What do you do about a frostbit comb?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by RAREROO, Dec 11, 2009.


    RAREROO Overrun With Chickens

    Jul 22, 2009
    Alapaha, Ga
    The we've had our coldest nights this week and I noticed today that the tips of the comb of my RIR roo are black, so I'm assuming that is frostbite, right? So what can I do for it, and will it get back to normal?
  2. ChickieBooBoo

    ChickieBooBoo Cold Canadian Chick

    Dec 2, 2009
    Thats been happening to my birds too, they say you can put vaseline on them and it helps, but other people say they've tried it and it didn't make a difference. Sorry this isn't very helpful.
  3. Karrie13

    Karrie13 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 1, 2009
    I am wondering this too. I think a couple of mine may have frostbite on their comb. Their comb is white on the tips... at least it was white earlier this afternoon. I heard about people dubbing the combs but I am not sure. Hopefully someone else comes on with an answer.

    RAREROO Overrun With Chickens

    Jul 22, 2009
    Alapaha, Ga
    OK Maybe someone with experience will chim in soon and tell us.
  5. Cornychick

    Cornychick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 12, 2009
    Sebastian County, AR
    I worry too. I have a brown leghorn hen with a quite large comb. No signs of anything yet but we are having some extreme temps and I get the feeling we are in for a cold winter.
  6. lalaland

    lalaland Overrun With Chickens

    Sep 26, 2008
    Pine County MN
    vaseline or bag balm is for BEFORE the frostbite, and yes, it does ward it off. It will not prevent it in high windchills, or in highly wet environments, but inside your coop, it does actually help.

    I keep hens inside when the windchill is below -10 or so.

    If you see white on the comb, it may or may not turn black. Once it turns black, it usually will fall off later, but if you have a large black area, you need to watch carefully for necrotic tissue - think wet and black= big trouble, dry and black not so much.

    I have had occasional combs with black on the tips, not much, when I did't grease up the combs preventatively. Never had serious black, but it would be something to watch out for.
  7. ole-crone

    ole-crone Chillin' With My Peeps

    Our Marans rooster had awful frostbite last winter. I wondered how he his comb was going to survive - normally roos get it on the tips but he had a huge circle just above his head, in the middle. The black was on both sides, suggesting that the damage went through and through. To my surprise, the comb healed completely - no signs of frostbite damage. I have little sense of balance as the result of an old car accident so once it is icy outside I have to rely on others to care for my flock. My husband just gives me a blank stare when I mention putting vaseline or bag balm on the chickens. He would if I pressured him but he already does so much, it is down at the bottom of my list.

    Since we live in an area that regularly gets down to -30F, I am working on slowly replacing my single-combed chickens with something not as susceptible. In the meantime, we try to keep their coops as dry and warm as possible and if we do have a frostbite problem, there is nothing much you can do but watch to make sure no secondary infection starts.
  8. KattyKillFish

    KattyKillFish Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 8, 2009
    Dillingham, Alaska
    i've got a big bossy cuckoo maran with a tad bit of frostbite on his comb. i don't worry about it if it's a small amount. it doesn't seem to bother him much but i once had a brown leghorn and he had it so bad that it was bleeding and he was getting picked on pretty bad, i had to get him dubbed. never had the problem again after that! [​IMG]
  9. parmesan

    parmesan Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 5, 2009
    We just had our first BIG snow. I'm only 6 months into being a chicken person, and one hen and the rooster have a bit of black on their combs. We slathered them with vaseline...how often must that be done as a preventative? What is "dubbing"? Will a seedling warmer mat keep a one gallon plastic waterer from freezing? And do you think stacking the outside of the coop with bales is enough to insulate them? Thanks a ton for any info.
  10. Chicks R Friends NOT Food

    Chicks R Friends NOT Food Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 15, 2009
    Chariho RI
    Quote:Dubbing is cutting off the comb, and sometimes wattles as well. It's painful at first, but they heal quickly and most of the time are better off in the long run, especially in cases of frostbite or if the comb and wattles are too big to eat and drink well.

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