Vaseline: Dirty head

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Andi, Jan 13, 2010.

  1. Andi

    Andi Chillin' With My Peeps

    We've all been hearing about frostbit combs lately. I have all girls so I wasn't all too concerned at first, but did notice that people use Vaseline to help protect against frostbite.

    I have 2 EEs and their combs don't stick out at all. My BAs comb is little (I think its referred to as a peacomb), so not problem there. Now my California White has a good sized comb, so much so that for the longest time before she started laying I thought she was going to be a roo. If anyone of them was a candidate for frostbite, it would be Nelly, the California White.

    The temps last week were pretty brutal. For several days it didn't even go above 0°F (not even figuring in windchill). I decided to leave the girls locked up during that time. Well, later in the week the temp during the day got above 10° so I thought I'd let them out for a bit. The next morning when I brought them their breakfast and turned their light on I noticed Nelly's comb tips were yellow and white with a dark coloring on the very tips. I felt so bad!

    I searched the house and we had no Vaseline. (I know, its a preventative, not a cure.) The girls were going to have to stay locked up until I could get some. (16 miles to town and I wasn't about to make a special trip just for Vaseline!)

    I got the Vaseline and gave her comb a coating. That was interesting. Trying to convince a chicken its a good thing to grab her head and goo up a tender comb wasn't as easy as I was thinking it was going to be. She ended up with Vaseline on her head feathers as well as her comb. The weather was looking nice with the temps in the teens. The girls were so happy to go out!

    I'm usually not the one to put the girls to bed, but I do get to see their excited to see me (and breakfast) faces every morning. Yesterday morning I almost freaked. Nelly's comb was almost solid black! Then I realized so was the top of her head! Whew! That was a relief! Got a chuckle out of it, at least. The run is covered and not all of it is covered in snow. The spot they did their dust bathing in was free of snow. I'm sure they were all taking turns rolling in that black dirt.

    Now I'm wondering how I'm going to get the Vaseline off her head once the weather warms up. She must have been working at trying to rub the Vaseline off all day because this morning her comb was all clean. The feathers surrounding her comb are still dirty though. She's dominantly a white bird and the dirty feathers are quite noticeable. I can only imagine how caked it will get after repeated applications. It must feel gross. How am I going to get the caked in Vaseline out this Spring? I can just see things sticking to her head and the other girls pecking at her head like its a snack bar.
  2. BeardedLadyFarm

    BeardedLadyFarm Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 31, 2009
    Cobleskill NY
    I went to our state farm show this weekend, and saw a lot of frost bite on combs there, and we were going to have our coldest night of winter, so I also ran out and got some Vaseline specifically for my California White! While I was at it, all of the straight combed girls got a little. Luckily most of mine are pea combed, or rose combed, so I wasn't that worried.

    We're getting above freezing this week, and the girls have excavated a new dust bath in the garden. And dirty she is! I figure most of it will wear off by spring, and a couple spring rains should take care of the rest.

    You can bathe chickens, but I haven't tried. It's mainly for show birds. I'm sure there's some information on here on how to attempt that.

    For the record, I didn't want a white chicken, for this very reason! My housemate made me get her. She is sweet though...

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