9 Types of Chicken Combs
Almost every chicken breed has a comb like it has legs, feathers, and wings. The comb is one of the most critical external parts of a chicken. A chicken comb, for instance, helps the bird stay cool during hot weather because chickens don’t sweat, unlike humans. So they rely on their combs to cool the rest of their bodies. Chickens have different comb types in all shapes and sizes, depending on the specific chicken breed.
9 Different Chicken Comb Types
Chickens have many types of combs that vary in shape, size, and color. Below are nine different chicken comb types you should expect to see in many chicken breeds today.
– Single Comb
The single comb is one of the most recognizable parts of a chicken. That’s what many people envision when they hear someone mentioning the name chicken comb. A single comb is thinner than other types of chicken combs. This chicken comb has distinct peaks at its top.
These peaks of a single comb have around five to six points. These points begin at the bottom of a chicken’s beak and end at the back of a chicken’s head. The points in a single comb can be upright or fall over the side of a chicken’s head. Some chicken breeds with single combs include the Ayam Cemani, Faverolles, Barnevelders, Rhode Island Reds, and Leghorns.
– Pea Comb
Pea combs are relatively smaller than other types of chicken combs. Despite being smaller, pea combs are excellent for chicken breeds in places with harsh winters. The pea comb manifests itself as a comb with three corresponding caruncles rows. These rows look like conjoined pea-like protrusions.
A pea comb begins at the base of a chicken’s beak and extends toward a chicken’s upper head. Some chicken breeds with pea combs include the Brahmas, Buckeyes, and Ameraucanas.
– Strawberry Comb
The strawberry comb is a distinct type of chicken comb that sits in front of a chicken’s skull. The chicken comb protrudes on the top of a chicken’s beak. The chicken comb derives the name strawberry from its appearance because it resembles a strawberry.
The strawberry comb is unique since the most significant part of this chicken comb covers a chicken’s beak. This comb is small, compact, and relatively smaller than other chicken combs.
Furthermore, the strawberry comb sits on the lower side of a chicken’s body. However, only a few chickens have strawberry chicken combs. Some of the breeds with strawberry combs include the Malay and Yokohama chickens.
– Cushion Comb
Cushion combs are relatively smaller than the average chicken combs. They are also compact compared to other types of chicken combs. Cushion combs sit at the base of a chicken’s head. Cushion combs are also smoother than other chicken combs. They have no points, spikes, or other serrations extending beyond the middle of a chicken’s skull.
The cushion comb also derives its name from its appearance. Chickens with cushion combs look like they have tiny cushions that sit forward on their heads. However, very few chickens have cushion combs. Chantecler is among the few breeds with a cushion comb.
– Walnut Comb
Walnut combs are medium-sized combs. Like most chicken combs, these combs derive their names from their appearances. They look similar to walnut shells. Most chicken breeds with walnut combs are a crossbreed of chickens with pea and rose combs.
Walnut combs are large, rounded, and flat. These chicken combs are more distinct in roosters. Silkies and Orloff chickens are some of the chicken breeds with walnut combs.
– Buttercup Comb
The buttercup comb is a type of chicken comb that has two single combs. The two single combs merge over a chicken’s beak and at the back of the bird’s beak. Chickens with Buttercup combs have beautiful plumages. They also boast excellent egg production compared to other chickens. The typical buttercup comb has a deep-cut shape. Buttercup comb also has peaks around its perimeter.
Chickens with buttercup combs also have small blades leading to their beaks. Buttercup combs are large, and they are particularly impressive on roosters. However, hens have smaller versions of buttercup combs.
Buttercup combs look similar to other variations of single combs. However, the points in a buttercup comb have a full circle that forms small crowns. The only breed with a buttercup comb is the Sicilian Buttercup.
– V-Shaped Comb
V-shaped combs are some of the most beautiful and unique chicken combs. These combs have two elegant horn-like points. The points extend to a chicken’s right and left sides. They also extend to the bird’s skull. V-shaped combs start at a single point of a chicken’s beak. V-shaped combs are also known as Devil horns.
There are few chickens breeds with these combs. Some breeds with V-shaped combs include the La Fleche, Crevecoeur, and Sultan. Thanks to their stunning look, V-shaped combs are suitable for ornamental and show birds. However, V-shaped combs are highly vulnerable to frostbite, and chickens with these combs should strictly remain indoors during wintertime.
– Rose Comb
Rose combs are prevalent in chickens that live in harsh climates since these combs are least susceptible to frostbite. It’s easy to identify a rose comb from its appearance. Rose combs are solid and broad. They also have flat tops, unlike other types of chicken combs.
These low, fleshly combs have well-tapered spikes at a chicken’s back. The spikes of these combs protrude to the back of chicken’s skulls, although the shape can differ from one chicken breed to the other. Some chickens can have rose combs with spikes curving facing upwards.
Others come with spikes that lay horizontally. Some of the breeds with rose combs include Dominique Wyandottes and combed bantams.
– Carnation Comb
The Carnation comb is also known as the King’s comb. There are very few chicken breeds with Carnation combs. The carnation comb is similar to the single comb. However, this comb has multiple points at its back. The points in a carnation comb make the entire comb look identical to a crown.
Male chickens have upright carnation combs. Females have carnation combs that fall on their sides. Penedesenca and Emprodanesa chickens are the only chicken breeds that have carnation combs.
The Purpose of a Chicken Comb
A chicken comb’s primary purpose is to help a chicken regulate its body temperature. Simply put, a chicken comb acts like a chicken’s cooling system. Because chickens don’t sweat like other animals, including humans, they need something to help regulate their body temperature. That’s why a chicken comb is among the most critical parts of a chicken’s body.
It operates like a car’s radiator. The bigger the comb, the more capable the chicken can regulate its temperature. It explains why chickens with larger combs can tolerate temperature changes, unlike chickens with smaller combs.
Chicken Comb Health Problems
While a chicken comb is an integral part of a chicken’s body, it is susceptible to many health problems like other parts. For instance, chickens with bluish-tinge combs and purple coloring combs may indicate the birds could be having severe circulatory problems. Adult hens with tiny combs also have serious health issues.
Chickens with combs with greyish-white spots could be having severe fungal infections. Similarly, chickens with nodules on their combs could be having fowl pox. Chickens with fowl pox usually have wart-like nodules.
Such fowl also have dark spots on their combs and wattles. While a large chicken comb may look stunning, chickens with large combs are vulnerable to frostbites.
Chickens come in several sizes, shapes, plumages, and breeds. That’s why these beautiful birds we keep in our homes have different combs. A chicken comb determines how hardy a chicken is because the larger the comb, the more weather-tolerant the bird is. Consequently, you must consider the type of comb a chicken has before adding the breed to your flock.