very weird, very worried

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by kinnip, Dec 28, 2008.

  1. kinnip

    kinnip Songster

    Feb 24, 2008
    Carrollton, GA
    My big Marans roo has two black points on his comb. I only just noticed it. It looks like frostbite, but it hasn't hit freezing here in more than a week. He seems fine otherwise. There's no darkening in any other tissue. The rest of the comb looks fine, except for his fighting scabs. I'm perplexed and worried.
  2. luvmychicknkids

    luvmychicknkids Canning Squirrel

    Mar 6, 2008
    Floresville, Texas
    I have heard that it can take several days for frostbite to show up black. Not sure though. Sorry, I hope he is alright. Is it possible they are just bloody from being pecked?
  3. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD

    Frost bite isn't black untill the tissue dies and becomes necrotic. So getting frost bit a week ago would have been red, swollen, and frozen, and now the tissues are dying and turning black.

    You can either wait and let the dead tissues shrivel up and fall off, but that may risk gangerine that can go systemic and kill, or you could cut off the affected parts. Depends on the extent of damage really on what you want to do.
  4. kinnip

    kinnip Songster

    Feb 24, 2008
    Carrollton, GA
    Just grrrrrrrrrrrrr! [​IMG] It was down to 19 degrees on the night of the 22nd. It seemed like it was longer ago than that. I guess that's when it happened. I had a heat lamp on in the coop, but it wasn't winterized. It just doesn't typically get that cold here. I could kisk myself for not covering all the vents. I guess the ladies were bright enough to tuck their heads. Of course, given the size of his comb, he may have tucked as much as he could.
    So...dubbing? Any advice? I wish it weren't so warm and wet right now. I may just give him some Penn-G after I do it. He's my only Marans roo and he's a beauty. This is really going to suck.
  5. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD

    How bad is it really? Just one night at 22? My birds, some with big combs, have done the teens sleeping pretty much outside under tarps without issue or heat. Then again, if you are in GA, perhaps they are not acclimated to the weather. [​IMG] Wouldn't think heat was reqired there. For future reference, heating can often be negative as they get used to warm and then when they go out they get too easily chilled. And you do want to leave vents open, cold damp is much worse than dry cold. Humidity is bad.

    Perhaps you can post a pic. If it's not that bad, you may not have to do anything. Or if it's "black" but actually just purple, it could possibly recover.

    This thread has pics of some bad advanced frost bite.
  6. Our Marans tips are black too. I think they earn 'Most likely to get frostbite' - none of our other chickens have the problem this year, so far. The Marans started showing signs of frostbite before it reached freezing.

    Personally, I wouldn't worry about it. We live in very cold weather, we've had a few nights below zero. Our chickens and muscovy ducks get frostbite all the time. We've never had one get sick from it - most you'd never know they had it.

    I don't even know if I'd cut off the tips. Most of the time, it is just the outerlayer that is damaged - Once that wears off, the tips look normal - just as they did before the frostbite.

    Just keep an eye on him and watch for any complications. Chickens are resilient creatures. Why lower their natural ability to survive by using antibiotics? Save them for when they are really needed.
  7. kinnip

    kinnip Songster

    Feb 24, 2008
    Carrollton, GA
    Crone, if you're right, that's the best news I've heard all day. I don't want to cut those tips and I do find it difficult to believe they've frozen through. It's a helluva thing to admit, but my vanity runs to my animals too. The thought of that big, beautiful boy missing points really hurts my feelings.
  8. CovenantCreek

    CovenantCreek Chicks Rule!

    Oct 19, 2007
    Franklin, TN
    This may not ease your concerns this time of year, but my roo's comb frequently had black tips throughout the summer and fall -- it was definitely not frostbitten.
  9. kinnip

    kinnip Songster

    Feb 24, 2008
    Carrollton, GA
    Just curious, why do you say "had"? Did he die while this was going on?
  10. davidb

    davidb Songster

    Dec 15, 2008
    north east Georgia
    I would also say frost bite . It hasn't been cold here but a few times also but my two roos are showing signs of frost bite the older one more so than the younger one . this alway seems to be the case for me. maybe the older they get the easier it gets to have frost bite

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: