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The story of our precious little girl's 17 months of life with Trisomy 18 (July 4, 2010 - December 15, 2011) and of us, re-learning to live "after Lilly."
"I will praise you for I am fearfully and wonderfully made ...." Psalm 139:14

Monday, December 29, 2014

Treating frostbite in chickens

Recently Tabby came inside one morning holding Bungo, one of her Silkie Bantam roosters.  He had frostbite really bad over his comb, waddle, ears, and even the feathers on the top of his head.  It was so strange looking - black and scaly. 

Tabby asked me to look up how to treat it in the book Fresh Eggs Daily:  Raising Happy, Healthy Chickens ... Naturally by Lisa Steele.  We LOVE this book though wish it had an index!  So when I couldn't find our answer quick enough, I got online and searched the author's blog.  I easily found our answer in Lisa's blog post "Treating and Preventing Frostbite in Chicken's Naturally."  She suggested treating with coconut oil, Waxelene (a petroleum jelly alternative), or her own homemade frostbite ointment

Since we wanted something right way, I grabbed the coconut oil and while Tabby held Bungo, I began rubbing the oil onto all his blackened areas.  It felt so weird to me!  But it must have felt good to Bungo because he was very still in Tabby's arms.  Except when I put it on his feathers on the top of his head.  He jumped - it must have been quite painful.

Later that day, I decided to make Lisa's Homemade Frostbite Ointment.  Thankfully I had all the ingredients in my "apothecary" and it was very easy to make.  Tabby and I treated Bungo several times with the ointment and he seemed to enjoy it and was soon feeling better. 

Bungo still has some blackened places on him.  I'm not sure how much of that will change.  I know that the comb will not regrow.  Tabby had hoped to sell some of her roosters, but she will have to take Bungo off that list as he has lost his "good looks."  (And now that he's "damaged" she and I have a soft place for him in our hearts.  Thanks to Lilly, and person or animal that is "special needs" or "damaged" in any way makes Tabby and I say "awwww...." and instantly love it.)

When I think of frostbite, I think of people getting it from having exposed skin to cold and snow.  But from Lisa's blogpost,  I learned that it is not the cold that usually causes frostbite, but the moisture and dampness. 

Tabby said that Bungo always roosts by the window of their coop.  So he must have just gotten blasted by the air.  We covered that window and will leave the covering up for the winter.  Note that ventilation is important though, and Tabby's coop still has plenty of ventilation.  See Lisa's blogpost to read about other ways to prevent frostbite. 

Tabby's chicken coop (April 2014) with some strange looking chickens in it

I have three extra 4.0 oz. tins of the homemade chicken frostbite ointment left.  If you would like to buy one, just let me know.  I will sell them for $4.00 each plus shipping.

Putting ointment on a frostbitten chicken.  One more thing I can add to my list of "things I've done that I had no idea I would ever do!"


  1. Your resume is a good read I bet! :)

    1. LOL! My criminal justice degree does not exactly help me with my life now!

  2. Poor Bungo!!! :( I hope he's feeling better!!! I love your soft spot for these guys!