top of page

Spring is coming, just look at these tom turkeys.

Updated: Mar 18, 2019

Black Spanish turkeys

It has been a long hard winter and the poultry is all anxious for Spring. I hope to start this section as I learn how it works to provide weekly updates on topics in poultry and gardening. Each week I will try to address seasonal issue for each topic. The first issue is dealing with the after effects of frozen combs in chickens and what impact it has.

As a general rule when a rooster freezes his comb he is not very fertile for a period of time that it takes him to regrow the lost tissue and have it heal over. Tall single combed Mediterranean class breeds sometimes will be out of commission reproductive wise for a month or more. So,for those setting eggs after a long cold spell do not expect high fertility on those early hatches.

The poor old fellow below was in peak breeding comb prior to the start of our long 6 weeks of hard winter. He was subjected to a week of subzero days some as cold as -36˚F. Some breeds recover faster than others. I have chosen to show this one as it is the extreme, his big single comb will be "dubbed" and he will take awhile yet to regain his strength. Best bet is to add lots of vitamins and electrolytes to speed up recovery.

Rooster was in full comb ready to breed when a week of sub zero temperatures occurred all the way down to -36 F. He is healing but it was hard  on him. Some  breeds take longer  to heal than others.
Frost bite on comb and wattles after six weeks

320 views3 comments

Recent Posts

See All


With many -35 nights and below zero days most of March here in NW MT, I got lucky with the lack of frostbitten combs this time around. Only the Black Minorca hens had a bit on the edges of their wattles, and 2 got a bit blackened tips on their combs. It seems they don't want to tuck their heads under a wing when the wind blows a snowdrift into the henhouse. The Brown and the White Leghorns were completely unaffected, and along with the Americana population were picking up on the longer daylength and laying like crazy. Unfortunately, most of the eggs froze and split lenghthwise before I got to them. The dogs and cats were happy to chew…



we have lots of problems,in

wv in our single comb birds; we get a couple days_10.


Interesting fact about the frozen combs that I didn't know about. We rarely have that happen here because of the milder Winters in South Central Texas. Dan

bottom of page