
  3. linlake

    linlake New Egg

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    Jan 10, 2015
    Thanks Mary - we have a low, heated waterer. I think my mistake was not trimming their feathers much sooner. This is my first experience with Polish. What type of waterers do you recommend?

    Many thanks -

    Linda
     
  4. cavemanrich

    cavemanrich Overrun With Chickens

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    You did a GREAT JOB. Post some pix of the FANTASTIC HAIR CUTS .. I have trimmed of feathers but at other end to clean up vent area. Did not take pix, lol ..
    [​IMG]
     
  5. Folly's place

    Folly's place Chicken Obsessed

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    I have no idea about waterers; never had Polish! Mary
     
  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Please post pic of polish mullets!...and your waterer.

    Might be able to cover an open topped waterer with a board with holes just big enough the dip a beak thru.
    ...or go to a DIY heated horizontal nipple waterer.

    [​IMG]
     
  7. rainbowrooster

    rainbowrooster Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We raise Polish for exhibition and for us to cut the feathers would be like ripping your wedding dress before the ceremony. We use pop bottler waterers. They about the size of a fat finger and fit onto soda bottles. The birds can drink and not get their feathers in the water. Also, we often will use masking tape to tape "up" the crests on the males. The taping really helps if they are getting their heads pecked.
     

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