Odd question-Could a hen's comb ever shrink and then go back to normal

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by chickenlady, Sep 21, 2008.

  1. chickenlady

    chickenlady Songster

    Aug 28, 2007
    Stillwater, NJ
    I have a standard cochin hen that had a fairly tight comb, but it was there, no doubt. Well, she went broody and hatched out some chicks. During this time, her comb completely disappeared. I mean, gone. It was as flat as a babys bottom. She raised her chicks for 3 weeks and then I moved her into another location with different adult hens. Within 3 days, her comb has 'grown' back to what it was prior to setting on eggs. Has anyone every had a hen's comb disappear and then reappear? When it was gone, the area was pale pink, now the new comb is bright red. She seems very healthy. I think my eyes are playing tricks on me, lol.
  2. redoak

    redoak Songster

    Feb 27, 2008
    Russia, NY
    I think a few of my hens combs have started getting smaller since they have started to lay. Like someone has let the air out of them.
  3. SpottedCrow

    SpottedCrow Flock Goddess

    Yes. Obelisk's comb get big and red when she's laying. Right now it's small and pink.
  4. ella

    ella Songster

    It's totally normal for a comb to be bright, full and red when she's actively laying and pale and shrunken when she isn't laying. [​IMG]
  5. schmije

    schmije Songster

    Aug 25, 2008
    Peoria, IL
    I'm so glad you posted about this. One of our hens went broody a few weeks ago, and I recently noticed that her comb has shrunk. I'm almost positive that it was the same size as the other girls' before, and now it's very small and pale pink. She'll never hatch any chicks, because we don't have a rooster, so she's just going to have to get over it. I am curious whether her comb will grow back when she goes back to normal.
  6. chickenlady

    chickenlady Songster

    Aug 28, 2007
    Stillwater, NJ
    I have had chickens for years now and never noticed a comb disappear as it did this time. But, it came back. I am still amazed at this. Very strange to see a comb, then no comb, then a comb again, and so quickly. Thanks all for making me realize that I am NOT going nuts, at least not yet, lol.
  7. chickenlady

    chickenlady Songster

    Aug 28, 2007
    Stillwater, NJ
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2008
  8. cloverchix

    cloverchix Hatching

    Oct 11, 2010
    Thanks for posting this! I have a broody hen who used to have a large, floppy red comb and now it's all shrunk up like a raisin... I was afraid she'd gotten sick or something! Now I know it's normal [​IMG]

    @ schmije: I, also, have no rooster and a hen that kept sitting on her eggs for two weeks. I was afraid that if I took her eggs (again) she'd simply go find some other spot in the yard that was hidden, as she'd done before. So I got creative; I went and bought four baby chicks and brought them home in a cage. That night, I placed the sleeping chicks under the sleeping hen. When she woke up, she was a successful brood-hen! She took to the chicks immediately and got off the nest after another day or so. That was 5 weeks ago, and mama and babies are doing great!
  9. BeckySue

    BeckySue Chirping

    I found this thread from searching about shrunken combs. You all have aleviated my fears.

    I have a year and a half old Red Star who was terribly broody all summer. Finally I broke her by placing her in a wire cage with food and water for five days. Immediately after her "incarceration" she started molting. It was the most profound molt I've witnessed in my year of keeping chickens.

    Her feathers are coming back in, thank goodness, because the evenings are getting quite nippy. I've brought her into the house on really cold nights. But, the thing that really alarmed me was her normally full red comb resembled the comb of a 14 week old Red Star. I suppose her lack of hormones during brooding and then in molting has shrunken her comb. Once she gets out of her molt, I expect all her face leather to return to its bright red color.

    Thanks for the information. I love this forum!

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