Oh no. frozen stiff wattles update

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Jennyhaschicks, Dec 18, 2008.

  1. Jennyhaschicks

    Jennyhaschicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 3, 2008
    I had to keep my WL cockerel in a wire cage last night because he is fighting with my RIR cockerel.
    I gave him a roost to sleep on so he could keep warm if needed. When I went out to check on them first thing this morning his wattles were frozen stiff. Mostly it was the lower 2/3 that were stiff.
    I brought him in the house and held him and watched his wattles steam while they thawed out. [​IMG] He slept in my arms.
    Anyway, I put some Neosporin on them because there was one part that was slightly cracked open and had oozed in the past I would say.
    Anyone want to tell me how applying petro jelly will help keep them from freezing? How much would I apply? At night? Do I rub it in?
    Thanks for the help.
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2008
  2. HennysMom

    HennysMom Keeper of the Tiara

    Did you cover the cage with anything like a blanket to keep some warmth inside of it? (I'm assuming it was outside of your coop) did he have bedding to snuggle in?

    I dont use vaseline, I use A&D on my girls (they all have very big waddles and combs) and I apply it like every 4 days, even though their coop is heated, it still gets pretty chilly in there, and their combs and waddles tend to get dry. They like to have it put on for some reason..and they look much better and not so dry.

    I just use enough to coat but not leave it on thick to where its visible, I rub it all in.

    ETA: your neosporin doesnt have benzocaine in it does it?
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2008
  3. annmarie

    annmarie Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 20, 2007
    I hope he recovers okay. My guess is he got his wattles wet while drinking and then walked around in the cold with wet wattles. I use bag balm on my hens combs and wattles in the late afternoon or evening when a very cold night is predicted. The petroleum jelly (or bag balm) creates a barrier to prevent moisture from coming in contact with their skin, and without the moisture, no ice crystals will form, so no frostbite or freezing. Once they get used to it, they tend to appreciate the process of having the stuff rubbed onto their combs and wattles because it stimulates blood flow and warms them up for the time being. Who doesn't like a good comb and wattle massage? Good luck! By the way, it might be a good idea to do that for your cockeral today, once his skin has had a little time to warm up a bit. If it's truly frozen right now, you don't want to rub it too much yet. As far as how much, I just use enough to have mainly the top half of their combs (especially towards the back where it doesn't tuck into their wing well) and the bottom half of their wattles. It doesn't rub in really, just creates a thin barrier.
  4. Jennyhaschicks

    Jennyhaschicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 3, 2008
    No the wire cage was inside the coop. The Neosporin didn't have any kind of benzocaine in it. Just the basic ointment is what I keep. He had shavings and hay to keep warm. I did rub Neosporin in his wattles and used some petro jelly too once his wattles were thawed and warmed up. He liked it. [​IMG] I also have some Bag Balm I could apply if needed.
    I was also thinking that he may have drank water and then it froze up before it could dry out. Poor guy.
    I will start applying a thin layer from time to time. He has by far the biggest comb and wattles of all my chickens. We were afraid he was going to have trouble.
  5. Chicken Woman

    Chicken Woman Incredible Egg

    Oct 16, 2008
    I use bag balm on all my girls every other day. It has been down to -20 on some nites and so far so good. My coop is not heated.

    I also use it once in a while on there feet and legs. They all enjoy there massage .[​IMG]
  6. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    You might consider dubbing the wattles nicely as if they were frozen stiff, the tissues is going to turn black and fall off anyways, and any surviving tissue is going to be very prone to being frost bit again.
  7. Jennyhaschicks

    Jennyhaschicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 3, 2008
    Quote:That's what I was thinking. The only problem is that I don't know anything about dubbing. hint hint [​IMG]

    NYREDS Overrun With Chickens

    Jan 14, 2008
    Quote:That's what I was thinking. The only problem is that I don't know anything about dubbing. hint hint [​IMG]

    It's simple, and it's what you should do as the frozen wattles are very painful for the bird.
    You'll need someone to help you hold the bird. Wrwp him in a slightly damp towel to keep him from flapping. Then using a good pair of scissors cut the wattles off just above the frozen part. Use corn starch to stop the bleeding. This will be less painful for the bird than running around with frozen wattles. [surgical scissors work best-get them a a drug store]
  9. Jennyhaschicks

    Jennyhaschicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 3, 2008
    Oh boy. I may get flack for this, but I don't think I would be able to do that. [​IMG] [​IMG]
    Can't I just make him a scarf? [​IMG]

  10. mangled

    mangled Chillin' With My Peeps

    It's not as bad as it sounds. Honestly. I had to dubb a hen last winter, and it really is pretty quick and easy to do. She was out all night on a -3 degree with -15 degree windchills. I don't even know how she survived the cold alone.

    Do you have a hubby who could do it, or a farmer friend? We have a local vet who was willing to dubb a few roos for a friend of mine. Maybe call around. I know money's tight for everyone these days, but maybe someone will work with you if you can't afford it.

    I use bag balm on my RIR roo because he has some HUGE wattles.

    Is there any way to hang a heat lamp in your coop? Our coop has no power, but on the REALLY cold nights, we run a long extention cord up to the coop and hang our heatlamps. It won't help his frostbite, but it will prevent future troubles.

    Good luck-

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