What are combs and wattles, and how do they benefit a chicken?

I’m sure you’ve known that chickens have combs ever since you can remember, but most likely, you might not even know what their use is.

First, I’ll start off pointing this out: combs and wattles are not vestigial organs! Or to put simply–they are not useless. They may not function like organs such as the stomach, gizzard, or abdomen in a chicken, but I still consider them an organ. So what do they do? Combs and wattles help circulate the blood in a chicken to sustain better health blood wise. Because they circulate the blood, it gives the combs and wattles a very cardinal role! This is why, in the winter, chickens’ combs can get frostbitten because they are warmer and have high amounts of blood. If it is frostbitten and it goes untreated, it could become lethal. So, definitely, the combs and wattles do not have a subordinate role. To my knowledge, a chicken cannot live without its comb, and if the comb gets damaged, it could potentially endanger the birds health. Because of this, I am against the dubbing of game birds’ combs. If you are not familiar with ‘dubbing,’ it is where you trim and shave off the comb and wattles of a chicken. It seems almost barbaric, I know. It, I’m sure, creates a bloody mess, all to just look better at the show. That would be why I do not raise Old English Game, Modern Game, American Game, etc. for showing!

I hope that I was able to show you how the comb is not only useless like some people think, but it actually benefits a chicken so much that it cannot (at least not very well) live without it! If you have any questions, or comments, please leave a comment below. Thanks for reading!

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