CHARLOTTE SHARES A TIP
I find hens’ combs endlessly fascinating. The majority of my hens have single combs, as do all hybrids, but they can vary in size and shape; Leghorn based hybrids may have combs that flop over; the Cream Legbars have differing combs, depending on the influence of the Leghorn on which it is partly based. The biggest comb on any of my hens was on a Cream Legbar and it just grew bigger and bigger. Hens’ combs have two functions; firstly they exist to keep a chicken cool in hot weather. Chickens can’t pant like other animals but the blood circulates in tiny blood vessels from the comb to the wattles and allows the blood to be cooled by the air before it travels to other parts of the body. The second reason for the comb is to attract a mate. The bigger the comb the more attractive it will be to the cockerel; if you don’t have a cockerel then the hen with the biggest comb might just become the most dominant in your flock and take its place at the top of the pecking order!
The gigantic comb on one of my Cream Legbars
Another Cream Legbar with a bizarre comb flopping over her beak