Punk-Rock Hairdo’s for your Chicken and Rooster

My Homesteading Hero sent me this photo of Rooster Sunny [click here for why someone else is raising my rooster] and said, “See his comb?”. That’s not a good conversation usually. The comb of a chicken is an important health indicator, but agreement on exactly what it indicates is up for debate.

The weather hasn’t been cold enough for frost bite. Peterson, the Plymoth Barred Rock hen, had a spot on her comb, but not the same kind….not on the tips like Sunny. Sunny is a bit unusual to begin with. He has a large lump on his right back, his body is shorter than the hens and he rarely crows. Though he has continued to gain weight and is much bigger than the hens, they still bully him. Peterson was seen pecking at Sunny’s comb earlier that day.

He may have inherited some health problems and the comb can be an indicator of organ failure. It would be sad to lose Sunny, but he may be on borrowed time. My youngest and I drove out to our friend’s farm and picked up Sunny for his new hairdo. We brought something I used growing up on mom and dad’s farm, called Blu-Kote. It’s not for use on animals you eat, but we are never eating this batch of chickens. When I was a kid it came in a cannister with a large dauber inside… a lot like that for cementing PVC plumbing together. This new version is an aerosol spray. That was handy when I had to treat a hen’s foot in the dark while she was asleep in the coop.

While cradling Sunny and trying to keep his eyes covered, we gave his comb a nice purple dye job. He looks like a punk-rocker now. According to several chicken-keepers the black comb problems often go away on their own. We won’t know Sunny’s outcome for quite some time. The local vet doesn’t treat chickens…I’ve already asked when I was going to get his lumpy back treated. And no, that’s not the way you do it on a farm, but these were my children’s first pets….we got them months before getting our dog Louie. And, I figured I had lots to learn anyway. The next group of chickens won’t be ‘pets’.

We treated Peterson for the ugly spot on her comb as well. She wasn’t as calm as Sunny and she shook her head afterward causing the purple medicine/dye to fly. Be warned, if it gets on something, it’s not coming off. Get it on clothing and learn to like the shade. Get it under your nails and you will have to wait for the the nail to grow out. When Peterson shook out her new ‘do’ some Blu-Kote hit My Homestead Hero on the face to which she responded, “I need new friends!”

Looks good in the sun!
Hey there, pretty lady….notice my new hairdo?

Some photos, background and text in this particular story used by permission of My Homesteading Hero.

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