1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login & click here to learn what's new!

Should I cull this poor thing? *Graphic pic*

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by NorthChicken, Feb 8, 2015.

  1. NorthChicken

    NorthChicken Chillin' With My Peeps

    My poor BLRW hen has severe frost bite on her feet. She is the only one who has this happening out of my 8 hens, the only thing I can think of is her feet got wet and froze. I have a lot of ventilation and clean the coop every morning.

    The temps are usually anywhere from -30F below zero, but the norm has been -15F below zero at night. Day temps are around 0-10 above. Her toes look awful. I know they are going to fall off, and I worry about her ability to roost and balance when they do fall off. I would hate to make her suffer all winter long only to find she can't function normally. She walks very reluctantly, but usually I have to bring her down off the roost and into the run to eat and drink, although she does make her way back up into the coop without an issue. It does appear she is loosing weight as well.

    Is there anything I can do to help this hen, or should I just cull her?

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2015
  2. scratch'n'peck

    scratch'n'peck Overrun With Chickens

    5,916
    544
    341
    Oct 31, 2008
    West Michigan
    My Coop
    Gosh, that is a tough call. I have never dealt with frost bit feet. I brought my rooster inside for a few days after he got a frost bitten comb and put aloe on it because I read some research that said that helped. But yes, a bit of his comb did fall off, which of course is more serious when it comes to frost bitten feet. If she is walking around and eating, then she hasn't given up.
     
  3. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Chicken Obsessed

    8,178
    2,140
    421
    Mar 15, 2010
    On the MN prairie.
    You're the only one who can make that call. My criteria is how much the chicken would suffer if left alive. If you know her toes are going to fall off, think how painful it must be for her. How is her quality of life? Would she be in pain afterward? I don't know that question. You'd have to observe her and see how easy or difficult it is for her to get around. If she's unable to do so without difficulty, I don't think I'd keep her alive. Just watch for signs of suffering. You'll know what the right thing is.
     
  4. Acornewell

    Acornewell Chillin' With My Peeps

    480
    90
    148
    Aug 11, 2012
    LaOtto, Indiana
    I think you can give her some aspirin for pain. Let me check and see the dosage. I know people with chickens that have frostbite...their chickens are normal.
     
  5. Acornewell

    Acornewell Chillin' With My Peeps

    480
    90
    148
    Aug 11, 2012
    LaOtto, Indiana
    http://www.the-chicken-chick.com/2013/12/frostbit-in-backyard-chickens-causes.html

    DO soak frostbitten feet in lukewarm water and Epsom salt once or twice a day for several weeks while keeping the chicken as comfortable as possible in a temporary indoor facility. Soft bedding will make the chicken more comfortable (think: old towels). Severe cases may cause toes or even the entire foot to fall off, but chickens can survive these cold injuries and live reasonably normal lives if infection can be controlled.

    DO consult a veterinarian for prescription medication for pain and inflammation (Metacam is commonly prescribed for this purpose). Alternatively, five aspirin (five grain each) dissolved in one gallon of water may be given for 1-3 days. (aspirin dilution source: Chicken Health for Dummies)
     
  6. scratch'n'peck

    scratch'n'peck Overrun With Chickens

    5,916
    544
    341
    Oct 31, 2008
    West Michigan
    My Coop
    The initial stage of the frost bite is when it is painful. Once it is dead tissue it does not really hurt. When my rooster had frost bite I gave him 1/4 of a 325 mg aspirin for pain wrapped in soft bread or embedded in a raisin (25mg per pound of body weight is the dosage).

    Here is a thread that said their chicken got around okay after the tips of the toes fell off https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/282509/severely-frostbitten-toes-update-graphic-pictures/30

    It is unfortunate that it is has been such a long cold period, I hope she does not get more frost bite.
     
  7. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

    63,161
    7,374
    726
    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    The blackened 'dead' portion of her toes will fall off. In the past I have had birds with similar problems (generally those that insist on roosting outdoors). As long as enough of the foot/toes remains that their mobility is close to normal, they do fine. The 'stilted - high stepping' pattern of walking that she may be exhibiting will disappear when the frozen portions fall off. If she were mine, I would not cull her unless it was evident that her condition and quality of life were suffering.
     
    2 people like this.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by