Why do combs flop?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by SunnySideUp, Jul 31, 2007.

  1. SunnySideUp

    SunnySideUp In the Brooder

    Mar 27, 2007
    Hi everyone, wondering if anyone knows why combs flop? Is there something missing in a chickens diet whose comb won't stand up? At first I only saw it in pics of cramped caged chikens, but my friends chickens who are happy healthy backyard birds have started to have floppy combs.

    Any experience with this? Thanks!
  2. DuckLady

    DuckLady Administrator

    Jan 11, 2007
    NE Washington State
    It is just the way of the comb. It gets big and since there is no cartilage it just...flops. Kinda how our ears would if there was nothing holding them in shape. [​IMG]

    I love fabulous floppy combs!
  3. V Chic Chick

    V Chic Chick Songster

    Jan 11, 2007
    Bristol, England
    Battery birds' combs get so big because they use them to dissipate the heat in such cramped conditions. When they come out of the sheds to be rehomed, then their combs shrink back to a more reasonable size.

    My sussex both had big combs that flopped over. When they would stop laying in the winter their combs would shrink again (it's a hormonal thing) and they would stand up.

    Also, some breeds simply have bigger combs than others.
  4. Standard Hen

    Standard Hen Songster

    May 17, 2007
    That's interesting as I was wondering the same thing. I have seen pictures of battery chickens and for the life of me could not figure out the reason. I love this site.
  5. Godiva

    Godiva Songster

    May 17, 2007
    Great topic - I was wondering the same thing. Does a floppy comb score less on breeding points than an upright one? Or is it of no significance? Does that change according to breed? What about combs that have a wobble in them...?
  6. cookinmom

    cookinmom Songster

    Mar 14, 2007
    Saint George GA
    There's a post here somewhere that says the comb (at least on pullets) flops over when she's about to lay. My Pearl's flopped over, but Hot Rods, and the rest of the girls' aren't really big enough to flop. I think it also depends on the breed.
  7. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD

    Yeah, I think it all depends on the breed. My cali whites and production strain leghorns had floppy combs after they started to lay, but I'd sure like to see my silkie hen's comb flop. [​IMG] What comb? That wart?
    1 person likes this.
  8. SunnySideUp

    SunnySideUp In the Brooder

    Mar 27, 2007
    I'm sure there is some connection to the breed thing, but my friends hens with the floppy combs are a RIR and Barred Rock, and I also have one of each of those breeds and my girls don't have a flop to theirs, only slight "wave" on one of them. I was initially alarmed, hers are a little older then mine, but combs are less developed (and flopped). Since my friends are away and I was watching their girls, just wanted to be sure it wasn't a sign of something going wrong. Thanks everyone for the information.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: