Vasiline as a protection against frostbite, pro and cons?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Countrypltryfan, Jan 6, 2014.

  1. Countrypltryfan

    Countrypltryfan Out Of The Brooder

    May 23, 2013
    VA/NC line
    Ive often heard that vasiline is a great protector against frostbite on larger combs and gills, and used it many cold nights on my Silkie Roos....but now im hearing theyre also cons..... and i just rubbed down my large combed leghorn hens. tonight it will be three degrees. point being; my question is, what is your experience with vasiline on combs/gills? have you heard of or experienced any said cons? thanks for reading and/or responding :)
  2. Countrypltryfan

    Countrypltryfan Out Of The Brooder

    May 23, 2013
    VA/NC line
    also, and while my birds are in 10x20 wooden building, im sure there will be some drafts...also have two heat lamps going.
  3. chickengeorgeto

    chickengeorgeto Overrun With Chickens

    Dec 25, 2012
    I suspect that petroleum jelly helps keep tissues already slightly damaged by cold from forming blisters something like how Suntan lotion helps lessen the effects of a Sunburn. Since petroleum jelly is oily it also may form a physical barrier to the moisture in the air or to direct flesh to air contact, reducing heat transfer between hen and atmosphere.

    Since you are already using petroleum jelly on your birds heads, why not use some on the other end and treat your birds shanks and feet for scaly leg mites at the same time? If Vaseline is good to prevent frost bite on a rooster's comb, it also should work to prevent frozen toes and feet and as a bonus you get to kill those pesky scaly leg mites all three with only one handling.
    1 person likes this.
  4. BantamLover21

    BantamLover21 Overrun With Chickens

    Jul 24, 2013
    Vaseline has never worked for me in preventing frostbite, but it does work for some people. It can help protect the skin from any drafts, which are a major cause of frostbite. Some drawbacks that I've found/read about include: attracting moisture to the comb (major factor in frostbite) and making a sticky mess of the feathers around the head. It can also leave an ugly looking white layer of dead skin on the comb if it is applied often to a dry comb. Still, if you're worried about frostbite, Vaseline is certainly worth a try--it can't really hurt.
  5. BrickWall Honey

    BrickWall Honey Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 24, 2013
    Accomac, Va.
    It has not been proven to do anything to prevent frostbite, although many still use it. Not many professional skiers or mountain climbers using it for their faces or nose. When I was part of a wilderness rescue team, the team physician said any jell or paste would do no good. We used face mask when it got below -25 while searching for lost hikers/climbers. I think many use it cause they feel they have to do something. Good housing, wind breaks, access to water, and dry will do more to help your flock than Vaseline.

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