Multiple Comb Type Breeds

HaikuHeritageFarm

Crowing
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Jul 7, 2010
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Memphis, TN
In breeds that have more than one comb option, why is it always just choosing between single comb and rose comb? Are there any breeds with multiple comb varieties that are NOT limited to these two choices?

Just musing on this as I admire my Houdans lately. I LOVE their V combs. I wish I could have a Leghorn or Legbar with a V Comb!
 

MysteryChicken

Unique minded, open minded Chicken Lover
Premium Feather Member
May 31, 2018
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In breeds that have more than one comb option, why is it always just choosing between single comb and rose comb? Are there any breeds with multiple comb varieties that are NOT limited to these two choices?

Just musing on this as I admire my Houdans lately. I LOVE their V combs. I wish I could have a Leghorn or Legbar with a V Comb!
It maybe possible for you to introduce the Duplex comb genes to your leghorns, or Legbars. Only thing to breed around is the crest.


I've been wondering the same thing with breeds with more then one comb type.
 

JadeFarms

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Well some comb types are more rare or just hard to find in certain breeds. Single, pea and rose comb are the most popular types. V combs are mainly in crested breeds and walnut combs are mainly in silkies so hatcheries stick to those.

But one breed cannot have all comb types unless you breed that to them because they are bred to have one (sometimes 2 types like leghorns) because it represents their breed.
 

MysteryChicken

Unique minded, open minded Chicken Lover
Premium Feather Member
May 31, 2018
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East, Tawas Michigan
Well some comb types are more rare or just hard to find in certain breeds. Single, pea and rose comb are the most popular types. V combs are mainly in crested breeds and walnut combs are mainly in silkies so hatcheries stick to those.

But one breed cannot have all comb types unless you breed that to them because they are bred to have one (sometimes 2 types like leghorns) because it represents their breed.
Walnut is also in some varieties of Aseel, like the Indio Gigante, or Malays.
 

The Kooky Kiwi

Crowing
Dec 23, 2017
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New Zealand, Golden Bay
I did a little reading recently regarding combs - for my own project work - and here is what I found which "might" be helpful to your question? This needs checking/confirmation by some of the more experienced breeders please!

Single Comb = denoted by a - or + (to show neither of the other genes are present)
Rose Comb = denoted by a capital R
Pea Comb = denoted by a capital P

Single = recessive to all other comb types
Rose and Pea Comb are dominant over Single
Rose and Pea Comb can express "together"

A bird receives a comb gene from each parent so we write their comb type as a pair of letters (one from mom and one from dad) as follows:

- / - = Single Comb (no rose or pea genes present)

R / - = Rose Comb (One copy of Rose only)
R / R = Rose Comb (Two copies of Rose)

P / - = Pea Comb (One copy of Pea only)
P / P = Pea Comb (Two copies of Pea)

P / R = Walnut or Cushion Comb (One copy each of Pea and Rose that BOTH show together). Walnut or Cushion is often like a rose comb but without the rear V point.

The answer to your question above (sort of) is that your comb options depend on which of the Pea and Rose genes you have in your breed. If you have rose and single combs in your flock now then you could introduce Pea by breeding to a type that commonly has Pea combs :)

My understanding, based on above reading, is that other features of the bird (like a crest for example) can alter the appearance of the comb, making it more or less pronounced. And there may be other genes that "modify" the look of the above comb types - like some that look "dubbed" or have "no points".
 
Last edited:

HaikuHeritageFarm

Crowing
11 Years
Jul 7, 2010
1,672
801
311
Memphis, TN
I did a little reading recently regarding combs - for my own project work - and here is what I found which "might" be helpful to your question? This needs checking/confirmation by some of the more experienced breeders please!

Single Comb = denoted by a - or + (to show neither of the other genes are present)
Rose Comb = denoted by a capital R
Pea Comb = denoted by a capital P

Single = recessive to all other comb types
Rose and Pea Comb are dominant over Single
Rose and Pea Comb can express "together"

A bird receives a comb gene from each parent so we write their comb type as a pair of letters (one from mom and one from dad) as follows:

- / - = Single Comb (no rose or pea genes present)

R / - = Rose Comb (One copy of Rose only)
R / R = Rose Comb (Two copies of Rose)

P / - = Pea Comb (One copy of Pea only)
P / P = Pea Comb (Two copies of Pea)

P / R = Walnut or Cushion Comb (One copy each of Pea and Rose that BOTH show together). Walnut or Cushion is often like a rose comb but without the rear V point.

The answer to your question above (sort of) is that your comb options depend on which of the Pea and Rose genes you have in your breed. If you have rose and single combs in your flock now then you could introduce Pea by breeding to a type that commonly has Pea combs :)

My understanding, based on above reading, is that other features of the bird (like a crest for example) can alter the appearance of the comb, making it more or less pronounced. And there may be other genes that "modify" the look of the above comb types - like some that look "dubbed" or have "no points".
Actually one of the greatest frustrations with the legbar and indeed the way the standards are written is that a good, straight single comb is incompatible with a Crest. I would love for the crested legbar to have a comb that was appropriate for its headware, or drop the crest. These ugly combs are so irritating. 🤣
 

halefamily_flock

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Sep 16, 2020
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Southeast Misssouri
In breeds that have more than one comb option, why is it always just choosing between single comb and rose comb? Are there any breeds with multiple comb varieties that are NOT limited to these two choices?

Just musing on this as I admire my Houdans lately. I LOVE their V combs. I wish I could have a Leghorn or Legbar with a V Comb!

Thank you for starting this thread! I have also been thinking about changing up combs so that I can have a rainbow egg laying flock without any single combs to get frostbite in the winter. I have 2 rose comb breeds (Dominique, Hamburg) and a V-comb (Spitzhauben) to work with.

Literature on single, rose and pea combs, and how they interact, are pretty easy to find. But I have found very little information or actual examples of how the V-comb (Duplex-V) fits into the mix.

Based on what I read, I expected when V-Comb combined with Single Comb, it was simply dominant, so the resulting phenotype would be a v-Comb that looked like the sire's v-Comb

This was the sire, Elvis (Golden Spangled Appenzeller Spitzhauben)
Elvis_comb.JPG

Here's what his offspring look like at about 4.5 months old:

Cockerel
VplusSingle_cockerel1.JPG VplusSingle_cockerel2.JPG VplusSingle_cockerel3.JPG

Pullet
VplusSingle_pullet1.JPG VplusSingle_pullet2.JPG

So clearly a combined effect. The Dam was a Dominique, heterozygous for rose comb, so I'm not sure where the single comb came from. Dominique breed standards originally had options for both single and rose, and I know single comb genes are very difficult to breed out since rose is dominant.

There was less literature on combined V-Comb + Rose, other than they were both dominant, on separate genes and likely to combine in some way. Here's what the offspring look like that got the Dam's rose comb gene

Cockerel
IMG_E7605.JPG IMG_E7607.JPG IMG_E7597.JPG

Pullet
VplusRose_pullet2.JPG VplusRose_pullet3.JPG

I have a few more experiments currently in the brooder...
Little v-comb (Spitzhauben) x Floppy single comb (Cream Legbar)
is-there-such-a-thing-as-brown-sex-link-using-barring-gene

Floppy single comb (Cream Legbar) x Rose comb (Dominique)
need-someone-who-can-read-barred-head-spots-like-tea-leaves-cream-legbar-x-dominque-chicks

(Note: I do have a cockerel from a prior Legbar x Dominique hatch who ended up with a gorgeous rose comb. Looking forward to seeing what the girls' combs will look like. )
Olaf_4 months.jpg
 

JadeFarms

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Premium Feather Member
May 3, 2019
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Thank you for starting this thread! I have also been thinking about changing up combs so that I can have a rainbow egg laying flock without any single combs to get frostbite in the winter. I have 2 rose comb breeds (Dominique, Hamburg) and a V-comb (Spitzhauben) to work with.

Literature on single, rose and pea combs, and how they interact, are pretty easy to find. But I have found very little information or actual examples of how the V-comb (Duplex-V) fits into the mix.

Based on what I read, I expected when V-Comb combined with Single Comb, it was simply dominant, so the resulting phenotype would be a v-Comb that looked like the sire's v-Comb

This was the sire, Elvis (Golden Spangled Appenzeller Spitzhauben)
View attachment 2468822

Here's what his offspring look like at about 4.5 months old:

Cockerel
View attachment 2468823 View attachment 2468824 View attachment 2468825

Pullet
View attachment 2468826 View attachment 2468827

So clearly a combined effect. The Dam was a Dominique, heterozygous for rose comb, so I'm not sure where the single comb came from. Dominique breed standards originally had options for both single and rose, and I know single comb genes are very difficult to breed out since rose is dominant.

There was less literature on combined V-Comb + Rose, other than they were both dominant, on separate genes and likely to combine in some way. Here's what the offspring look like that got the Dam's rose comb gene

Cockerel
View attachment 2468852 View attachment 2468865 View attachment 2468866

Pullet
View attachment 2468872 View attachment 2468874

I have a few more experiments currently in the brooder...
Little v-comb (Spitzhauben) x Floppy single comb (Cream Legbar)
is-there-such-a-thing-as-brown-sex-link-using-barring-gene

Floppy single comb (Cream Legbar) x Rose comb (Dominique)
need-someone-who-can-read-barred-head-spots-like-tea-leaves-cream-legbar-x-dominque-chicks

(Note: I do have a cockerel from a prior Legbar x Dominique hatch who ended up with a gorgeous rose comb. Looking forward to seeing what the girls' combs will look like. )
View attachment 2468884
I’m in love with that split single comb
 

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