Rooster with swollen wattle

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by wendigo, Nov 30, 2013.

  1. wendigo

    wendigo Out Of The Brooder

    93
    0
    39
    May 8, 2013
    So my rooster hasn't been himself for the past 2 days. He seems a bit weaker. The other chickens were running around him earlier and almost made him lose balance. The most obvious problem is his right wattle and ear lobe. They are swollen and pale. I think it's frostbite because the temperatures dropped below freezing point in the last 3 days. We had snow and wind. Today it's better, at least we have sun. Now he's sitting in the sun. He still eats and drinks and when I give them bread he is eating directly from my hand, but he lost his rooster grace and the wattle and ear lobe are still swollen.

    I know that usually frostbitten skin turns black, so I don't really know what to do.
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2013
  2. Breac

    Breac Chillin' With My Peeps

    213
    2
    113
    Apr 20, 2010
    Wisconsin
    The first thing to do is try to isolate him and keep him someplace warm for a while. Could you keep him in your basement/garage/etc in a dog crate or animal cage? If he's not feeling well, it's best to isolate him anyway to make sure the other birds won't antagonize him. It will also allow you to observe him and give him a safe place to heal. I've had roosters in the past whose wattles swelled after really cold weather, but the wattles never turned pale, in my experience.

    How big have the wattles gotten? Are they so big that they interfere with movement? How do they feel? Does it feel like fluid build-up or does the swelling feel more solid? Are they hot to the touch? In the meantime, being someplace a bit warmer will make him feel better until you can figure out what's going on. If it's just the result of bad weather, the swelling should go down after a while (approximately a week or so).
     
  3. wendigo

    wendigo Out Of The Brooder

    93
    0
    39
    May 8, 2013
    Here's a photo. It feels warm, but it's hard to get a good feeling. He still won't let me touch him. He flapped his wings at me earlier today giving me that superiority look, if you know what I mean and I think this is a good sign.

    [​IMG]
     
  4. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    29,344
    3,411
    491
    Apr 3, 2011
    southern Ohio
    Poor fellow. I don't know your location, but maybe raising up his water station a little higher might keep his wattles out of the water bowl. Make sure you have good overhead ventilation in your coup to prevent moisture from building up, since that is the major cause of frostbite. Many people recommend putting vaseline on combs and wattles to prevent frosbite. You might be able to handle him easier after dark when he is on the roost.

    Just a note--in case it is not frostbite, fowl cholera or pasteurella can cause swollen wattles, but he would look ill if he had that.
     
  5. wendigo

    wendigo Out Of The Brooder

    93
    0
    39
    May 8, 2013
    He's doing a bit worse today. The swollen areas are still the same, but he walks in a really weird way now, kinda like a newborn learning how to walk. He's also letting me touch him today which is really really unusual for him. The wattle doesn't feel like it's filled with liquid. I'm starting to think it's not frostbite.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by