Rooster has hole in a waddle

LoveMyChickenBabies

Crossing the Road
Sep 11, 2018
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Hello all,

I have recently came home from Tennessee and I let my chickens out this morning to free-range. I noticed as they came out that Charcoal, my cochin bantam, has a hole in his waddle due to frostbite. They were out while we were out of state so that means he could have slept outside of the pen and made the frostbite happen. So my question is do I need to treat it with anything? Could it get infected? Will it heal? Should I separate him from the others so they don't pick at the hole?

I will get photos posted tomorrow
 

Eggcessive

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Pictures would definitely help. I have not seen holes in crops where there has been frostbite. Usually temperatures need to be near zero for frostbite to be a problem, but if he got his waddles wet drinking, they may have frozen with just freezing temperatures. I don’t use anything on frostbitten waddles or combs so as not to add more moisture, but it would be good to see what it looks like.
 

LoveMyChickenBabies

Crossing the Road
Sep 11, 2018
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Kansas USA
Pictures would definitely help. I have not seen holes in crops where there has been frostbite. Usually temperatures need to be near zero for frostbite to be a problem, but if he got his waddles wet drinking, they may have frozen with just freezing temperatures. I don’t use anything on frostbitten waddles or combs so as not to add more moisture, but it would be good to see what it looks like.

He does have very large waddles for the breed he is, so he could have easily got them wet. Should I take him inside for the time being to stop further frostbite? Some of the others also have it but definitely not as bad as him.
 

Eggcessive

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I would keep them in the barn if possible, and not let them sleep outside. If you think he needs to come inside your house for a day or two to make sure he is eating and drinking, that would be okay. But it can be difficult to keep them used to living outside in the cold temps. Wattles can get wet easily, so you might try raising the waterers to shoulder height. Frostbitten wattles usually heal eventually rounding off to become smaller. They may turn brown and dry and round off.

If his are really swollen, they may be so painful that he will need to be inside and perhaps youncan use some Vetericyn spray or betadine on them. In coops, it is good to have overhead ventilation to allow moisture to escape. Keep direct drafts down. The moisture is what causes the frostbite.
 

Eggcessive

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I would avoid dubbing or cutting any tissue. Some exceptions might be if a flap of tissue is hanging, and might be injured further by pecking. Frostbite will heal over 5-6 weeks, usually with the dead tissue rounding off, or falling off as in a toe or foot. Plain triple antibiotic or neosporin ointment are good to apply to help prevent infection. Here is a good link to read with a lot of info and pictures:
https://the-chicken-chick.com/frostbit-in-backyard-chickens-causes/
 

LoveMyChickenBabies

Crossing the Road
Sep 11, 2018
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I have taken the pictures and was able to convince my parents to allow the computer internet access once they saw Charcoal. Here they are.
IMG_20181126_154233.jpg
IMG_20181126_154240.jpg


Dad said that he could've gotten in a fight but I think that the hole would be jagged instead of an almost perfect circle.
 

Eggcessive

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It does look to me like he was beat up, or even injured on something jagged like fencing. Do you have other roosters? I would use some Vetericyn spray or plain triple antibiotic/neosporin ointment on his comb and wattles. I would try to keep him in the coop with the others, possibly inside a dog crate with food and water. The black wounds should heal within weeks to months, but the hole may remain. Make sure that he is eating and drinking, and try some chopped egg, liver, or tuna for a treat.
 

Chickassan

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May 23, 2017
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If he got really cold and his wattles were numb it is totally possible he stuck a toenail through one scratching himself. If the edges haven't clotted you can draw them together with surgical tape and the hole might mend. Great advise already given on applying some triple antibiotic ointment. He should heal fine though, he'll just have a nice wattle scar to impress the ladies with.:)
 

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