Comb and wattles -- signifies about to lay?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by kuntrychick, Jul 26, 2009.

  1. Eggs-Actly

    Eggs-Actly Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 22, 2008
    Daytona - Florida
    I consider my girls' wattles and combs to be a type of mood ring. The redder the better. The paler the more stressed or tired.

    I have found that when my pullets begin to squat when I reach down the pet them is the tell-tale sign they are going to lay . . . . and soon. Like within the next 7 days. Now I'm no "chicken whisperer" (the closest I get to that title is when I whisper "chicken" to my wife so the dogs don't hear me [​IMG]) but that's my experience.
     
  2. Lady Henevere

    Lady Henevere Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 30, 2009
    Los Angeles County
    I'm curious too. I have five hens, and the white leghorn's comb and wattles suddenly got very big and red and stayed that way. (The other four - 2 BR, an EE and a RIR change based on mood.) I was thinking I might have some white eggs soon, but nothing yet.

    As for the squatting and petting, what is a squat? Mine sort of crouch down when I try to pet them, but it's more like a "don't touch my back" kind of response. (My chickens only love me when I'm feeding them treats. So much for all that handling when they were baby chicks.)
     
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2009
  3. Lollipop

    Lollipop Chillin' With My Peeps

    I suppose it could depend on breed or degree of excitement, but I also believe, from years of observation, that a pullets comb and wattles, along with facial tissue, turns red and stays red with maturity. Variations occure with health, such as worms or illness, but the color comes on just before they reach laying age showing that they will soon lay. Now, you may have something different. These are just my observations, in my yard, over a period of 51 years with the breeds I`ve kept.........Pop
     
  4. Cherlyn

    Cherlyn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Alconbury, England
    I thought the squat was a sexual crouch?

    ~Cherlyn
     
  5. 2txmedics

    2txmedics Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 5, 2009
    Manvel Texas
    yes, I just read it last night!!!! tells you why the change and how to check!!!! ok, I have a post in here some where called HOW TO EVAULATE YOUR EGGS and this tells you about wattles and red combs, and what the vent looks like I check mine and sure enough I can tell whos laying and not...I think...lol....

    but last night I read in a book, let me go pull the book.....STAND BY....ok found it...let me post it straight out of the book:

    starts with the SKIN: skin is think over much of the body, except the COMB, WATTLES, EARLOBES AND PREEN GLAND.
    PREEN GLAND stores fat, upon irradiation by ultra violet light it forms vitamin D3 which is worked into the skin by rubbing it with the beak.
    YELLOW SKIN is the result of the HYDROXCAROTENOID PEGMENT: XANTHOPHYLL, from the feed...corn, alfalfa and marigold petal.

    YELLOW SKIN IS ALSO: the pigment which is lost in parts of the skin as the HEN LAYS EGGS.

    The number of eggs necessary to bleach various parts of the body are given in the chart. As the HEN LAYS, all the pigment is diverted into the yolk so it leaves the body, but when the hens stops laying eggs, it returns. So what its saying is the hen loses color in her body...

    VENT 1 EGG
    EYE RING/EAR LOBES 9-12 EGGS
    BEAK STARTING FROM NEAR THE FACE TO THE TIP AS FOLLOWS:
    INNER 1/3 11 EGGS
    INNER 1/2 18 EGGS
    INNER 2/3 23 EGGS
    AND IT GOES ON AND ON...WHOLE BEAK 35 EGGS LAYED
    BOTTOM OF FEET 66 EGGS
    FRONT SHANKS 95 EGGS
    BACK SHANKS 159 EGGS
    TOPS OF TOES 175 EGGS HOCK JOINTS 185

    let me see if I can find that post I talked about also....Ive just started this book and read on the yellow skin. Ok, here is what I posted a few wks back and nobody read it...[​IMG] I dont know if this is where I read on the wattle/comb...but it does talk on laying how to tell: http://www.extension.umn.edu/distribution/livestocksystems/DI1182.html
     
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2009
  6. deidreschultz

    deidreschultz Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 27, 2009
    Melbourne, FL
    I have 4 red sex links. one started laying a little over a week ago. i noticed about a week and 1/2 before she started laying her wattles and comb grew and turned red over night. i have noticed since then that they do change colors. i was kinda of worried that maybe she was sick or something, but they did get dark again. hers will change often. so there you go. who knew? learning new things all the time. good luck
     
  7. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

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    My Coop
    [​IMG] Can you post some pictures?
     
  8. Uppity Peon

    Uppity Peon Chillin' With My Peeps

    Yes, as pullets come close to maturity their combs and wattles get red.

    And yes, chickens can "blush" and redden up when they are excited.

    And... chickens use their comb to shed extra heat.
     
  9. Lollipop

    Lollipop Chillin' With My Peeps

    OK, I`m gonna simplify the process for egg laying detection. The book 2txmedics quoted may be 100% on all counts, dunno. But what I do know is how to tell if a hen is laying. Pick up the hen and feel the bones UNDER the vent. If you can place 3 fingertips between the bones, the hen is laying. Less than 3 and the hen is not laying. Of course you have to take breed into account and pullets and bantams are smaller. Simple, huh. Even simpler if you pick the hen off the roost at night instead of chasing her around........Pop
     
  10. PotterWatch

    PotterWatch My Patronus is a Chicken

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    Comb and wattles do get darker or more pale depending on the weather and what the chicken is doing, but the change you see as they get ready to lay is pretty obvious. For example; here is one of my delawares at around 16wks:
    [​IMG]



    Here she is at about 19wks, approx. 2 weeks before she laid her first egg:

    [​IMG]



    Here is the same bird two weeks later, the day before she laid her first egg:

    [​IMG]
     

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