something weird with combs!!!! Help.


12 Years
May 29, 2007
New York
Hi. I have 2 questions. I know most people's posts under this topic are more of an emergency then mine, but I would appreciate some insight on to what is going on here.


Question one: My roosters are trying to breed my hen. It's weird because they left her alone all spring and summer and now come winter they won't leave her alone. She's getting barebacked and I was wondering if I should separate her for from them for now...and will her feathers grow back eventually? (Currently we have one hen to 2 roosters. Yes, I know...bad idea... we had more hens in the beginning and free ranged them because we didn't have a coop at the time, and we lost all but one. We will be getting many more hens this coming spring.)

Question two: I've been noticing some black pots growing my chickens' combs. I posted about it before and I got one answer saying it was dried blood spots, but I really do not think so; I mean I'm not chicken expert...but rather than healing they seem to be getting more of these spots. My red rooster has it the worse... the ends of his comb are all black and now a bit scabby looking...the ends of his wattle are also peach-colored. It doesn't bother/hurt him to touch it, but I'm still concerned as to what it may be. Is this just a "coloration/markings" of is this some kind of disease or sickness? I've noticed that my hen has a spot on her comb too.




Thanks in advance.
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OUCH! Looks like frost bite to me! I would get some vasoline, and rub it in really good, a few times a day.
Can you seperate the poor hen? Sounds like she is getting pretty torn up there. Her feathers should grow back in, with time.
Better hurry on those other hens, she needs a break!
That's frostbite.

Please separate your roosters from that poor hen, she's got to be stressed and exhausted. She can rejoin when you get plenty of more hens to take the pressure off her.
Thank you for your quick replies. I will bring her in right now. I felt so bad for her but someone told be not to separate her because the other chickens will attack her for being an outsider once they are reunited... but I think that goes more for roosters then hens. Would she be too lonely being by herself?

See, my dad thought frostbite, but our coop is very insulated. We put in a lot of straw as well and make sure everything is closed up nice and tightly. We alos let a mild heater run in there on really cold days. I also noticed the black spots beginning to grow on the the Red Roo last spring... so I don't know what' going on there....

I will put some vasoline on them for the cheapness though.

Thank you again.
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We live in Western New York; it gets really snowy there, but hardly every bone chilling-"rip your face off" cold. I say the average winter temperature is about 25 degrees (windchill temp included), but as I have mentioned we keep them in on the extremely cold days and put in a mild heater as well. I'm not arguing on whether or not is is frostbite (I suppose the chapping could be an indicator of that)...but I've been noticing these spots developing in the Spring (when the temperature is well above freezing).

I'm not really familiar with avian parasites and I'm wondering if this is something I have to worry about in that matter?

Thank you for your reply.
That's what everyone is thinking it is. I can see a mild reaction to the cold because of the chaping... but as for the black spots, I've been noticing this coloration in the Spring (our springs and summers are very warm). It just keeps getting "worse" as time goes on. It doesn't hurt them when I touch it. I'm not sure what it is - is it just a coloration thing or is it some parasite/disease/fungus?
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The weather hasn't been really cold, but hasn't it still been below freezing? I don't think the chickens know when it is time to go in, unless it is dusk, when the sun is shining it feels warmer and they stay outside.
It sure does look like frostbite.

See, my dad thought frostbite, but our coop is very insulated. We put in a lot of straw as well and make sure everything is closed up nice and tightly.

Well, there you go, that may well be part of the problem -- the worst conditions for frostbite are when it's cold and damp, which is almost guaranteed if things are closed up tight. Even if you have a lamp on the coldest days, they can still get frostbite anyhow (in fact, depending on the placement of your lamp, they can sometimes *also* burn their combs on the bulb or hot guards!)

Having it happen in late winter and spring is not inconsistant with frostbite. Coop moisture is likely to build up gradually as the winter goes on, and damage to the comb can also be gradual (the black color is a later stage of frostbite, not the first sign, and will last til the tissue heals or more likely sloughs off).

Food for thought,

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