my hen's comb got smaller

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by beaglex3, Oct 19, 2016.

  1. beaglex3

    beaglex3 Chillin' With My Peeps

    38
    7
    67
    Mar 19, 2012
    B'field, IL
    we have a barred plymouth rock whose comb was so big it flopped over to one side. we named her queen elizabeth because my granddaughter said her comb looked like a floppy hat like the queen wears. i was giving treats to the hens yesterday and looked for queen, but didn't see her. i called again and again, then i counted and realized that all bpr were there. i looked at their combs and noticed that none of them had big floppy ones...they were all normal sized.
    is it normal for that to happen? we have had chickens for 5 years and no hen ever had a comb as big as queen's was, and no other hen had their comb reduce in size. does anyone have any idea why queen's comb would shrink in size by at least 1/2? she appears to be healthy and her comb is still a nice bright color.
     
  2. redsoxs

    redsoxs Chicken Obsessed

    25,645
    1,834
    463
    Jul 17, 2011
    North Central Kansas
  3. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Lots of Chickens Premium Member

    16,695
    4,380
    456
    Jul 16, 2015
    central Wisconsin
    Combs will decrease in size and color as hens come out of lay, either during the fall molt, or even when a hen gets sick. A comb is a visual cue to a rooster, to a hens readiness to mate and to her fertility. So small comb means that they aren't laying.
     
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    33,798
    6,933
    576
    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Curious if this bird is still laying and how old she is.
    I find it hard to believe a large single comb would shrink in size by half.
    Got any before and after pics?
     
  5. beaglex3

    beaglex3 Chillin' With My Peeps

    38
    7
    67
    Mar 19, 2012
    B'field, IL
    thank you for sharing your wisdom. the ladies are molting now, and that thought did cross my mind as the cause of her shrinkage, but since she's 5 years old and i don't remember this happening in the past, i disregarded it as a possibility. but with your thoughts going in the same direction, i think that's probably the reason. their molt seems to be lasting longer than in past years, so maybe that has something to do with it too. usually they start losing feathers in august and are done by mid october. this year they started throwing feathers in july and several of them are still ragged looking in late october. i sure hope this isn't a forecast of a brutal winter for us here in central illinois!
    as for pictures, i'm not sure if i have any close up of queen or not. i do take a lot of photos of them as they range around our yard, so i will look on my phone to see if i caught any of her and her floppy "hat". if so, i will post one, as well as a current pic.
    thanks again for your input. i really appreciate it!
    p.s. how 'bout those CUBS!!! :)
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by