What can happen to chickens feet if they freeze?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Smokey2201, Jan 9, 2015.

  1. Smokey2201

    Smokey2201 Chillin' With My Peeps

    165
    4
    61
    Jun 12, 2014
    I have a 3 month old chick and I guess his mom abandon him so when I went to check on them his feet are hard and won't move! I think they are frozen! I have him inside under a heat lamp. I am worried about him but he seems to be completely fine. He can walk but he limps a little. Whats gonna happen?
     
  2. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict Premium Member

    29,846
    4,080
    521
    Apr 3, 2011
    southern Ohio
    How cold is it where you live at night? Was he inside the coop? A 3 month old chick should be fully able to withstand the winter temperatures as the others if he is in a coop at night that is free of direct drafts. Unfortunately in winter, many chickens will accidentally step into the water bowls in freezing temperatures, causing their feet to freeze. I would bring him inside. Here is a good link about frostbite--please read the rest of it, and follow the excerpt below for your chick:
    http://www.the-chicken-chick.com/2013/12/frostbit-in-backyard-chickens-causes.html

    DO move a frostbitten chicken to a warmer location upon discovery of a severe case of exposure where the tissue is black or large areas of tissue are affected to stop any further cold injury from progressing.

    DO obtain veterinary care immediately if possible.

    DO consult a veterinarian for prescription medication for pain and inflammation (Metacam is commonly prescribed for this purpose). Alternatively, five aspirin (five grain each) dissolved in one gallon of water may be given for 1-3 days. (aspirin dilution source: Chicken Health for Dummies)

    DO gradually warm the affected area(s). Frostbitten feet should be immersed in lukewarm water between 100°F and 101°F for 20-25 minutes to bring the tissues back up to temperature SLOWLY. For combs and wattles, washcloths soaked in lukewarm water can be held very gingerly against them. Avoid rubbing or any friction that could cause additional damage to tissues.
     
  3. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict Premium Member

    29,846
    4,080
    521
    Apr 3, 2011
    southern Ohio
  4. Smokey2201

    Smokey2201 Chillin' With My Peeps

    165
    4
    61
    Jun 12, 2014
    I opened the door in the morning and was gone the rest of the day until I got back. Its only one foot. It is swollen and bright red. How do I know if it is frost bitten?
     
  5. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict Premium Member

    29,846
    4,080
    521
    Apr 3, 2011
    southern Ohio
    I would bring her in, and follow the treatment for frostbite, and hope she doesn't have it. Sometimes it takes a few days to determine the damage.
     
  6. Smokey2201

    Smokey2201 Chillin' With My Peeps

    165
    4
    61
    Jun 12, 2014
    Ok I will do that. Thanks!
     
  7. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict Premium Member

    29,846
    4,080
    521
    Apr 3, 2011
    southern Ohio
    Please let us know how she is doing in a few days. I really hope the foot is not frostbitten. Losing toes is not as serious as the whole foot. It is a challenge in the winter to keep water thawed, and prevent them from accidentally stepping in it. Good luck.
     
  8. Smokey2201

    Smokey2201 Chillin' With My Peeps

    165
    4
    61
    Jun 12, 2014
    Thanks, I'll let you know.
     
  9. Smokey2201

    Smokey2201 Chillin' With My Peeps

    165
    4
    61
    Jun 12, 2014
    None of the vets in my area would do anything about him. So he has been inside. I am pretty sure he has frostbite. The very tips of his toes and nails are turning black. His foot is very swollen everywhere. His other foot isn't as bad but also swollen. Is there anything I can do to help him?
     
  10. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict Premium Member

    29,846
    4,080
    521
    Apr 3, 2011
    southern Ohio
    If he is inside and warm, you can soak his feet in warm epsom salts daily which can soothe and reduce inflammation. Or you can spray his feet with iodine to help prevent infection. Could you post a picture of his feet? It can take several weeks to see the extent of the damage. Any blackened areas may fall off. It's good that the other foot isn't as badly affected.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by