Newbie here, does the wattle change colors frequently?

Bocktobery 10

10 Years
Oct 8, 2010
Hi Everyone! This is my first post. Thank you for having me.

I am new to raising chickens. I got my first 'flock' this past May- 7 chicks, two Buff Orpingtons, two Rhode Island Reds, two Barred Plymouth Rocks and one Gold Sex Link.

I don't know if it is just me getting confused, but when the pullets just start to get their wattles and combs coming in, do they change from a bright red to a whitish pink from time to time? It seems that sometimes I will look at one of my chickens and her face will be pale pink and other times later in the day it will be blood red. I kind of told myself that I must have mistaken one chicken for the other, but I am able to tell each one of them apart from the other fairly easily. I'm wondering, is this something chickens do, and if so, what is it that is happening to them and do I need to worry about it?

Thanks in advance!
No worries - it's like your own skin, when you blush. Sort of. As the pullet/cockerel matures, the wattles and combs will stay more red most of the time. But will still change color now and then.

My theory is that they are cooling themselves. I have noticed when it is blistering hot, they are blood red, and early morning when it is cooler, they are a lighter shade of red.
Our faces turn red when we are hot, it is the capillaries dilating to help cool the body. I suspect the girls were panting about that time too.
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I have spent some time watching my BR girls and the color change in their face and wattles. I find that when they are relaxed and secure the face is light color. Such as when resting under cover or grazing in a safe area. Also when one sits next to me and is getting a neck rub or pet they are very light pink. When they get nervous or are trying to establish pecking order they show much brighter red. If a dog is outside with us, they are red also. Any threat of a predator changes the color to red.

These are my observations.
I just wanted to say thank you so much everyone for your replies. Much much appreciated! Thank you!

Since I am new at this, I seem to be noticing every little thing that could be some indication of a problem. I just wanted to make sure my Barred Rock's flushing and bright blushing wasn't anything to worry about. I have noticed that when I touch the wattle when it is bright red it is hot (like a fever)... when it is pale it is, I'd say, regular temperature for a living creature. She also was in excited state when it was red- she seemed irked about something at the time. (My Barred Rocks seem very sassy compared to all the other breeds I have. They are very loudly vocal about their disappointments!) And when it was pale, it was near their "downtime", which is when they come into the run at night for an hour before going to 'bed' for the night (the coop).
I find my girls' faces and combs become very pale pink when they are on their nests, too. Very relaxing, preparing to lay, apparently. They also remain very pale until they have laid, rejoin the flock, and begin hollaring about their accomplishment. Then, bright red returns!

Bright Blessings
This is a very interesting thread to me.

I have 2 Barred Rock hens, 13 months old.

Generally their combs are Dentyne Pink colored, but occasionally, such as today, parts of their comb turned bright red. It's not the whole comb, just strips or spots in the comb. The following day it has faded back to Dentyne Pink.

I have noticed the bright red usually occurs after laying. One of my hens lays 2 eggs a day from time to time, and I thought the strain of that might be what was causing the comb to change to bright red (extra exertion from laying 2 eggs in a row), but today her sister exhibited the bright red flush in parts of her comb, as well.

It is late and just now I went to shut them up, and their combs still have the bright red parts to them. It hasn't faded away.

Do you think the fact that it's just part of the combs that change colors could indicate poor circulation or something?

Today the 2-egg-a day layer had almost all of her comb turn bright red, except for the top part. In the past it was a much smaller portion that turned red, just a strip above her beak. The other hen has a bright red flush on the top of her comb today, as well as a spot above her beak. She has much less bright red in her comb than the other chicken.

Do you think this splotchiness could indicate a disease of some kind?

The post about predators was interesting. A man is visiting here, and I saw him with a big dog on a leash. Do you suppose they can smell the dog from quite a ways away. I hadn't seen it until this evening, although it was in the vicinity, and the hens' combs turned color in the late afternoon/early evening.

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