Sick Chicken - black comb and feet

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by dfjsej, Jan 28, 2010.

  1. dfjsej

    dfjsej Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 28, 2010
    Hi all - I'm fairly new to chickens (just started in April 2009), and I now think I have a sick chicken. She is just under a year, and has a black comb and black feet (they were red/pink). She likes to stay in the coop near the heat lamp. She will eat and drink, and she did have some kind of runny poop situation. However, I cleaned her up and now she doesn't seem to be having that problem. She isn't laying, and seems pretty lethargic, but she has been like this for at least a week. I keep thinking that maybe she is getting a little better. For awhile she wasn't coming out of the coop. Now I will sometimes see her out of the coop getting food and water, but she stays away from the other chickens. They seem to want to peck at her, etc. Anyone know what this could be??? Possible circulation problem???? Thank you for your help!!!!
  2. ArizonaNessa

    ArizonaNessa Joyfully Addicted

    Apr 7, 2009
    First [​IMG]

    Second, I really don't know what is wrong with your chicken but the first thing that came to my mind was frost bite. What state or country do you live in? Is it really cold there?

    Maybe someone else will chime in with some wiser words than I have. You wouldn't happen to have a picture of your bird do you? That could help.
  3. Redhead Hen

    Redhead Hen Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 14, 2009
    Rising Sun, Maryland
    Hi there! Welcome to BYC!

    I think I agree with ArizonaNessa. Sounds like frostbite to me too. I'm not sure what can be done about it now though. I had roosters that did get frostbite on their combs one winter and there were no ill effects ... aside from the color. Just keep an eye on your other chickens and make sure everyone is able to get warm when the temps drop.

    Maybe another chicken owner has had a similar problem and can chime in to help ya out! [​IMG]
  4. debilorrah

    debilorrah The Great Guru of Yap Premium Member

    [​IMG] I havet concur with the others. I have never seen them turn black unless it was frostbite.
  5. crzychickenlady

    crzychickenlady Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 31, 2007

    The black on the comb definately sounds like frost bite to me, but never heard of it on the feet.
    These questions can help in getting an answer....

    What breed is she?
    What are the temps like there?
    How old is he?
    What are you feeding?

    Also, if you can get any pics that would help alot too.

    If you get pics you can upload them here, theres a link in the top bar for "uploads" or you can use a free sire like

    Also, some of us spend alot of time in chat here, so if you have any trouble with the pics or want to get some help quick, please feel free to hop in and we can help you! [​IMG]
  6. dfjsej

    dfjsej Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 28, 2010
    I've inserted code below (pics of my sick chicken)

    Thanks for everyone's input. I've been trying to get pictures of my sick chicken (Gertrude as I call her) uploaded, etc. and I'm not sure if I am successful or not. I've cut and pasted her image "codes" into the text of this reply. Let's see if it works.

    To answer some of the questions that I have received:

    I live in Indiana, and it has been cold here - in the teens and below some days.
    I am raising our chickens on organic feed from our local grain elevator.
    I'm not sure of the name of the breed (still new at this), but my chickens have red feathers, and I think they are called Hampshire something????

    If you think my chicken has frostbite, how do I treat her?

    Thank you!
  7. SurprisingWoman

    SurprisingWoman Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 27, 2009
    South Weber, UT
  8. ArizonaNessa

    ArizonaNessa Joyfully Addicted

    Apr 7, 2009
    Yep that looks like frostbite. I don't know how to help after the fact but I have read several times here on byc that coating their combs with Vaseline will prevent the combs from freezing.

    Sorry about your girl. Hopefully you will find more helpful info
  9. catwalk

    catwalk Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 19, 2009
    How horrible! That comb is totally black! She will lose it, and you want to watch for infection. Rub some triple antibiotic on it. The toes don't look good either. I am dealing with the same thing on a Serama hen. She is small enough (and expensive enough) that I brought her into the house to treat her, and I'm going all out.

    If she's the only one affected, she might be at the bottom of the pecking order, and thus left out of the warmth huddle, or she is sick. Baytril was reccommended to me for my sick hen, but I haven't seen any improvement in her condition, except in her appetite. It comes in injectable and oral, and might help.

    When looking for support and advice, I found two people who had delt with frostbitten toes. One bird lives a happy life without feet, and the other one died. My vet also gave me a 50% mortality rate on the condition. Keep us updated, and good luck!
  10. SilkieBaby

    SilkieBaby Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 15, 2009
    Bakersville, NC

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