My hen's face changes color

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by TheSpiceGirls, Jun 22, 2011.

  1. TheSpiceGirls

    TheSpiceGirls Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I've posted this in a few places with little or no response so I'm trying again with a catchier subject.

    This is really a question for Orpington experts.

    I have a 9 month old Buff Orpington. She is the sweetest thing in the world and I just lover her.

    But she really wears her emotions right on her face. Her face and ear lobs go from being really bright red, to quite pale and just slightly pink when she's stressed or not happy. Is this normal? And I'm talking about moment to moment. She obviously not old enough to molt.

    Her comb and wattles always stay bright red.

    For example, it was hot yesterday and when I came home, her face and ear lobs were quite pale. She was panting and had her wings open. I gave her some chilled fruit and wet down the shady part of their run for her. When I came back two hours later, the fog has started to roll in and the temperature was down 20 degrees and she was bright red again.

    I had an issue for a while where the EE was pecking at her when I gave them treats. I bought a spray bottle and nipped that bad behavior in the bud. But again, she would turn pale and come stand by my feet. So I'd scoop her up and take her into the house and give her a handful of mealworms out of the tub in the fridge. And again, she'd turn red again.

    My other hens (who are not Orpingtons) don't do this. So I'm curious, anyone else have a hen who does this?
     
  2. TheSpiceGirls

    TheSpiceGirls Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Here's a photo of her with her face bright red. I don't have one of her pale but I'll try to get one.

    [​IMG]
     
  3. Tanichca

    Tanichca Sparkle Magnet

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    Perhaps its her body's natural reaction to heat? Less blood flow=cooler=less blood in face, so less red?
     
  4. stargirl

    stargirl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes! I've noticed my white star, Matilda, does this. Her face varies, day to day. Always has!
    I used to really worry it was a sign of something, but it never seems to come to anything - she's her usual self regardless of face colour! I think she's just experimenting with her 'look' - she likes to cover her head in mud for a funky hair do too [​IMG]
     
  5. chickenbottom

    chickenbottom Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 30, 2008
    hollister, florida
    the hen sounds like she was just hot. the hens comb and wattles are red when she is at a good temp. but when its white or light pink shes either hot/or dehydrated. i also believe the blood circulates throw the comb to help them cool down
     
  6. sheila3935

    sheila3935 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have a couple of buff mixes that do that, but then again when its hot my rhode island reds would do that too.
     
  7. TheSpiceGirls

    TheSpiceGirls Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Okay so maybe this is all just normal.

    It's not just heat related. She does it when her sisters pick on her. (She's at the bottom of the pecking order of my three.)

    I brought her out to the front yard one time to say hello to the neighbors. She was just slightly pale. I put her down and a man walked by with a dog who barked at her and she turned as red as a tomato. I scooped her up right away to comfort her of course.
     
  8. Tanichca

    Tanichca Sparkle Magnet

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    Quote:awwww maybe she was blushing. was it a handsome dog?
     
  9. JP101010

    JP101010 Chillin' With My Peeps

    I have a frizzle hen whos face changes exactly as you say yours does , but my situation has nothing to do with heat. i know this because shes living in a coop in my house while shes in Quarantine. I am very curious so see if anyone has any insight on this
     
  10. TheSpiceGirls

    TheSpiceGirls Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:awwww maybe she was blushing. was it a handsome dog?

    You know, I don't even recall what the dog looked like. I was keeping a close eye on my BO as I've never let her lose like that in the yard and the neighbor's kid was out with her. But when the dog barked and she looked up and I saw how red she was, I scooped her right up. I didn't want her freaking out and bolting or something. She's my FAVORITE.
     

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