Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Ruby Tuesday: Chicken Combs & Wattles

Barred Rock chickens have straight combs
After photographing the Barred Rock chickens here at home, I have become fascinated by their combs (on top of their head) and wattles (under their jaw). They are red in most, but not all, species of chickens and are fleshy growths. The chickens use them for controlling their body heat. Blood flows from the wattles to the combs to cool chickens off on hot days. But wattles and combs can become frost bitten in the winter and many people will cut them off to prevent freezing. This is called dubbing and it is said to be painless for the chicken. I have been told that the pecking order of the flock can be determined by the size and brightness of the comb: the dominant hen will have the biggest and reddest comb. However, I have found no mention of this in my reading so I can't verify it. 

On the subject of eggs: for whatever reason, be it the season, the barn renovations, the raccoons, or simply being silly chickens, the hens have begun laying their eggs in the woods. Pictured here is a nest of 7 eggs that I found in the willows. John found a nest of over 20 eggs, and we even are finding eggs in the garage. Only about 2 eggs a week are in the nesting boxes. That means there are over one hundred eggs somewhere else! When the new chicken coop is finished, the hens will be confined to it for a few days until they adjust their behaviors.

Thank you for visiting today!


  1. Looking at your chicken I missed my chickens too. We had 25 chickens but then our neighbors dog came for many times and killed them, so there were 11 left and we ended up giving them to my step-son. Anyway, here in Michigan there is a population explosion of raccoons that they eat turtle eggs, chicken eggs and others. So if we see them we killed them, it's okey here to do it hehehe. Happy Tuesday!

    RT~Fiesta Hollyhock

  2. Chickens are COOL! They look funny and pretty at the same time. :) And they are useful, too. I love all sorts of birds, though. Nice post.

  3. That's a cool ruby you got there Dree! We have chickens too before with my grandparents (my grandparents raised me up and I live with them until I grew old) and we have couple of them, I missed it as seeing your chicken there.. :( But anyway, it's a happy nostalgia too with my grannys especially when it's eggs time.. :) And ooh so wattles and combs should have to be dubbed for winter, now I know.. thanks for sharing! That is indeed good for the chickens or else they could have been cold in winter time.. happy ruby Tuesday! Thanks by the way for visiting My Ruby Tuesday: Red flowers, Etc ~hugs~

  4. Those are very striking looking chickens, and I never realized that the comb and wattle had a purpose before. Cool.

    My photography is available for purchase - visit Around the Island Photography and bring home something beautiful today!

  5. Cool Ruby Tuesday post :) Very informative as well as just a good photo :) Thanks for stopping by my blog as well.

    The answer to the photo quiz for it was Niagara Falls :)

  6. lovely shot. the red against the green. and very informative post

    Have a nice day!
    Thanks for stopping by.

  7. nice looking chicken ~ I never knew about the comb and wattle either.

    That's silly that they are laying their eggs all over the place.

  8. Replies
    1. Oh, Mary! I just recently got this message because I never saw it back in December. I am so sorry! May this be your happiest year ever!


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