swollen comb with black spots

zanyfunster

In the Brooder
10 Years
Aug 14, 2009
19
0
22
Alpine, TX
I have a 6-month-old Speckled Sussex hen, Shug, with a very swollen comb. I noticed the comb swelling yesterday, and today there was some blood and black crusty stuff in spots. The black stuff has actually been there a few days and has appeared in recent weeks on combs of a few other hens and on the rooster, but in the other cases, without any swelling. Shug's comb isn't warm to the touch or discolored, and she doesn't mind my touching it. She seems to be showing no other signs of illness - nothing else is swollen, normal eating, drinking, poop, activity levels, and no sounds of troubled breathing or bad smells.

Previously I had been dismissing the black stuff on combs, assuming it was dirt or normal wear-and-tear, since they were all acting perfectly normal otherwise. And it seemed to go away after awhile. But with Shug, the swelling is worrisome, and now I'm wondering if this might be some sort of ectoparasite, fowl pox, or early signs of another illness.

Any advice on what this might be or how I can treat it, even just to prevent infection?

Other info: everyone in my flock is the same age (~6 months), but all different breeds. All 13 eat layer ration and live in a 16x16ft coop on pine-shaving litter, with access to a larger yard for free ranging.

The first three pictures show Shug with her swollen comb, and the fourth is my Buff Orpington, Bubbs, who has had the black crusty stuff on her comb for a few days now but with no swelling.

shug1.jpg

shug2.jpg

shug3.jpg

bubbs.jpg
 

jennh

Songster
12 Years
Jun 21, 2007
1,370
11
171
Lititz
It cold either be from frostbite, if you live in an extremely cold are, or picking by other other hens. For frostbite prevention, use vaseline. As for picking ?
idunno.gif


Jen
 

zanyfunster

In the Brooder
10 Years
Aug 14, 2009
19
0
22
Alpine, TX
I don't think it's frost bite - we're in southwest Texas and lately have had 60 to 70 degree days, though hovering around freezing at night. But this didn't seem to be a problem earlier in the winter when we really did have some good freezes.
 

jennh

Songster
12 Years
Jun 21, 2007
1,370
11
171
Lititz
Then I would say it's pecking. I know I have witnessed mine peck at another one's comb if they wanted to be in that particular place
smack.gif


Jen
 

PandoraTaylor

RT Poultry n Things
10 Years
Jun 29, 2009
2,091
4
169
Alaska
I would coat it with Neosproin without Pain Killer. It looks to me to be pecking damage, I have seen alot of that this winter!
 

dawg53

Humble
Premium Feather Member
12 Years
Nov 27, 2008
27,742
14,094
906
Glen St Mary, Florida
I know what fowl pox looks like and your hens dont have it and it's not frostbite. I agree with the others, looks like pecking. I just got through treating one of my Red Stars for the same thing. PandoraTaylor is correct,neosporin will heal the damage. I used it on my hen and it healed up in no time. After it heals,you can put Rooster Booster (brand name) pick-no-more on their combs or Blu Coat and either of those should discourage picking/pecking.
 

jennh

Songster
12 Years
Jun 21, 2007
1,370
11
171
Lititz
Quote:
Why is everyone saying neosporin without PAINKILLER? Does that hurt the hens?
idunno.gif


Jen
 
Last edited:

snowflake

Crowing
11 Years
Aug 21, 2009
3,083
274
361
Belding Michigan
looks like dried blood from pecking, triple antibiotic works well, I thought I read on here once that some one used diaper ointment, tasted so bad the pecking stopped
 

BarkerChickens

Microbrewing Chickenologist
12 Years
Nov 25, 2007
3,508
21
244
High Desert, CA
gonzo&hispeeps :

Yep, the pain killer can kill a chicken.
Quote:
Why is everyone saying neosporin without PAINKILLER? Does that hurt the hens?
idunno.gif


Jen

It's the -caine drugs in particular...such as lidocaine, etc. that is toxic to chickens (as in VERY toxic, kills the chicken incredibly fast!). Most Neosporin WITH painkiller is fine since it does not use a -caine for the pain relief (they use pramoxine hydrochloride instead). HOWEVER, nearly every other brand I have seen does use -caine's, so just check the label first. I use neoporin with painkiller, but I always check the label first just in case they change their ingredients. Any other brand, I will only buy the WITHOUT painkiller.
 

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