Combs: How pale is too pale?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by barba, Nov 3, 2016.

  1. barba

    barba Just Hatched

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    May 20, 2016
    I have four hens total: one Cream Legbar and one Australorp, aged 15 months, and two 5 month-old EEs. The Australorp and EEs have beautiful red combs, but my Cream Legbar has always had somewhat of a lighter comb. At times it looks perfectly fine, but recently it has been looking slightly pale.

    [​IMG]

    This is a picture of her this past July, and I thought she was looking slightly pale. And yet...
    [​IMG]

    ... this is her in early October, looking perfectly fine (with considerable comb growth, too!).

    I know that this is the time of year where combs tend to pale slightly, but I suppose I'm worried just because her comb seems to keep going back and forth in its coloring. She hasn't laid in about 2 weeks, but health-wise she seems to be completely fine... except for the comb discoloration, but that may be normal.

    Here is what she looks like now, somehow with a smaller comb once again:

    [​IMG]

    And here's a comparison with my Australorp:

    [​IMG]

    What are the possible reasons for such fluctuations in comb size and color? Should we be worried about what the current state of her comb may say about her health? Again, she's eating and behaving completely normally. This is probably my paranoia kicking in, but I'd love a second opinion.
     
  2. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Have you seen her start to lose any feathers? Is she molting?

    Combs and wattles will lose color and shrink when they are not in "production mode". This could be a sign of molting since she has not laid an egg in 2wks.
     
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  3. barba

    barba Just Hatched

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    May 20, 2016
    I haven't noticed any feather loss, but I will definitely keep checking!
     
  4. barba

    barba Just Hatched

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    May 20, 2016
    Yep! Molting is the culprit. Thank you so much for your help :)
     
  5. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Good to know! Thanks for the update[​IMG]
     
  6. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    15 months in October is a perfect time for molt and to stop laying.
    You don't initially see the feather loss on the bird but the coop and run look like someone had a pillow fight in there.

    Additionally, you're comparing 2 different breeds. That's not a fair comparison.
     
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  7. barba

    barba Just Hatched

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    The comparison was more just to provide context to the color, trying to show that lighting wasn't the issue; their combs have always been different colors, but I thought it would be helpful to show how great the contrast was by providing the other comb for comparison. Sorry, should have made that more clear
     
  8. waddo2

    waddo2 New Egg

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    Nov 7, 2016
    I have a 5 year old bantam Plymouth rock . this is the first time she has had a full moult, usually just round her neck ! She now has a very pale comb and almost slant eyes. I ve been boosting with small amounts of cod liver oil and sunflower seeds . She s eating well normally from the ground ie grubs etc so don't think much wrong. Of course her laying now is limited due to age.
     
  9. momma chickie

    momma chickie Out Of The Brooder

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    I have an Ancona who stopped laying and noticed the comb and wattles turning pale and shrinking...she is also losing feathers but has lots growing in, no bald spots and doesnt look moulty. She is only 9 mon so I dont think it is a true molt. She is active, alert, and normal in all other ways...is it hormonal cause she isnt laying now with short cold days? Other hens are slowing down like I remember my chickens doing as a kid. Just wondering if I need to be concerned.
     
  10. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Hi @momma chickie Can you post some photos of your Ancona?

    Losing feathers, pale/shrinking comb and wattles, production stop and feathers coming back in is usually a sign of molting.

    Production can decrease due to shorter days as well. Usually nothing to be concerned about, but never hurts to take a look and ask[​IMG]

    If it is molting you may want to increase protein intake and offer some poultry vitamins in the water every few days, just to give her a boost.
     

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