PLEASE HELP! wattle turning black

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by kmpaulick, Nov 17, 2013.

  1. kmpaulick

    kmpaulick Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 12, 2012
    MatSu, Alaska

    My BO rooster’s wattle has been slowly turning black over the past month or two. His comb is in good shape, there’s no swelling and he doesn’t seem to be in pain or ill in any other way. The coop is draft-free, dry, and has good insulation (they’re very spoiled) and none of the rest of the flock (only 7) has this problem.
    I read somewhere that wattles like this have been frost-bitten and if they turn black gangrene has already set in (and they require surgery). If that was the case wouldn’t he already be sick? Any advice would be appreciated…he is my 3 year old’s special friend; I’m hoping we can keep him.
    Lots of questions…thanks in advance for your help!!
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2013
  2. BantamLover21

    BantamLover21 Overrun With Chickens

    Jul 24, 2013
    How cold is it where you are? If its not that cold, then frostbite is unlikely. If it is cold, though, I'd say that is definitely what is wrong with your rooster. Combs are usually more suceptible to frostbite than wattles, but even wattles can become frostbitten when it's bitterly cold or they have been dipped in water.

    If not frostbite, then it is still probably some sort of infection. What do the black parts feel like (stiff, warm, cold, etc.)?
  3. kmpaulick

    kmpaulick Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 12, 2012
    MatSu, Alaska
    The black part of the wattle is firmer/tougher feeling than the red part. I’m starting to suspect it’s getting wet when he drinks (I really need to make the switch to chicken nipples but have heard they freeze up too easily). I’m in Alaska and it’s definitely cold (around 0 right now), but the coop is heated and well insulated so it’s kept above freezing. My neighbors seem to think it’s frostbite too. I’m hoping it heals or sloughs off on it’s own.

    Thanks for your feedback!![​IMG]
  4. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Flock Master Premium Member

    Apr 3, 2011
    southern Ohio
    I believe it is frostbite. Can you use a water bowl with a small opening (such as a piece of plywood with a small cutout to drink out of without getting the wattles wet? I used heated dog bowls for water and set them up high, but we have temps nowhere near what you do.

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