Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Rooster with Frozen Feet

Hi there!  It's been a long time since I've written anything.  So long, in fact, that I'll start over, from the beginning.  Don't worry, I'll make it short.

My name is Lynn, I have a farm I call Razzberry Corner, I'm not a farm girl, but instead have a high tech job in downtown Washington, DC. I have a big heart for animals and try my best with them. This farm thing is a learning experience, I learn as I go, I learn from looking things up online and I hope that my blog one day helps someone else online who's looking for help.  I've experienced so many things when dealing with chickens and guineas that I think others can learn from, and I want to help others so they don't have to struggle the way I often do. My problem is that I don't have much time.  Blogging takes time.  Work takes time, and I often travel for work.  Running a farm, dealing with animals, housework and cleaning, cooking and all the other aspects of life take time. 

As I'm writing this I have a rooster in my bathroom and 2 barn cats in the guest room. (My husband is a saint to put up with me...)  And at least a foot of snow outside.  The rooster is my main concern right now.

His name is Muffin, he was one of my very first two roosters.  Yeah, I didn't know it was a boy and I was new to chickens back then, I didn't think not to name them silly names until we figured out their gender.   But the name Muffin always stuck, and the bird knew his name.  He always answered when we called "Muffin!" My husband always liked Muffin, Muff sometimes wanted to fight with me, but I learned to live with him.  All-in-all, he has been our best rooster, and has always been our lead roo.

Yesterday when it was snowing, my husband went out and found Muff standing in the snow out in the chicken pen.  He picked up the bird and found his feet frozen!  We put him in a cold bath and ever so slowly made the water warmer and warmer - we held him in the sink for about an hour, each of us taking turns holding him so only his legs were under water. The legs and feet got warm, he was able to move the legs up and down again, and he curled the toes just a little when we put our fingers in them.  I think it's natural for a bird to curl their toes around something, simulating roosting.

We put Muff on a towel in front of the fireplace and let him totally warm up and dry off.  He preferred to lay down on top of his legs/feet.  No standing. The legs/feet looked normal.

Overnight last night we put Muffin in the bathroom on a towel that we rolled up so he was able to wrap his toes a little around the soft towel. We brought in a hen (named Zoner) to keep him company.  He and Zoner both ate treats and Zoner drank water.  Muff wanted nothing to do with drinking.

This morning he crowed 5 times.  Zoner went back out to the coop.  Muff is still laying there in the bathroom.  He eats ok, but is not drinking. And not standing.  I lifting him up and looked at the feet - they're all cracked and bleeding in the corners of the toes. I read online to put Vaseline on them, so I coated them with Vaseline and hope they heal. He's not moving around at all, just laying there, although he's alert and seems fine otherwise.

Cracks between toes

I hope he gets better.  We're going to give him a few days inside to let him heal.  If he cannot walk the other birds will pick on him.  He was the king of the coop.  Now he will become the lowest in the pecking order and that alone will destroy this feisty rooster who's used to being in charge.  Sadly, my husband will have to put him down if he cannot walk again.

Any assistance anyone can provide about chickens with frozen feet is appreciated!


Gail said...

I have no idea. Now, that was the answer you needed!

Good to see you back.

Kessie said...

Oh no, not Muffin! I've heard of this happening. Do you think his toes will fall off? Hopefully he just doesn't want to walk because his feet hurt, poor guy.