Chicken Comb: Types, Color, Benefits, Pictures, and FAQs

Do you want to know all about a chicken comb? This guide will teach you about chicken combs’ types, importance, pictures, and FAQs.

You will also understand the type of chicken comb and how to care for it. A comb in the chicken’s head plays a significant role in their life.

This guide will help you understand your roosters and hens comb. The most common example is frostbite in chickens’ combs, which we have covered in this guide.

What is a Chicken Comb?

All chickens have a fleshy mass on their head called the comb. It has some essential body functions that help chickens to grow and survive.

Combs are also popularly known as chicken crowns. A comb is present on all chicken heads, but they may be different types, shapes, or colors.

Some chicken breeds like Ayam Cemani and Indian Kadaknath have almost black combs. Therefore, the types of the chicken comb are classified according to their shape and structure.

All chickens are sensitive to the comb, so they do not want anyone to touch it. Various chicken comb types are single, rose, cushion, buttercup, strawberry, pea, walnut, v comb, and carnation.

What Are Chicken Combs Used For?

The comb is a type of sensory organ in chickens, that’s why it is sensitive. Even friendly chickens will not like it if you touch it.

Identify Sex in Early Weeks

The chicken comb is a good way for chicken raisers to tell the difference between pullets and cockerels at a young age. Almost each of the breeds carries a comb that grows with age.

Combs start growing on chicken skulls at a minimum age, so you can quickly identify which one is a pullet and cockerel after 4–8 weeks. 

Sexing chicken is essential in poultry farming for identifying roosters and hens early in life.

Indicate Chickens Health

Most researchers believe that the average health of a chicken can be analyzed by looking at its comb. However, it’s not a perfect method to diagnose all health problems.

A healthy comb looks fleshy with a good structure. The color may vary from light red to deep red in a few black chicken breeds; the comb is black.

If you see a skinny, ugly dry, faded comb, you must know there’s something wrong with that chicken. That rooster or hen may have worm infestation, heatstroke, anemia, vitamin deficiencies, and other health issues.

Roosters and Hens Attracts Each Other

It is also mentioned in some research that the larger the chicken comb, the higher the testosterone level in the body. Most of the roosters and hens attract each other using their combs.

We now know that a beautiful comb is a sign of a healthy chicken; it attracts hens towards roosters. It is indirectly helpful for good breeding purposes.

Regulates Body Temperature

The comb on chicken heads is a natural heat control organ for chickens. Like humans, chickens do not sweat, so they need combs and wattles to regulate body temperature.

It automatically indicates the extreme climate, and their body adjusts the heating and cooling mechanism. 

Mostly, chicken comb helps them to live comfortably during hot summers. It keeps their body cool in hot weather.

9 Types of Chicken Comb

Below you will learn about different types of roosters and hens comb:

1. Single Comb

 Single Comb
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A rooster with a single comb

The most common comb type is a single comb on a chicken skull. This comb type is found in between 70 and 80 percent of chicken breeds.

It looks like an actual comb with thin-shaped flesh with pointed tops. The bottom part of the single comb covers a small and thin area on the head.

The gaps between the top look like multiple twisted V, and the color is mostly red. You can see a black comb in a few chicken breeds like Ayam Cemani and Kadaknath, but the shape and structure are almost identical.

The single comb is very thin in some breeds, so they bend downward.

Popular Breeds with Single Comb

Ayam Cemani, Rhode Island Red, Leghorns, Minorcas, Ancona, Australorps, Delaware, Orpingtons, Cochin’s, Salmon Faverolle, New Hampshire Reds, Speckled Sussex, Turkens.

2. Rose Comb

Rose Comb
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A Wyandotte with a rose comb

The chicken rose comb is flat, solid in structure, and broad in look. It helps the chickens from freezing climates and frostbite. 

This comb has a base with spiked flesh and a bumpy mass. Rose combs or crowns are beautiful ones.

Popular Breeds with Rose Comb

Hamburg, Red Cap, Wyandotte, Sebright.

3. Cushion Comb

Cushion Comb
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Chantecler chicken with cushion comb picture (Source: Flickr)

The cushion comb in chickens is a small, round button-shaped flesh sitting low on the head. It has no spikes or V shape comb structure. 

The texture of this type of chicken crown is smooth and has a unique look.

Popular Breeds with Cushion Comb

It is not a common type of comb, rarely found in breeds like Chantecler chickens.

4. Buttercup Comb

Cushion Comb of chickens
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Sicilian Buttercup chicken

The buttercup comb looks like a single, double comb, but the crown is bent in a slight U shape from the center.

This is a rare type of crown, seen in only the chicken breed, the Sicilian Buttercup.

Popular Breeds with Buttercup Comb

Sicilian Buttercup chicken.

5. Strawberry Comb

Yokohama mChickens With Strawberry Comb
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The strawberry comb is another unique type of chicken crown present over the top of the beak. 

The shape and structure of the comb look like a strawberry. It is away from the center top of the chicken’s skull.

Popular Breeds with Strawberry Comb

Malays, Yokohama’s chicken.

6. Pea Comb

A Brahma chicken with pea comb
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A Brahma with pea comb

The pea comb is another medium size chicken crown that sits low on the head. It has three lengthwise ridges.

The ridges on the center part are slightly more prominent than the outer ones. It also looks like a row of small peas.

Popular Breeds with Pea Comb

Aseel, Cornish, Cubalaya, Easter Egger, Brahma, Shamo, Sumatra, Yokohama Buckeye.

7. Walnut Comb

Walnut Comb of a Silkie chicken
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It is one of the popular types of chicken comb, which is present in only a few chicken breeds. The structure of the crown looks like a walnut kernel or meat.

According to APA standards, the walnut crown must be firmly and evenly on the head. Moreover, it must be circular, broader, and have a small nodules-like structure above it.

It should be transversely across from the middle, rising at the nostril point and extending backward parallel with the front eyes.

Popular Breeds with Walnut Comb

Silkies, Orloff’s.

8. V-Shaped Comb

Crevecoeur v-shaped comb
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Crevecoeur showing V-shaped comb

The V-shaped comb in chicken is also known as the Devil’s Horn. It is a rare type of chicken crown, seen in a few chicken breeds.

It does not look like a comb because it has two thick points extended upward. The crown looks like a horn present in goats and sheep.

Popular Breeds with V-Shaped Comb

Crevecoeurs, Appenzellers, Sultans.

9. Carnation Comb

Chicken with Carnation Comb
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Carnation Comb (Source: backyardchickens)

The other name of the Carnation comb is the King comb. It is another rare shape found in very few chicken breeds.

It has a little curved shape, and this chicken comb has more spikes than a single one.

Popular Breeds with Carnation Comb

Penedesenca, Empordanesa.

Common FAQs

What are the signs of an unhealthy chicken comb?

An unhealthy chicken comb can be with blood clots, pox lumps, discolored/white patched, or pale. You may see some unknown new signs.

The discolored and white patches are a common cause of anemic chicken. Lumps on the comb may indicate bacterial and viral infections like a pox.

You may see some unhealthy bleeding on the comb with an injury, which is a sign of aggressive roosters which fight a lot.

Can a chicken live without a comb?

Yes, a chicken can live without a comb. It has no major functioning for living except body temperature control, especially in summer.

Will chicken comb grow back?

Once a comb falls, is injured, or is damaged, it will never grow back. The permanent damage to the comb never causes the daily activity of the chicken.

Why do chicken combs look so different from one another?

The comb is a type of organ in chickens. Like different people have different colors and body structures, chickens also have extra combed because of genetic coding.

You can see in many characteristics like naked-neck turken chickens hatch siblings with red-colored naked necks, but a standard chicken breed has kids like them.

So, due to various types of genes, chicken combs look different from one another.

Bijaya Kumar
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