Ridiculously Swollen Wattles

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by froggieogreen, Jan 3, 2014.

  1. froggieogreen

    froggieogreen Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 3, 2014
    Nova Scotia
    So... hello! I've been lurking for a while now, but never officially made an account until today's potential disaster (???). I've searched through the forums for solutions, and found a few that I will attempt tomorrow if possible, but we're in the middle of a blizzard here and I can't run out to pick anything up.

    Where I live: Nova Scotia. Most of Eastern Canada and the US probably know where this post is going at this point.

    The deal: my super-awesome rooster has incredibly swollen wattles. His comb has obvious frostbite, but it's his wattles that concern me as they're impeding his ability to eat and drink. My husband hand-fed him in the dark in the middle of this blizzard and held up a tray of water to get him to drink. We're thinking the problem is that while he's a very sturdy roo, he does have an enormous comb and very large wattles which were dipping into the water... hindsight is 20/20. Their water dish will be raised tomorrow morning. I don't have pictures because he looked pale but fine around 2ish - it wasn't until about 5 when my husband went to switch out their water again that he noticed how swollen our rooster was and it was dark by then. He said that there's a ring of black already along the bottom of the poor guy's wattles and that they're just massive (the wattles, not the black bits), with splotches going more than halfway up. We're pretty certain that it's not an illness of any kind, as the timing is perfect for frostbite and his appetite is excellent, his eyes clear, etc... he's just swollen and seems a bit top-heavy.

    To Sum Up:
    Rooster with massive swollen wattles.
    Have vaselined (he did not even try to resist, he's a good roo).
    Has other obvious signs of frostbite on his comb, so we're assuming it's frostbite on the wattles as well (feet look good, though). Other chickens have some signs of frostbite, too but nothing near as bad as Main Roo.
    This developed visibly sometime in the last couple hours (it's early-on).
    He's eaten/drunk this evening - has a good appetite.
    Seems unbalanced, but his wattles are MASSIVE - I'd be a bit off-kilter, too.

    Any suggestions? Is it best to let Nature do its thing and he'll heal in his own time? What we have in the house amounts to vaseline, ibuprofen, knock-off benedryl, and polysporin. And aloe, but I doubt that'll do him much good...
     
  2. foreverlearning

    foreverlearning Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 4, 2013
    Vaseline is a moisture barrier so that should help with preventing any more problems with his wattles. I would look into some other option for water for the rest of the winter. By having the water open it can evaporate and add to the moisture of the poo in the air. There are many people that make a waterer out of a 5 gal bucket hung in the coop with nipples hanging down for them to drink out of. You could put some sort of insulation on the outside to prevent freezing or if you have electric in your coop you could throw an aquarium heater in there.
     
  3. froggieogreen

    froggieogreen Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 3, 2014
    Nova Scotia
    You know, for all that I've considered a (fixed) leaky door, their droppings, heck even their own breath, I'd never thought about how the waterer might be adding that harmful moisture back into the air when they're cooped up like they were today. It's one of the standard plastic types (holding tank above with a little hole into a lipped tray) but since it got colder, we've been switching it out for open trays during the day since it freezes so quickly. I bet that's not the whole problem, but it probably is a large part of it. We don't have electricity out in the coop, but I can certainly pick up a few extra waterers to switch out instead. Thanks!
     

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