All About Combs

Different breeds of hen have different shaped combs: Rose or Buttercup, Walnut or Strawberry, Pea or V shaped. Most ex-bats have a typical single comb with 5 or 6 points. A single comb is the most common type.

Chickens don’t sweat so the comb and wattles are important for keeping them cool in hot weather. This is why you’ll often see ex-bats coming out of their cages with pale, floppy combs, due to the warm environment they were living in.

The dense network of capilliaries act like radiators, letting heat escape into the surrounding air.

Purple colouration can indicate poor circulation and hens with large combs are at risk of frostbite.

If you’d like advice on your hen’s health, why not visit our Hen Health page, where we discuss important things to look for in your hen’s health, whether its personality or physical symptoms. Or, head to our Hen Examination Guidelines where we can show you where to find things like the crop or the wattle.

If you need to seek medical advice, click here to find your nearest Hen Friendly Vet.
You can also call Hen Central on 01884 860084 to speak to one of our rehoming assistants.

Giving a gift today helps fund our Hen Helpline. It helps support hen keepers, giving them the best advice on how to care for their hens. If you have found our advice helpful, please consider giving a gift towards the hen helpline here.

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