worried about SC roos getting frostbite/sterility

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by jmc, Nov 18, 2011.

  1. jmc

    jmc Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 22, 2008
    South Central MA
    I have read from good sources that a frostbitten comb can result in sterility in a rooster. SC roos are esp. susceptible. I am worried about losing my roos fertility to frostbite.

    I know all about the "vaseline/bag balm on the comb" thing, but even that seems a pretty slim defense against a MA late December--February.

    I am worried about this, and I don't know if i'll be able to apply it as often as they need.

    Yet so many raise SC roos up north, maybe it isn't that bad????????????

    I just DON"T want sterile roos!!
  2. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    I'm looking forward to the responses to this. I have had many roosters with frozen combs (natural dubbing) and it never affected their fertility. Their gonads are a long way from their combs. Doesn't seem logical. [​IMG]
  3. GAchick

    GAchick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 29, 2009
    Pembroke GA
  4. BWKatz

    BWKatz Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 22, 2010
    What is a SC roo?
  5. jmc

    jmc Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 22, 2008
    South Central MA
    sc means 'single comb'

    actually one of the reasons for dubbing is to prevent frostbite and attendant infertility issues.........................

    i know for certain that at least temporary infertility can result from a frozen comb
  6. Pele

    Pele Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 25, 2011
    Hrm, this is an interesting thread.

    At first glance, it seems silly that fertility would be affected by frostbite to the comb, especially since roosters carry their 'equipment' (at work and have to use euphamisms) internally.

    However, upon further reflection, it does seem plausable that the rooster's body would involve it's resources to repairing damage to itself, rather than maintaining fertility. Especially since frostbite can turn gangrenous, and would be a much higher priority item to attend to.
  7. wyododge

    wyododge Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 30, 2011
    I would like to see the 'good sources'. The only way I could think that it would affect virility is if there were a bunch of roosters, and the visual appearance of the comb reduced his dominance some how.

    Not sure how a single roo, with his own harem would be affected by it.

    Sounds kinda like one of those elderly mother stories...
  8. Dead Rabbit

    Dead Rabbit Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 28, 2010
    SC- straight comb ............too.

    does not affect sterility. old wives tale. if your worried about it. dub him. or at least cut the points off his comb, this will help, but not a sure fire way to prevent it. even PC roosters will get frost bite. only way to totally prevent is dub the comb totally off.
  9. jmc

    jmc Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 22, 2008
    South Central MA
    yes, it does seem strange to me also, that published breeders should mention such.

    this is why i posted the thread, to get some feedback from others.
    The experience of some, even if they be 'high level and authors', doesn't translate into a 'universal law' now, does it?!

    precisely why i started this thread...................glad for all input
  10. jmc

    jmc Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 22, 2008
    South Central MA
    this is actually NOT one of the sources i was referring to, but it took me 30 sec. to find this online.

    So this is not just fantasy:

    Frozen comb in roosters
    When the temperature drops and we have a hard frost, roosters with large combs can get frostbite to their combs. The result is parts of the comb and/or wattles that turn black and eventually die off. This can occasionally cause infertility during the breeding season the next spring. The problem normally occurs with birds that have large combs, such as leghorns. Rose comb birds are not affected and hens don't have this problem because they sleep with their heads tucked under their wings during cold weather.

    The cockerel's comb is most at risk when the humidity in the house is high and the temperature drops below freezing outside. If your chickens live in a well-insulated house or one with poor ventilation, this tends to be when they are at a greater risk.


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