Pullet comb not growing

AlexEve

Chirping
May 9, 2020
165
92
98
Calgary, Alberta
So I have two pullets, one a Rhode Island Red and one a Black Sex Link. Each are 20 weeks old, or about 5 months. My RIR has a very big comb and wattles, so I’m expecting her to start laying any day. However the BSL has very little comb growth, despite the fact shes the same age and size as the RIR. The hatchery said they should start laying at 18-20 weeks old. Development may be delayed because it’s winter, but surely the BSL should have at least a mid-sized comb?
 

SueT

Enabler
Premium Feather Member
6 Years
May 27, 2015
10,054
32,682
1,027
SW MO
So I have two pullets, one a Rhode Island Red and one a Black Sex Link. Each are 20 weeks old, or about 5 months. My RIR has a very big comb and wattles, so I’m expecting her to start laying any day. However the BSL has very little comb growth, despite the fact shes the same age and size as the RIR. The hatchery said they should start laying at 18-20 weeks old. Development may be delayed because it’s winter, but surely the BSL should have at least a mid-sized comb?
Don't compare development in different breeds, they develop at different rates. But RIRs have large combs. Our BSL had much smaller than our floppy combed RIR.
 

Ridgerunner

Crossing the Road
12 Years
Feb 2, 2009
28,067
22,776
907
Southeast Louisiana
Some chickens have large combs, some have small combs. Some hens have almost no comb. That's controlled by genetics. Size of the comb is not important at all. Black sex links are not a breed but are some kind of cross. As they are not a breed there are no breed standards for combs. They can be huge or tiny.

Before they start to lay, most pullets will have a bright red comb and bright red wattles, that is the sign you should be looking for, not comb size.

Hatcheries say a lot of things. People that post on here say a lot of things, including me. One thing I regularly say is that each chicken is an individual. Some of the same breed or even full sisters might start laying fairly young, others may wait months before they start to lay. If you have enough for averages to mean anything you can kind of go by what a large flock might average, but with only 1 of each you don't have enough for averages to mean anything.

There are other factors involved in when they start. Whether the days are getting longer or shorter can have an effect. Length of day can have an effect, these are different things. I've had pullets start laying the first week of December when the days were getting shorter and are about as short as they will get but these did start. I've had some wait until days got longer to start. In Calgary, you are probably experiencing some cold weather. Extreme heat or cold can affect how much they lay, let alone when they start. There are other factors. To me the big one is that each is an individual and will lay when they lay.

I once waited nine months for my three Ameraucana to lay the first blue egg. The breeder I got then from said hers tend to lay their first egg around five to six months. My other pullets tend to lay their first egg around five to six months. The pullets I hatched from those blue eggs tended to lay their first eggs at five to six months. I have no idea why those three took so long to get started. You may be feeling frustrated but trust me, I was much more frustrated.

So hang in there, you will get eggs. I have no idea when.
 

Aapomp831

Crowing
Oct 4, 2017
3,670
6,223
471
Lincolnton, NC
I have 20 BSLs that are 22 weeks, all from the same clutch. Half of them have rosy red, large combs and the other half still have small pale combs. It’s perfectly normal - they’re just maturing at different rates. I also have a flock of 6 leghorns; exactly 3 have large red combs starting to flop over, 2 are in between and one has a little pink baby comb still. They are also all from the same clutch. No need to worry; patience is key.
 

AlexEve

Chirping
May 9, 2020
165
92
98
Calgary, Alberta
Some chickens have large combs, some have small combs. Some hens have almost no comb. That's controlled by genetics. Size of the comb is not important at all. Black sex links are not a breed but are some kind of cross. As they are not a breed there are no breed standards for combs. They can be huge or tiny.

Before they start to lay, most pullets will have a bright red comb and bright red wattles, that is the sign you should be looking for, not comb size.

Hatcheries say a lot of things. People that post on here say a lot of things, including me. One thing I regularly say is that each chicken is an individual. Some of the same breed or even full sisters might start laying fairly young, others may wait months before they start to lay. If you have enough for averages to mean anything you can kind of go by what a large flock might average, but with only 1 of each you don't have enough for averages to mean anything.

There are other factors involved in when they start. Whether the days are getting longer or shorter can have an effect. Length of day can have an effect, these are different things. I've had pullets start laying the first week of December when the days were getting shorter and are about as short as they will get but these did start. I've had some wait until days got longer to start. In Calgary, you are probably experiencing some cold weather. Extreme heat or cold can affect how much they lay, let alone when they start. There are other factors. To me the big one is that each is an individual and will lay when they lay.

I once waited nine months for my three Ameraucana to lay the first blue egg. The breeder I got then from said hers tend to lay their first egg around five to six months. My other pullets tend to lay their first egg around five to six months. The pullets I hatched from those blue eggs tended to lay their first eggs at five to six months. I have no idea why those three took so long to get started. You may be feeling frustrated but trust me, I was much more frustrated.

So hang in there, you will get eggs. I have no idea when.
Yea we have had some very cold weather recently, and the days have been pretty short which I’m assuming is why my RIR isn’t laying yet. The BSL’s very small comb is a mix of black and pink, but her short wattles are starting to redden which, based on what your saying, may be a good indicator. My 8 month old hen lays about 4 eggs a week, but more would be nice haha :). Thanks for the info and help!
 

AlexEve

Chirping
May 9, 2020
165
92
98
Calgary, Alberta
I have 20 BSLs that are 22 weeks, all from the same clutch. Half of them have rosy red, large combs and the other half still have small pale combs. It’s perfectly normal - they’re just maturing at different rates. I also have a flock of 6 leghorns; exactly 3 have large red combs starting to flop over, 2 are in between and one has a little pink baby comb still. They are also all from the same clutch. No need to worry; patience is key.
Do you have any pics on hand I could use for reference?
 

Aapomp831

Crowing
Oct 4, 2017
3,670
6,223
471
Lincolnton, NC
Do you have any pics on hand I could use for reference?
See how all the BSLs have different comb development. It’s hard to see in the pic but some of them are a lot smaller than the others. The last two pics are my leghorns; the first one there having a small comb and the second one is flipping over already.
 

Attachments

  • 759DD716-4A52-4625-BBD6-430E7F6AA315.jpeg
    759DD716-4A52-4625-BBD6-430E7F6AA315.jpeg
    599.3 KB · Views: 6
  • 5BFC0DD4-26A8-4FE7-9A42-EADE7C39EFE1.jpeg
    5BFC0DD4-26A8-4FE7-9A42-EADE7C39EFE1.jpeg
    605.3 KB · Views: 6
  • 4E73701F-20ED-4ADE-A63B-FFFD92175EB8.jpeg
    4E73701F-20ED-4ADE-A63B-FFFD92175EB8.jpeg
    638.6 KB · Views: 6
  • 174A766C-3E79-4A79-B8A7-A64E2662588C.jpeg
    174A766C-3E79-4A79-B8A7-A64E2662588C.jpeg
    851.2 KB · Views: 6
  • 80E3927A-7439-4DC7-964E-0092380A2B9B.jpeg
    80E3927A-7439-4DC7-964E-0092380A2B9B.jpeg
    425.4 KB · Views: 6
  • BDCD4A6B-0519-48CF-BF88-BFD275DCC527.jpeg
    BDCD4A6B-0519-48CF-BF88-BFD275DCC527.jpeg
    580.4 KB · Views: 4
  • F878CC17-3A10-417C-B708-66DC52FCD4C9.jpeg
    F878CC17-3A10-417C-B708-66DC52FCD4C9.jpeg
    469.9 KB · Views: 4
  • 11B9FE19-D3CC-48FF-8260-79DD078D17F2.jpeg
    11B9FE19-D3CC-48FF-8260-79DD078D17F2.jpeg
    625.2 KB · Views: 4

AlexEve

Chirping
May 9, 2020
165
92
98
Calgary, Alberta
See how all the BSLs have different comb development. It’s hard to see in the pic but some of them are a lot smaller than the others. The last two pics are my leghorns; the first one there having a small comb and the second one is flipping over already.
I see! This is my BSL, so her comb doesn’t look super far off from your small combed individuals. Thank you!
86BF29B7-257E-4917-B3FA-A1AE0578083C.jpeg
 

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom