When to start to worry about frostbitten combs?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by TheSitcomGirls, Jan 7, 2014.

  1. TheSitcomGirls

    TheSitcomGirls Chillin' With My Peeps

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    :( It was -9 here in CT last week one morning and I noticed my rooster Spock's comb starting to turn black on the tips. The coop got down to a balmy 15 degrees that night. I have never had an issue with frostbite before in 4 winters of keeping chickens in the same coop except for a few single comb hens that lost the very tips. I have 23 hens and 1 rooster. Their coop is 15' x 16'.

    My coop doesn't smell like ammonia and I fluff up the bedding every morning and put some fresh chips down. Then I do a complete clean out in the winter every four weeks. On the below zero wind chill days I have been keeping my chickens inside. When it is this cold my chickens look outside and refuse to go out anyway! Is it possible that because a chicken grows up in a warmer climate that it's comb is not as resistant to frostbite as a chicken who grows up in Canada or Alaska? Even if the chicken's are the same breed? I see pictures of other people's chickens running around in the snow and it's amazing to me. Until I shovel and put hay down, none of mine will go outside if there is even a dusting of snow.

    Last night it was 10 degrees outside (and - wind chill), 16 degrees in the coop. This morning I noticed two blisters underneath the blackish areas on Spock's comb. How bad is Spock's frostbite? What do I need to watch out for? Are the blisters a sign of infection to come or just what happens...like with a regular burn.

    Thanks for your help!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Spock:
    [​IMG]

    Spock's blisters:
    [​IMG]

    3 year old Ancona hen with no damage to comb this year. When it is cold or rainy she almost never goes outside. She did lose a couple points of her comb last winter.
    [​IMG]
     
  2. foreverlearning

    foreverlearning Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If you put Vaseline on their combs and waddles it will prevent frostbite.
     
  3. TheSitcomGirls

    TheSitcomGirls Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks! I will give it a try.
     
  4. chick rookie

    chick rookie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I know how to prevent it can anyone tell me what to do once they have it.
    [​IMG]
    this is the worst one.
     
  5. foreverlearning

    foreverlearning Chillin' With My Peeps

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    There is no treatment for frostbite that I know of. Even on humans the frostbitten area is cut off because it turns black and dies. On a chicken it is a little different because there is less connective tissue it falls off on its own. All you can do is try to prevent it the next time.
     
  6. chick rookie

    chick rookie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    thing is I tried to prevent it, I put petroleum jelly on the combs yesterday, guess they rubbed it off of I didn't put enough on?? do you think it is bad enough that I will lose her?
     
  7. foreverlearning

    foreverlearning Chillin' With My Peeps

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    No, not her just a bit of her comb. As long as they don't get frostbite on their feet (very rare even in Canada) they will be fine. Most older chickens that you see missing a point or two on their combs was because of frostbite at some point in their lives. You could try to warm them up a little bit, but for the already frostbitten area it will just fall off after awhile.
     
  8. chick rookie

    chick rookie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    ok good , I have her and the other 4 in the basement its about 40 deg.f down there is that warm enough? I didn't want to get them too warm so I could put them back outside when the temps rise a bit.
     
  9. CCCCCCCCHICKENS

    CCCCCCCCHICKENS Overrun With Chickens

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    Chick rookie- There is not much you can do nos. I would dab a little vasilene on it. It will either heal or a little bit will turn black and fall off. As far as the 40 degrees, It is suppose to be 40 degrees here on saturday that is when I would put them back out.
     
  10. foreverlearning

    foreverlearning Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes, they should be fine down there. Remember that there is humidity in basements so while it may be warmer and less of a risk of getting more frostbite I would still put vasseline on their combs just in case. It also prevents the others from pecking at the already effected areas.
     

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