Rooster's comb tips changed colour today?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by norwood, Jan 5, 2009.

  1. norwood

    norwood Hatching

    Jan 5, 2009
    Norwood, ON, Canada

    This is my first winter with 'Randy & the Girls'. 'The Girls' are Red-Sexlink; I'm not sure what Randy (the rooster) is. The co-op never said when I got them this past June as 20wk olds.

    I started out w/ 12 hens and a rooster. They were totally free-range until the local fox culled 'The Girls' down to 7. Now they live sort-of-free-range in a large coop (old wood shed) with Stu (the goat) and the rabbits in my fenced-in backyard. The come/go out if the shed as they want.

    We live in central Ontario. This wasn't by far the coldest day we've had so far this was only about -3C, we've been down to -15C for days (a few weeks ago) and I didn't notice anything strange with any of the chickens.

    This evening when I went out to feed them I noticed that the last 2 mm or so of Randy's comb was dark green (almost blue) on the 3 tips and yellowing just below that. I'm not sure if if it's a hromonal thing or 'frostbite'. His waddle is still red and all of 'The Girls' combs & waddles are still pure read.

    I'm not sure if I should worry about this or not....(?). I have a heat lamp in the shed keeping the water from freezing but the chickens don't seem to care (aside from dringing the water). I would have thought that they'd huddle around the heat lamp, but they don't....And, I'm guessing if Randy was cold (or getting frost-bitten) he'd definately hang out there.

    Any advice would be appreciated. For now I'll just keep an eye on it I guess.

  2. the1much

    the1much Currently Birdless Hippy

    sounds like frostbite ,, does he have a big comb?,, alot say Vaseline helps,, but the only true way to stop it and prevent it in really cold areas is dubbing.
  3. norwood

    norwood Hatching

    Jan 5, 2009
    Norwood, ON, Canada
    Wow; thanks...that was fast.

    He's white with a red waddle/comb (so are the hens). He's almost twice the size of the red hens (and so are his parts).

    I can put vaseline on it right away. It can't hurt. What's the 'other' thing?

    Any idea as to why the hens' combs aren't like that?

    Thanks again.
  4. the1much

    the1much Currently Birdless Hippy

    sounds like a leghorn,,, and the hen leghorns combs should be way smaller, and flop,,,, their combs, are like our ear cartilage,, they really cant feel them,,, the roo's comb should be further from his head, thicker,,,,, all good ways of loosing the heat from them,, and not much heat goes in.
    dubbing is when you cut the comb off,, it sounds drastic, but really isnt, and it helps the health of ya roo ALOT.

    does he look like this breed?,, and this breed is notorious for frostbite.

  5. norwood

    norwood Hatching

    Jan 5, 2009
    Norwood, ON, Canada

    Yes; he looks just like that except his comb has 4 spikes and a broad back-end. I just re-counted as I put vaseline on it.

    He seemed to like it;)

    His comb was pretty cold to the touch.

    Now the last 3+ mm of each 'tip' are dark with a yellowish 2+ mm below that. I'd hate to (besides; I don't know how to) cut off his comb.....It make him so handsome;)

    Thanks Jim....
  6. Kanat

    Kanat In the Brooder

    Oct 9, 2008

    That's what just happened to my OEGB Rooster (he has a big comb for his size). I let him out yesterday morning and his comb was purple. I posted it to this message board and almost freaked out because I started thinking that it could be AI or Newcastle or some other horrible poultry disease. The previous night was not particularly cold. However, the Rooster is still acting perfectly normal and so are the other chickens.

    I figured out that it must have been one night last week when the water got frozen in the coop when he got his frostbite. It just didn't show the next day.

    I have applied Vet Rx and Vaseline to his comb and it is starting to look less purple although the tips are still purple. Thank God! Some of the poultry diseases are SCARY!

  7. gumpsgirl

    gumpsgirl Crowing Premium Member

    Mar 25, 2008
    I agree with the1much is saying this is frostbite. You need to make sure that you keep his comb and wattles rubbed down with vaseline or bag balm while temperatures are that cold to prevent the frostbite.

    BTW - [​IMG] !!!
  8. the1much

    the1much Currently Birdless Hippy

    your VERY welcome.
    and ya i feel the same bout the comb looking SOOoooo nice.
    even here in texas, my big boy has a little frostbite damage to his,, but not enough to worry me,, but if it came down to it,, i'd dubb him before i would let something so little hurt him [​IMG]

    if the vas. doesnt work,, look up dubbing, or frostbite here, and you'll find hundreds of pages where people did it for the first time,,, and the threads are FULL of info about it.

    Hope it helps him,, i love roo's hehe [​IMG]
  9. Chicken Freak

    Chicken Freak In the Brooder

    Dec 23, 2008
    I hate to say it, but it almost sounds like Blue Comb. It's a fatal disease triggered by lack of water. It is also contageous. Terramycin helps prevent Blue Comb from spreading to your other chickens. I really hope it's just frostbite.
  10. the1much

    the1much Currently Birdless Hippy

    Quote:the tips will stay purple for the rest of his life,, frostbite kills that "area" and it will never re-generate.
    another thing to watch for,,, metal waterers,,, my roo got his comb wet,, then took a drink and his comb touched the cold metal [​IMG]

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