Buff Orpington Hen with large, floppy comb

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by newbie coops, Jan 14, 2009.

  1. newbie coops

    newbie coops In the Brooder

    Jun 20, 2008
    Northern New England
    I get so much useful information from this forum, and I've been searching online and can't seem to find a definitive answer so I thought I'd toss this one to all of you who are so learned in backyard chicken rearing where I'm a novice.

    We have a flock of 23 pullets and one rooster, four breeds: Buff Orps, NH Reds, BRs, and Black Stars. They are all 6 months old now and we've brooded them from 1 day old, and all but one is laying. We noticed two of the BOs have large, floppy combs recently. Otherwise, they seem healthy and are big as normal, acting normal, not losing weight, and eating normally that we can tell. We have kept the chickens in their hen house during the week when we are at work as their run is not covered with their netting (we had to remove it from all the snow) and they have heat lamps over the roosts, keeping the hen house around 35 during the day during these super-cold days and a little under that at night. There are no parasites or insects. We layer some food-grade DE with their pine shavings and are practicing the "deep litter" method for the winter. Their coop is dusty of course but there is no foul smell and I routinely put some drops of Vet RX in their water to prevent colds, etc. Their waterer is on the other side of the 8x12 hen house from the roosting area, and the water has only a few times gotten a bit of ice in it that could be broken up quite easily with most of the water unfrozen. We change the water every 1-2 days and pour off the old water in-between, and we put some Avian 2000 in their water every other time we change it.

    The BOs who have the floppy combs are showing no signs of illness nor do they act different from always. They are also big - as BOs generally are.

    Does anyone have any idea why one or two would develop larger, floppier combs? Their combs don't appear as though they have been frostbitten, they are a normal, pink/red color, and their eyes are clear and alert. It doesn't appear to be interfering with their eyesight, either. I'm baffled.

    Any insight anyone can offer is appreciated more than you know!

    Thanks so much,
  2. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    Some birds are just more endowed than others! Big comb hens usually result in a floppy comb over. [​IMG]
  3. Attack Chicken

    Attack Chicken [IMG]emojione/assets/png/2665.png?v=2.2.7[/IMG] Hu

    Sep 25, 2008
    Indianapolis, IN
    It sounds like those are getting ready/already laying. When they start or get ready to lay their comb get bigger and usually flop over. It sounds like you might be getting more eggs soon [​IMG] Nothing to worry about.
  4. newbie coops

    newbie coops In the Brooder

    Jun 20, 2008
    Northern New England
    Thanks so much for your insights! Most of the hens have been laying, a few from almost 16 weeks old - I've noticed more of them are kind of flopping a little now, and from your answers I won't worry about it anymore unless they start losing weight or acting otherwise unwell.

    Thanks again!
  5. lichick28

    lichick28 Songster

    Dec 31, 2008
    I have two leghorns that have floppy combs. I just thought it was because they are pet quality. There are no problems with them but I am concerned that they will are more prone to frostbite
  6. OrpingtonManor

    OrpingtonManor Building the Castle 9 Years

    Nov 15, 2008
    Martinez, CA
    My favorite BO, Gwen-the-Good, has a floppy comb-over. It just seems individual, not a problem in my pet-quality chickens. Some have never gotten really big combs. It's one of the ways I can tell them apart.

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