by Lincoln MCLEAN
(Melbourne, victoria, australia)

Our Plymouth Wyandotte cook is 22 weeks old and never laid an egg. Her comb has turned yellow.

Comments for YELLOW COMB

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by: Sharon

The changing color of a chicken's or chook's comb can indicate something going on in the individual's general health, or it can be localized to just the health of the comb tissues.

One of the most common causes of comb color change is due to tissue damage, but loss of color and when normally erect combs flop over can be indicators of illness or disease - possibly from blood loss, dehydration, major organ dysfunction, low blood pressure.

Even if she has no other symptoms, I would recommend isolating her away from others & give her basic supportive care. She may respond to vitamins and minerals and a more balanced diet. Give her a thorough body exam for parasites & signs of malnutrition or strange odors & discharges. Monitor her droppings for diarrhea blood.

Since comb health can be coming from internal issues, these can be hard to diagnose, even with vet care. An external physical exam will begin the process of elimination as far as any of the most obvious causes. Treating the comb with some protective and moisturizing salve will help discover if this is a skin issue.

There are chicken pox viruses that might lead to discolored comb, or could be something toxic she ingested affecting her health internally.

Sometimes an individual will get lost in the shuffle of flock life. It could be a timid individual not willing to exert its own will over others in the flock. These individuals can sometimes not eat or drink enough and their health will slowly decline. Free access to food & water and some supplements may turn things around.

Some people think the solution for any sick chicken is to put it down, but that prevents you from finding out what the problem is or isn't and if it's life threatening. It would be a shame to destroy an animal because it has a sunburn which can damage its comb.

If you have other chickens watch for signs of health concerns. I would definitely check your whole flock for parasites, do a good cleaning and treat for what you find. If you don't already I would supplement your whole flock with vitamins, possibly even conditioning feed & make sure they get plenty of greens and fresh foods.

Even with the best of care it's possible that this individual hatched with some weaknesses in her physiology that can't be cured. It's possible she ingested something toxic, that she may or may not recover from. In a week's time of isolating her and offering extra care, you should see if she is better or worse. I would not assume she is sick and give antibiotics, unless you see definite signs of an infection.

If others her age are laying and she is not, this could be a sign of internal disorders.

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