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Black stuff on rooster comb/wattle

 
steward
Posts: 4820
Location: Northern WI (zone 4)
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I just noticed my rooster has some black shiny spots on his comb and wattle.  I can't say I look closely at him every day but I don't think these were here a week ago.  I'm sure they weren't there a month ago.  Any idea what this is?
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pollinator
Posts: 1454
Location: Midlands, South Carolina Zone 7b/8a
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I have had that on roosters in the past and it was of no consequence.  HOWEVER,

They can be the result of frostbite, pox, bruising or scratching in underbrush, fighting with other birds, etc.

Best bet is to watch the birds behavior, appetite , excrement, etc.

 
Mike Jay
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Thanks Jeanine!  Does it go away?

I picked at a chunk of it yesterday and it's stuck on there kind of like a scab or bit of tar.  He had frostbite last winter, that's why his comb isn't as pointy as normal.  But it hasn't gotten cold yet this year so I don't think it's that, unless it's an 8 month delayed reaction...

Sunday is butchering day for his competition so I was hoping I wasn't going to keep him, kill the rest and then have him keel over on me a week later.  The "competition" is his brother who is way lower on the totem pole and 4 cockrels who are just starting to crow and chase the ladies.  He's keeping them under control pretty easily but maybe it is causing him some stress.  No fighting other than him running over and kicking the usurpers off of his ladies.  They run and squawk, they don't fight back.
 
Posts: 538
Location: Middle Georgia
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You sure it isn't dried blood? Maybe take a damp tissue and gently dab it to see if it is blood.

If it was fowl pox which is a temporary illness spread by mosquitoes, (the birds typically recover with no issues but it is unpleasant and ugly at the time) usually other birds will also show signs.

Every winter I put vaseline on the bantam rooster combs when the temps drop below freezing (to prevent frost bite) and inevitably the next day I freak out when their combs turn "black". Then I remember it is just the vaseline attracting dirt.
 
Mike Jay
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Good question, I'll try to dissolve it with a wet rag tonight.  

If I had to Vaseline him for every below freezing night, I'd be doing that for 5 months straight  These birds are bred by a local homesteader for the cold and they seem to do pretty good except for rooster combs.  My next breeding rooster will be partially selected for a rose comb for just that reason.
 
Jeanine Gurley Jacildone
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For both chickens and horses I found that it is best to leave those things alone.  

I have had horses with malignant tumors that were able to function normally until a ripe old age of 30 something.  

And a vet actually once told a buyer to leave a 'spot' alone and it would be fine.  She started picking at it and it spread to the horse's entire body.

As long as the animal is clean, has a good appetite, and is otherwise vigorous, then I just leave it alone.
 
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