Some comb shrinkage normal during egglaying off season...right?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by DianeB, Oct 26, 2009.

  1. DianeB

    DianeB Chillin' With My Peeps

    592
    3
    141
    Mar 12, 2009
    I noticed that the one purebreed hen's comb has shrunk a little. She has stopped laying eggs for about a month. Still, healthy in every other way. I assume that it will fill out again when she returns to lay in the Spring.
     
  2. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    Combs are often fuller when they are actively laying. During moult or the off season, when hormone levels are lower, their combs can "shrink" a bit.
     
  3. DianeB

    DianeB Chillin' With My Peeps

    592
    3
    141
    Mar 12, 2009
    Thank You

    Just wanted to double check.
     
  4. catdaddyfro

    catdaddyfro Overrun With Chickens

    3,806
    221
    258
    Sep 16, 2009
    Vernon Parish
    Yes it normal, if you notice during this time the hens kinda go into a semi-trance like stage. sorta like a broody hen sort goes into an outof it trance.

    This is an energy conservation mode all the energy that she would use moving about scratching and carrying on is directed more towards making feathers. They are pure protien so it takes alot of energy to replace them.

    So the shrinking comb makes them look as if they are sick but they aren't just kind of hibernating a bit.

    Also if you'll notice if you have roos with them even the other hens won't mess with them much either and you see them kinda off by themselves. Maybe the comb color is an indicator for this also?

    catdaddy We got new Dellies today
    brand new! [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2009
  5. DianeB

    DianeB Chillin' With My Peeps

    592
    3
    141
    Mar 12, 2009
    Oh, she is acting normal and is not broody at all. She still runs around with the other hens, eats, drink and so on. Her poop is normal and doesn't have worms or mites. She is losing more feathers than the others and stopped laying while the others just slowed down. This hen is a NH red and the other two are hybrids.

    So, if I give her more protein, it will help. I have been giving them yogurt and they always dig up worms.

    Thank You
     
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2009
  6. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    Molt has been hard on some of my girls, even with the extra protein I give them. One in particular is about 2/3 the body weight she was before her molt and her comb has shrunken to half its size now. She moves slowly like she's tired. I see this quite often, but more on some than others.
     
  7. DianeB

    DianeB Chillin' With My Peeps

    592
    3
    141
    Mar 12, 2009
    Quote:Is there a supplement that I can give her to make a little easier on her. I know that they have some for parrots. She already gets yogurt everyday and ACV and garlic in her water.

    This is her first year. So, it is not a hard molt.
     
  8. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    You could get some of those cheap plain fish fillets in the frozen section of the grocery store and microwave one for her. They love fish. I feed some of my breeders canned salmon and mackerel. Good, high quality protein.
     
  9. DianeB

    DianeB Chillin' With My Peeps

    592
    3
    141
    Mar 12, 2009
    How often and how much fish? I just bought some canned mackerel. They seem to like it. So does my fat terrier [​IMG] She already pollished off a plate I gave to the chickens.
     
  10. gsim

    gsim Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,992
    17
    176
    Jun 18, 2009
    East Tennessee
    Saw the part about worms and I recall that earthworms have nematodes (parasites) within them that can infest chickens and make them sick. I was going to make a kind of bio pod for the pen and grow crickets and nightcrawlers, but have since decided to do only crickets for that reason.

    Put food-grade diatomaceous earth in her food, and if she has nematodes, they are likely to die and be passed out.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by