My rooster has frostbite

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by nutmeg259, Jan 10, 2015.

  1. nutmeg259

    nutmeg259 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 13, 2014
    Background: This is my first year raising chickens. I live in Central Maine and the temps have been frigid lately, -20 some nights. I have 9 hens and a Blue Salmon Favorelles Roo named Samson. My coop is dry, no drafts blowing directly on the birds. I changed out the bedding before the cold spell and covered the large vents with cardboard. No heat in the coop, we do have a heated waterer.

    Samson has a large comb and I've noticed a bit of frostbite on a few of the tips. I've been applying Vaseline and it seemed to help. This morning when I went out to check on him it looked awful! I brought him inside and put him in the basement to warm up.Right now he's in a dog crate. I left for awhile this afternoon and hoped to find him looking better, with color back in his comb and when I returned it looked worse!

    I have reservations about having him in such a warm environment and how long we should have him in the basement. My husband thinks that he will need to be inside for 4-6 weeks. We have a lot of winter left and I feel like of we keep him inside for more than a few days we will have to keep him inside until spring.

    Is there anything I can do to help the frostbite? Anything to give him for the pain? My husband is also doing a lot of work in the basement, so it's not exactly a quiet place these days... I also considered moving him to the garage. It is cold but warmer than the coop. Even on the coldest nights the beer we left out there didn't freeze. That might be an option for the winter. In that case, I might have to move his favorite birds in too. I feel so bad for him! [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. nutmeg259

    nutmeg259 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 13, 2014
    [​IMG]
     
  3. nutmeg259

    nutmeg259 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 13, 2014
    [​IMG]

    This picture was taken a few months ago and he has definitely grown since then. His comb is much bigger!
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2015
  4. dominiques

    dominiques Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have also had a few of my hens with larger combs get frostbite on the tips of their combs. They seem to weather it ok. I have also tried vaseline and finally gave that up as it didn't seem to help. Maybe it works for others. I have seen other chicken owners here in Maine struggle with the same thing. Two things I'm wondering about. Is the water in your coop? May not be a good idea as you want the coop as dry as you can get it. The second thing is that I wonder if bringing your roo indoors will now make it a bit more difficult to reacclimate him to the cold coop. I've also read that high up ventilation helps as it allows the moister air a means of escape. I don't know because I don't have vents way up high like some folks do. I've been told that chickens with smaller styles combs do a bit better in these cold climates, not that there's anything you can do about that now.Good luck!! And hope Samson is OK.
     
  5. nutmeg259

    nutmeg259 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 13, 2014
    Thanks. The water is in the coop. I didn't think it would add a noticeable amount of moisture to their environment. I plan to move it to the run tomorrow. The coop is 4x8 and there is ventilation around the entire top of the coop, plus in the eaves. My husband installed soffett(?) like on our house and it added a ton of ventilation.

    I'm worried that I made a mistake by moving him inside...
     
  6. Boom Boom Chick

    Boom Boom Chick Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 6, 2015
    Hi and I hope your roo is doing better. I can tell you that to help with frostbite. You can put a thin layer of Vaseline petroleum jelly on the sides and top of their combs. You want a layer of what you would put on your lips on your roo. My dad built all our coops and ventilation is very good however if you have heat lamp or incandescent light bulb higher than 40-60 watts it will cause moisture. I would get rid of the soffits because they are providing to much air. I hope this works at good luck.
     
  7. lalaland

    lalaland Overrun With Chickens

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    Two things:

    First, don't worry too much about the frostbite now. I had a rooster last year with bad frostbite and I left it alone, the ends gradually turned black and fell off. Now, if he started showing signs of infection (pus, etc) I would do something, but otherwise, let it be. Here's a pic of him - by early spring all the discolored areas had fallen off and his comb looked fine - just a different shape!. I did not give any pain meds and he seemed fine.
    [​IMG]

    Secondly, do try to get the water out of the coop - at the very least remove it during the night.

    I would watch for the first sunny day and get him back outside as soon as you can - on a day when you will be home to observe. I think he would be able to acclimate ok on a non windy sunny day as long as it is above zero. You could try moving him from heated house to cooler garage and then to outside - just wait until any particularly nasty cold spells are past.

    Good luck!
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2015
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  8. nutmeg259

    nutmeg259 Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you! I will move the water out tomorrow! For tonight he is hunkered down in the basement. I applied some coconut oil mixed with essential oils, based on a website I found that talked about frostbite treatment. I hope to get him back with his ladies ASAP, hopefully we get some warmer weather. I feel like if I had been more diligent with the Vaseline this wouldn't have happened to him. Here's a picture of me and Samson before his coconut oil treatment. [​IMG]
     
  9. nutmeg259

    nutmeg259 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 13, 2014
    A better shot of his comb. [​IMG]
     

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