This is a very strange question, but...

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by tcbosco1, Nov 9, 2010.

  1. tcbosco1

    tcbosco1 Out Of The Brooder

    Is it possible for a hen's comb to shrink?

    I have a Rhode Island Red who stopped laying eggs at 2 years old (her eggs went from brown to white and then stopped altogether) and now it appears that her comb is getting smaller! What's up with that???!!!

    My other girls are currently "on strike" from egg production - one is broody, one is molting, and one is simply slowing down because of the cold weather (I hope!)

    I had to buy eggs yesterday for the first time in two years. : (
  2. A.T. Hagan

    A.T. Hagan Don't Panic

    Aug 13, 2007
    North/Central Florida
    Yes, when a hen hasn't laid in a long time their combs can shrink and lose color somewhat. In fact with single comb breeds you can use it as an indication of who is currently laying and who isn't. Doesn't work well with other comb types though.
  3. tcbosco1

    tcbosco1 Out Of The Brooder

    Does this mean that she is done laying (forever)?
  4. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

    Jul 9, 2009
    Northern CA
    My Coop
    My buttercup's comb shrinks and shrivels when she molts. No it doesn't mean she won't ever lay again. It comes back to normal when she's ready to begin laying again.
  5. SmartyChick

    SmartyChick An Official Milkmaid

    Oct 19, 2009
    Sullivan County NY
    my hen's combs shrink during molt because they are not laying, they also loose their beautiful red color and turn pale. TYhey turn right back to beautiful when it's all over! So sorry you had to buy eggs!
  6. tcbosco1

    tcbosco1 Out Of The Brooder

    I thought she would start laying again, but nothing so far. I don't think it has anything to do with molting. Last fall she molted, returned to laying eggs until April (when the eggs turned white) then stopped. I just noticed her shrunken comb last week.

    It's been 7 months now without eggs from her.

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