Pale color Combs ?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by kkkcc, Feb 24, 2013.

  1. kkkcc

    kkkcc New Egg

    Jul 22, 2011
    I have been told that if a chicken's comb is pale in color, that the;y are sick ! I have 4 hens that are about 2 years. I have one that has lost lots of feathers (feathers all around the coop) she felt like a porcupine to pick up. She has now stopped loosing feathers and is now sprouting pretty new ones! She eats well and her eyes do not look cloudy. But her comb is paler than before, and lighter than the rest of the hens. Is there anything I can do.
  2. cafarmgirl

    cafarmgirl Overrun With Chickens

    Molting can take a lot out of a bird, sometimes when they molt the comb is not as bright as usual, they also generally don't lay when molting. That said, pale combs can also be attributed to several other things including being anemic from mite/lice infestations, carrying to heavy a parasite load, or other illness.

    If she is otherwise active and eating and you have them on a regular preventative program for parasites then I'd probably chalk it up to the molt.

    When they molt you can help them out by providing a little more protein to help grow all those new feathers. Feeding a higher protein gamebird or flock raiser feed with oyster shell on the side is an option as well as offering good protein treats like hard boiled or scrambled eggs, meal worms etc.
  3. Mac14

    Mac14 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 21, 2012
    Northern California
    I agree that she is molting. :)
  4. swga

    swga Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 13, 2012
    Another thing that helps perk them up when the combs get pale is a mix of electrolytes and vitamins that you can add to the water. The feed store will probably have it- there are several different brands. It's kind of like a chicken gatorade!
  5. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend... Staff Member

    Mar 21, 2011
    New Mexico, USA
    My Coop
    Yeah, right now my molting girls also have pale combs. Some birds go thru soft molts and you can barely tell they are molting. Others go thru hard molts and just poof off their feathers nearly all in one day! A chicken needs the protein to go into growing new feathers, meanwhile the hormones get low in a hens body, and even stops the egg laying. That is when the comb goes pale...when the hormones are low.

    Some of my molting girls went 5 months with a pale comb and stopped laying eggs. Others started back in with laying only after 2 months of molting, although their combs were still pale for weeks after.

    Sounds like your hen is going thru a hard molt, judging from the description of being prickly. LOL Her comb will redden up again when her body is completely done growing all her feathers in. :)
  6. Spaghetti

    Spaghetti New Egg

    Mar 12, 2016
    My girls have been mounting too! They all went thru a hard molt. I have one girl who's comb is pale and looks like it got smaller. Her feathers came back dull in color She's not sluggish and is still eating and drinking fine. I have given then sunflower and pumpkin seeds, feather booster and electrolytes. Any other suggestions? :)

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