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#8335 - 01/29/03 11:11 AM Re: Freezing Combs
Anonymous
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Lee,
I didn't think your post was harsh either. As a matter of fact I was glad to see it.
I have three roos with very large single combs, two the very points have turned black. They do not appear painful (I have touched them and massaged them and the roos don't seem to even blink or mind) I was beginning to feel really bad about not being able to do more for my guys. Your posts helped me to see that they are going to be just fine, with rounded points on their combs.

I have them in a draft free barn with a red 250 watt heat lamp on their water to keep it free of ice. I figured if the birds were really uncomfortable they would sleep near the light. Not so, they do not spend much time at all near the light in the warmest part of the barn. I figure even stupid chickens are smart enough to huddle under the warmth of the light if they are too cold. So I quit worrying.
Thanks for the words of wisdom from those more experienced than I.
Shari

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#8336 - 01/29/03 12:13 PM Re: Freezing Combs
Anonymous
Unregistered


This bout of winter makes one understand why Chanteclers are popular in Canada. I understand they have nearly no wattles and the smallest of pea combs. I think I need to invest!

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#8337 - 01/29/03 12:55 PM Re: Freezing Combs
Anonymous
Unregistered


echo 2- please do not dub adult birds- especially a rosecomb.
i have dubbed only a couple adult fully mature 2 year cocks, and it is a very dangerous thing to do. Each ttime i did it because the bird was weak and or going light, and i wished to save it.
the end of the spike is kinda the outside tissue, but inside these big beefy combs is a large artery that feeds the red royal crown.
in rosecombs there may be more vessels, but th eordinary single comb has a big vessel right in the center of the thickest part of the back base. if you were to cut the thick comb down to the skull then this spot will bleed like a water fountain. this has to be clamped off and it is such a bad location to put a clamp- nothing to hold onto.
when cockrels are dubbed, their combs are so much thinnner they dont bleed in a lifethreatening way- the base is thinner and they havent developed all the supporting tissue that fills in with time. it is not as painful as adult birds either- these shoud have a painkiller NEVER aspirin.
there is a happy medium, see some commercial broilers/ eggstock roosters and their single combs are dubbed partially, looks like an orange slice sitting on top of the head- only the thinner parts were clipped off. this is to improve the living conditions of the bird(they cant eat out of cage feeders or drink with large combs )
please dont dub- let it come off naturally- there will be less trauma that way.

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#8338 - 12/08/06 07:15 PM Re: Freezing Combs
Anonymous
Unregistered


I almost brought my chicken inside last night because of the cold weather. He has a large comb and I was really worried about him. I looked a lot of stuff up and decided he could take it. The very tips of his comb were purple. He's had little pieces purple before and they've healed in three days. I rubbed lotion and then petroleum jelly into his big comb and wattles for tonight-- he loved the lotion (I do that with or without cold weather) but he hated the petroleum jelly.
My chickens have no heat-- just a metal building and bails of loose straw-- very deep. It is currently 7 degrees. I am not going to worry-- though this is the coldest night we've had here in two years.
I am not going to worry...

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#8339 - 12/08/06 08:22 PM Re: Freezing Combs
Jrsygntbrdr1 Offline
Classroom Professor

Registered: 06/12/05
Posts: 2601
Loc: Arkansas
In the coops to prevent freezing of the combs, I put a heat lamp in the coop to generate some heat. I also close up the coop to keep a minimal amount of heat from escaping. My roosters are my main problem and I take them inside if I see a blackish or even tan coloring on the comb. I warm the comb up with a warm cloth until it is red. Then, I slather the comb with IcyHot to generate the blood circulation to the extremities again. I put Vaseline over the IcyHotted comb. Then I place him back in the coop.

I didn't get to put the heat lamp in the coop before the snow and freezing temps hit. (It was freaking 74 degrees F...then went to 20degrees the next day!!! With 12" of snow!!) Anyway, the rooster got some black on his comb and I did the above. Not blacker, but still not where I'd like it to be. His comb also has some bleeding to the ends from where I'm guessing the comb got too dry. His wattles also had some scabs forming on the, but I just put some Antibiotic Ointment, IcyHot, then Vaseline on them! They look MUCH better than the comb! To warm the birds up during the day, I take hot water up to them (it's "warm" by the time I make it up the hill!) to help warm them up!

Light Brahmas do really well with their combs in the winter, but their feet feathering can cause some issues. Mr. Mom lost a bit of his comb due to REALLY cold weather last year, but he's doing much better now! smile

Ordelia...just keep that train of thought!!! Don't worry...it will be fine! Don't worry...it will be fine! Don't worry...will it be fine??? Did I help??? LOL! smile

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#8340 - 12/09/06 10:19 AM Re: Freezing Combs
Anonymous
Unregistered


Thanks for better advice! I'll go put that treatment on him right now, starting with Neosporin! The tips of my rooster Izha's comb are a little black right now, and ther is a little bit of a yellow tinge to a certain area of his wattles and comb-- which could be caused by him eating with the petroleum jelly on and the dust getting stuck, or something else-- I'll go take another look. I bet it's the petroleum jelly.
I know what you mean about the freakin' weather. It was 68 degrees, and then WHAM! 28.. then 23.. then 11.. then 6... I was totally unprepared. I have a florescent light in his building because I'm worried about a fire. What do you do to prevent fire hazards in your chicken coop when the temperatures get to "wattle-freezing?" Next time, I want to be prepared!

Thanks for the enocuragement, jrsygntbrdr1! It really DID help! I think you sent my chickens warm vibrations or something smile

Update: The yellow seems to be areas with poor circulation. I massaged him a great deal, and put on the treatment, and he looks much better.

In addition to my last question, I would like to ask this one: if the comb has just a little bit of purpleish-black at the very tips, will it necessarily die or will it recover and scar?


Please see my forum in Poultry misc. to help me identify what Izha'z parents might have been. I'm really eager to hear guesses-- any guesses!

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#8341 - 12/09/06 11:18 AM Re: Freezing Combs
Jrsygntbrdr1 Offline
Classroom Professor

Registered: 06/12/05
Posts: 2601
Loc: Arkansas
for the heating lamp, I put the lamp at a cock-eyed position where the metal clamp is holding onto a roost in the corner. Then, I make the lamp light spread to the other end of the coop, just by adjusting the angle of the lamp. The birds gather however near, and however far away they need it. Oh! I put the lamp on the lower roost so that the light goes upwards. I wait an hour or two, and then I squeeze myself into the coop to make sure I don't smell smoke, or overheating of the litter in the coop. If I feel overheating, I adjust the lamp angle and height so that the coop isn't having concentrated heating in just one area.

Yeah...the yellow seems to be the precursor to the blackening. Having purplish-black on the tips doens't necessarily mean that part will fall off, but it's not as good as red. With black there is always a chance that the tissue has already died, but if I feel the comb and feel warmth in that part of the comb, I'm more assured that there is at least some circulation going on in there! It may recover and have no remaining problems, or it may be smoother than the rest of the comb, or it may fall off. Unfortunately, there's not way to tell until warmer weather starts back up! Darn cold!

The Vaseline getting dirt on it definately makes it look like there's more frostbite...but thank goodness for the sense of touch otherwise we'd have no clue as to if it were dirt or frostbite! lol

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#8342 - 12/09/06 11:48 AM Re: Freezing Combs
Anonymous
Unregistered


I ran out and checked. The blacker areas feel warm. It's 40 degrees here again. Thank goodness! They get to come out and play when its above freezing!

Thanks, thanks, thanks!
We had bantams when I was little, but I don't hardly remember anyone but my cochin hen that lived for 12 years, who would sit up in the pine trees with a foot of snow on her back. And my mother did most of the work involved with the chickens back then.

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#8343 - 01/24/07 08:03 AM Re: Freezing Combs
Anonymous
Unregistered


If you can catch it in time, rub them with DMSO and dry it off and turn on the heat.

Colts born in really cold temps can loose the tips of their ears and that is the way we treat them.

If you have expecting animals in the North Central states you don't sleep much at night during winter.

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