purpose of white patch below / behind ear


Crossing the Road
14 Years
Sep 19, 2009
Holts Summit, Missouri
A hen I have been watching appears to have a white patch behing / below her ear while laying but not otherwise. I also have two red jungle fowl hens, one presently laying with same patch, other not laying without patch. Anybody see similar?
The white patch usually represents a white egg layer usually a mediterranean breed. The white gets more pronounced as they begin the laying cycle. Penedesencas are one exception that I know of.
Hen exhibiting is American game. Rare individuals in her ancestry had white earlobes. Our games produce eggs that are offwhite. I have red jungle fowl with same white patch, even in males. I have not noticed if coloration differs with cycle.
There is always the chance that it is a sport or throwback. I have hadwhite lobes although faint show up from time to time in breeds that are not supposed to have them.
I will admit I have not raised the American game but red lobes are the SOP. I would research your lines a little just to see if there was a cross.
Mine are not show stock selected to match SOP, rather one generation removed from working stock. Confidence concerning breeding extremely high. Probably a very large portion of American games will not meet SOP established for Old English Game SOP.
That makes me think it is what I have experienced when a hen starts her egg cycle I have noticed a whitening in the otherwise red lobe it usually is faint and in the center raely touching the edges. It will disappear when production drops off with the lightening of the comb.
Interesting stuff I did not know I had.

First is of Sallie (hen in question) while incubating brood 1 back in March. Notice earlobe is red, not violation of SOP.

Second with Sallie tending chicks of brood 1. Earlobe also red.

Third is Sallie (with daughter Spud) producing egg for brood 2. Earlobe is "whitish". By time she commits to incubation brood 2, earlobe wil be red again.

At time of first to photographs, Sallie was not receptive to Eduardo (rooster) covering her. Her vocalizations were dominated by growls (image 1) or clucking (image 2). Her weight was also considerable less than during period when eggs being produced. She consistently operates at lower weight when incubating and brooding chicks.

At time of third photograph she is at high end of her weight range and produces "egg song" and "leaving nest cackle". Latter helps regroup with flock and preceedes Eduardo covering her apparently every time.

I am pretty sure her earlobes were whitish as first clutch / brood was being produced. To many variables to catch all this going in first run. I have been keeping game birds for nearly 35 years but did not see the subtle changes that appear to have been going on all along. I am going to see if redquill my colortype exhibits as well. May not as skin is darker.
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