Winter Comb/Laying Comb

As I predicted, now that it’s February, a couple of hens have gone back into lay.

I don’t know who’s producing the light brown one, but I’m happy to see it. I’m even happier now that it’s laid, not in the dust bath tub (this photo shows the first one of the season), but in a nesting box.


Twiggy is still taking a break, but Misty has resumed laying her buttermilk-white egg. That she’s laying is obvious.

Two weeks ago Misty’s comb was pale and shriveled. It was an ashy pink.

pale comb


Today it looks like this. Just look at those long red wattles and that plump comb!


Snow is in the forecast, but my hens say to ignore the white stuff –  spring is on the way. In my backyard, spring isn’t green. It’s red.


  1. It is amazing the transformation in their combs.

    Spring?? Have we even hit winter yet? Wouldn’t know it here.

  2. I think it is amazing how their combs can change so dramatically when they are in or out of lay. My hybrid had a shrivelled up comb for a few weeks while she underwent a moult. Comb is now beautiful again and laying has commenced. I love chickens, but I still think they are complex creatures (with regard to the amount of things that can go wrong). Hope Spring does come soon, to us all.

  3. The Delawares are laying and my 5 year old Barred Rock is also. Their combs are bright red and large. What is curious to me is my Leghorn, her comb is very shriveled and ash colored. She went into a very late molt in December. It wasn’t a dramatic one but she lost a lot of her feathers, especially her tail feathers. Her last egg was just after the first of December. She had laid almost every day for 18 months….I am hoping she will lay again soon, we are missing those jumbo white eggs….I enjoyed the selfies with Tonka!

  4. I am always happy when the calendar turns to February as here in the Pacific North West that means Spring, although we did not have much if any real winter weather. The hens sure think it is time to put on their red combs and get to work. As my most of my girls are in their 4th year now, I am noticing the ones that lay brown eggs are producing eggs that are not quite the same colour as they used to be. It makes it a challenge to figure out just who is laying which one. There are a couple of girls that are not laying again yet but yesterday I was thrilled to see my 7 mos old bantam Ameracauna in the nesting box for the first time. The roo was going in and out of the hen house all concerned as to why she was taking so long in there but a couple of hours later she produced her precious first wee blue egg. I am proudly displaying it on my kitchen shelf for now….it will be hard to eat it until I get my next one from her. :)

  5. My two Magpies that have laid all winter are taking a break thank goodness. My two RIR combs are red and they are laying an egg now and again hopefully will get going soon. My Buff Sussex is still molting and my Welsummer, (well what can I say) has never laid many eggs and probably won’t start till May if then, she’s hopeless but pretty adorable just the same…:)

  6. Misty looks so much better in the ‘after’ photo than she did in the ‘before’ photo. Glad she’s back to laying for you again.
    Did it take your hens long to get used to the higher tub dust bath that replaced your the litter box dust bath?

  7. I do love seeing their red combs! Henny Penny has been laying her lovely blue eggs since mid-January and her comb is a nice vibrant red. Scarlett has come back yet again from the brink and laid her first egg last week! We lost Amelia over Thanksgiving and I will miss her 250 eggs per year. Maybe it is time for a couple chicks…

  8. Love your blog.
    Although we are in the middle of summer here in New Zealand…
    More battling heat anf humidity, than cold.
    So around my house you find an icecream container with water in every corner, for my five girls ( white leghorn,brown leghorn, black araucana, blue laced barnevelder, buff orpington) and the cat…

  9. My girls are also getting their red combs back. It is amazing the transformation. One of my bantam brown leghorns laid her first egg this year on the last day of January. Hurrah! The girls with the red combs are doing a lot of inspecting in the nest boxes so I am sure there will be more eggs soon.

  10. Our barred rock started laying again January 24 and our white leghorn on January 30th, yay!