Is comb size indicator of pecking order status?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by uncle rico, Jun 27, 2011.

  1. uncle rico

    uncle rico Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 29, 2011
    Spring Green, WI
    I've noticed that all my boss hens have large, full combs & wattles while some of the hens lower in the peck order have combs that are much smaller. I was wondering if this has to do with peck order or what? I've never heard anything on that subject before.
  2. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    With roosters, comb color and size are good immediate indicators of vigor. My dominant hens tend to have larger combs but size and color can vary with stressors of laying eggs and brooding. Comb size also a function of age. Older birds tend to be dominant.
  3. Godiva

    Godiva Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 17, 2007
    Yes, it definitely seems to be connected! Any of our hens that had small combs were way down the pecking order. And now that we don't have a rooster the dominant hens comb seems larger and redder [and she is crowing now] The same thing seems to apply to the roosters. The ones that are lower in the pecking order have smaller combs and rarely crow. But if you remove the dominant roo the subordinate one will start crowing a lot more and his comb gets bigger and redder.

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