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Normal comb color in a pullet?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Stephine, Jul 20, 2016.

  1. Stephine

    Stephine Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi! What is a normal color for the comb of 12 week old pullets? I have different breeds and some look more yellow, some more pink but all are quite pale, some paler than others. Is that normal? In particular I have two barred rocks and one has a more yellow coloring, the other more of a pale pink. Thanks!
     
  2. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

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    Pullet combs stay quite pale until they start maturing sexually, when their combs will turn a bright red, to indicate to the rooster that they are near ready to start breeding (producing eggs).
     
  3. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    I've always had terrible luck getting accidental cockerels with my pullet orders. So I am always breathless each day when I examine combs for that reddening that indicates I have a future roo. But always the reddening occurs before the eight week mark. If combs remain muted, no matter if yellowish or pale pink, I figure I'm home free. Also, wattles, on breeds that have them, will begin to be apparent on the boys around six weeks.

    I did give myself a scare a few weeks ago when my present four were between seven and eight weeks old. Each of my four EEs had a different hue on their tiny combs. A couple were more deeply pink, one a very pale pink, and one had a blackish nub for a comb. But none have reached the unmistakable red that would indicate a cockerel.

    Another surefire way to tell if you have a cockerel is to part the saddle feathers and look at what color pin feathers are emerging. This is only a good test with chicks from a breed where roosters are multicolored. You should see bright, contrasting colored pin feathers on backs of cockerels as they approach seven or eight weeks.
     
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  4. Stephine

    Stephine Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Haha! Yes, the question wether some of them are roosters in waiting is always in the background, for me too, but I was actually more concerned about their health with this question. So I take it it is normal for them to have quite pale combs until they start laying? And the fact that one of the barred rocks has a pale pink comb and the other a muted yellow comb doesn't mean one of them is not well?
     
  5. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    The colors are of normal chickens. Now, should you suddenly observe one of them with a bluish-grey comb, then you have a chicken who is probably un-well, probably with respiratory problems. Or, suddenly seeing a bright, cherry-red comb would indicate fever or a chicken that is dangerously over-heated.

    It's wise of you to be concerned about comb color since it absolutely does denote the level of health of your chicken.
     
  6. Stephine

    Stephine Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you! That is reassuring. No, no grey or bluish comb, or bright red, thank goodness!
     

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