What does a Pale Comb on Chickens Mean?

Checking the current health status of your chickens is challenging, especially if you’re not aware of the indications of whether they are sick or not. There are changes among your flocks that might look nothing but can be an indication of illnesses.

One of the common changes that you might notice on your chickens is the color of their combs. They are the small flesh growth on top of the head of chickens. They might not look essential, but combs are tied to your flocks’ health.

Usually, these are in vibrant red, but if there are instances that they turn pale pink, there might be some issues with their health. There are various reasons why the combs change their colors. It might be because of stress, weather, illness, or parasites.



If you see that the combs of your chickens in lighter colors, it could possibly mean that they are suffering from stress. There are probably some issues they are dealing with, such as preventing predators, having a bad diet, or difficulty with laying eggs. If they are experiencing one of these problems, it will usually reflect on the color of their combs– turning pale.


Hot Weather

You can also notice an abnormal color change of your chicken’s comb during hot weather. It usually turns lighter, which indicates that they are exhausted from the heat. So, the best thing to do is to provide more water. I also suggest feeding particular treats such as cucumbers and watermelon to help them hydrate more. If possible, you should also offer additional shades on their resting place to reduce heat.



Aside from heat exhaustion and stress, pale combs can also mean that your chicken is anemic. Along with pale combs, anemic chicken also shows other symptoms, including weight loss, and dullness. Most of the time, anemia for chickens is caused by parasites such as fleas, mites, and lice, but there are instances that it’s because of depression and other health complications.


If your chickens are anemic, I recommend checking for parasites and getting rid of them. I also suggest cleaning the coop and isolating infected chicken to prevent infecting all your flocks. Meanwhile, if you did not find pests in the chickens, the anemia is probably caused by depression. Similarly, the best solution is to isolate the anemic chicken and create a safe, comfortable space to rest.


Internal Worms

In some cases, chicken pale comb also indicate internal parasites consuming the nutrients of your flocks. Usually, if you notice that their poops are watery and the color is not the usual– you can suspect internal worms. To turn pale combs to vibrant color again, treat the worms immediately.


Pale Comb but otherwise healthy

Pale combs can be a sign of sick and unhealthy chicken, but it can also mean nothing. Sometimes, pink and light color combs are just normal for chickens, especially if they are going into phases such as molting, laying, and developing.

Young non-laying chickens usually have pale combs not because they are unhealthy, but they are still in the development stage. Once they are fully developed, the combs will eventually turn a vibrant red. So, you should not worry too much if your young roosters are having pinkish flesh on their head.

On the other hand, you can also notice light-colored combs on hens if they are about to lay eggs. Usually, when hens are nearing to produce eggs, they tend to draw blood to their vents—resulting in pale combs. Then, as soon as they lay, their combs will start returning to their original color again. Moreover, when hens are taking a break from egg production, their combs are usually lighter in color than usual.

Chickens also undergo another phase called molting,it’s when they start to lose and re-grow feathers. In this period, the color of their combs also turns pale, which is normal and healthy. So, you don’t have to worry if the paleness is only caused by molting.


Pale comb and lethargic

Chickens show various symptoms when they are suffering from health issues such as anemia, stress, heat exhaustion, and many more. If you observe your chicken have a pale comb and lethargic, along with indications of pests infesting your flocks, it’s probably anemia. You’ll see that your chicken is also losing weight, because of the parasite.

On the other hand, depressed chickens can also show these pale comb and lethargic symptoms, mostly if they are stressed about the hot weather or dealing with roaming predators. Although, these signs can also mean nothing, especially if your chickens are in phases of laying eggs and molting. There are even instances that they are lethargic because they are just sleepy.

Thus, it’s important to observe your chickens diligently and check if there is more than one indication pointing to a particular case. It’s the best way to know what’s actually happening to your flocks.


Pale comb and weight lose

If you notice that your chicken is getting thinner and smaller, you are probably worried if it’s suffering from an illness. Personally, you should not worry about weight loss if your chicken is just getting more exercise in its coop. This is common when you have a wide pen or farm. However, If you notice other signs such as pale comb, along with weight loss, there might be some issues.

One of the health issues that you should worry about when your chickens show pale comb and weight loss is depression. They are probably having a hard time dealing with a lot of stressors like predators and hot weather. You should also worry about your flocks having parasites if you notice these particular signs, which can eventually cause other major illnesses like anemia.


How to Deal with Pale Combs

Pale combs of chickens may cause by various factors, so dealing with the issue may vary. So, the first thing you should do to solve the problem is to know the possible reasons behind the color change of combs. From there, you’ll have an idea of what to do, whether you need to take necessary action or just let it be.