Is this supossed to happen? The comb on some of my hens is shrinking.

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Miss Sebright, Nov 11, 2009.

  1. Miss Sebright

    Miss Sebright Little Hen.....Big Attitude!

    Apr 3, 2009
    In a nutshell
    I don't know if this is normal in the winter or not, but on two of my hens their comb is shrinking. Please answer, I don't know what to do! They are both molting, I don't know if that has anything to do with it.
     
  2. mypicklebird

    mypicklebird Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 8, 2008
    Sonoma Co, CA
    A not-in-lay hen's comb will shrivel (paler, smaller, may look dry). So a heavily molting bird, a broody bird, a resting for the winter bird, AND a sick bird all will have smaller combs. When they come back into lay- the comb gets larger, redder and has a waxy appearance.
     
  3. Miss Sebright

    Miss Sebright Little Hen.....Big Attitude!

    Apr 3, 2009
    In a nutshell
    Thank You!
     
  4. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    Absolutely, it can be the molt. I have several with shrunken combs due to the molt.
     
  5. EweSheep

    EweSheep Flock Mistress

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    Land of Lincoln
    Mine are too!
     
  6. sherry57

    sherry57 Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 30, 2009
    Not to sabotage this thread, but I'm having the same problem. I have 7 RIRs and two of them have shriveling combs, and I haven't noticed much moulting (but I'm a newbie so I've never seen it before). I'm getting about 4 eggs a day. Is there anything I should be doing about this? Is this when I try the "burning the moult" method?

    I'm in northeast GA, where I thought the cold wouldn't affect them until later.
     
  7. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    No, just let them molt naturally and give them extra protein for their feather growth. The first big molt happens about 18-20 months old and that's the one that will have them losing weight and feeling poorly.
     
  8. Countrywife

    Countrywife Corrupted by a Redneck

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    Aug 20, 2009
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    We arent all that cold yet, but my girls have slowed down, and yes, the combs have shrunk too. I am just letting them be, I figure if God designed them for a break, who am I to mess with that? I am not into doing anything to "force" them through a slow season, I will simply take what I can get out of the girls.
     
  9. claud

    claud Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Normal. You can usually tell who is laying by the redness of their combs.
     
  10. sherry57

    sherry57 Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 30, 2009
    Hmmm... I just went out to look at my girls. All the other combs are nice and red. I noticed that the one with the shriveled comb has sunken eyes and her coat is darker than the others, kinda a black-red, with very black tail feathers. Her bum also has some poop on it, something I haven't seen since they were chicks. Do you guys think she's sick? Should I separate her from the others just in case?
     

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