Farming and Animal Husbandry

What is a chicken's comb?
Answered by Animal Planet
  • Animal Planet

    Animal Planet

  1. Both male and female chickens have fleshy growths at the tops of their heads called combs. Although males usually have more pronounced combs, both genders' combs are almost always red.

    Some experts say a comb helps in cooling the body temperature of a chicken. Humans have a method of cooling down by sweating. When sweat evaporates, the skin is cooled. Chickens cannot sweat, but the blood in the comb is cooled faster than the blood in the body. The theory is that chickens send more blood to their combs if they want to cool their bodies. Thus, the body temperature goes down.

    The popular red comb seen on roosters is a single comb. There are certain breeds that have more elaborate combs, such as Polish chickens, which have V-shaped combs surrounded by feathers.

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