Chicken Comb Bleeding: Care + What to Do

A bleeding chicken comb should be a concern because it signifies that its capillaries have been damaged or hurt. Any farmer should be concerned since the comb is an important organ in a chicken. Yes, the comb’s purpose is not ornamental, as many people believe, even if it comes in different colors and shapes.

Mainly, the comb assists the chicken in body temperature control. Unlike you and me, a chicken is not capable of sweating.

For instance, for a chicken to refresh, blood is taken into the organ for cooling before transportation to the rest of the body. The comb, together with the wattle, is the central air conditioning unit of the bird.

If the comb is bleeding, the chicken may find it challenging to regulate its body temperature normally. Without the right body temperature, a hen may be stressed, grow poorly, and even die.

Causes of a bleeding chicken comb (chicken comb injury)

The causes of a bleeding chicken comb may mainly be pecking or sparring, cannibalism, curiosity, and establishing social order and hierarchy.

When new chickens are introduced into a flock or chickens of different sizes are housed together, expect pecking and chicken comb injury. While pecking and comb bleeding may not always be serious, it may result in death.

A chicken comb injury can also be due to an attack by predators or the organ catching itself on something, such as a barbed wire or broken glass.

The surrounding area of a chicken coop must not contain predators or things that may scratch the comb. Safeguard your chickens from hawks, large rats, and other pets such as dogs.    

How to stop a chicken’s comb from bleeding

To stop a chicken’s comb from bleeding is a process that mainly involves separation, treatment, and reintroduction.

Before exploring that process, understand that the outer layer of the comb is rich in capillaries, which are closely situated to the skin surfaces. That is why the chicken’s comb is sensitive and prone to injuries.

Still, treating a comb bleeding is undemanding. Here are some ways that can help you stop your chicken’s comb from bleeding:

1. Separate the bleeding chicken from your flock

Usually, because of chickens’ cannibalistic and bullying traits and boredom, it is common that an injured chicken may receive further attacks. If your bleeding chicken continues to be attacked, it may have a worse injury or even die.

A healthy flock may also attack your sick chicken because they do not want to be infected by a disease.

In the temporary chicken coop housing your bleeding chicken, provide enough supply of drinking water and food.

2. Treat the comb injury

You can find various medications from local poultry shops to stop a comb’s bleeding and prevent further infection.

Clean the comb wound with rubbing alcohol and then apply a risk-free pet antibiotic cream. Alternatively, treat the comb by cutting off the damaged area. That is done when the comb’s bleeding and the wound is nasty.

If you are afraid or unsure how to carry out the comb trimming procedure, refer the matter to your local vet. There are also some cases where the chicken’s comb may turn black due to blood clots from the injuries on it. Give it time to heal, but if it takes time, check on it to prevent any further infections.

3. Ensure the chicken fully recovers  

Avoid rushing to reintroduce your injured chicken to your flock. Other chickens can always identify wounds that have not healed and attack the frail bird.

Only return the bird to be with other birds when the bleeding has stopped, and the wound has healed completely.

4. Monitor the bird  after reintroduction to a flock

To have a chance of not encountering rejection, the reintroduction of the healed bird should happen at night, during roosting.

Normally, you may witness the birds pecking at each other. However, when the fighting does not end in 1 to 3 hours, then you have an issue at hand.

Because the healed bird is no longer welcomed to be part of the flock, either find a new home for it or slaughter it to be eaten.

How to treat an injured chicken comb

To treat an injured chicken comb, halt the bleeding, clean the affected area, and apply the right topical solution. Some of the antibiotic ointments you can use include raw honey, Veterycin, Blue Kote, and a mild antiseptic.

Before applying a topical solution or an antibiotic to an injured chicken comb, ensure your hands are always clean. That is to discourage the emergence of a new infection or the spreading of an existing infection.

Treatment should last longer for larger comb wounds. During the first few days of treatment, administer the medicine twice daily and then once daily until the wound heals.

What happens if an injured chicken comb falls off?

If an injured chicken comb falls off because of injury or disease, it will not grow again. A comb falling off is a rare occurrence in chickens because of the importance of the organ. Instead of falling off, a comb will fall over until it is healthy enough to resume its normal position.

A chicken without a comb may not be able to regulate its body temperature.

The comb helps diffuse some of the body heat during the hot months to keep the bird cool. On the other hand, during cold months, the organ assists in retaining heat, ensuring the chicken is not uncomfortable.

Your combless chicken may also lose its authority over other chickens. Generally, birds with bigger combs are more commanding and combative.

Without the organ, also it may be hard to identify the health issue your chicken has since it is a vital indicator. By observing the comb, you can tell if the chicken suffers from worms, heat exhaustion, or other issues. A sign of worm infestation is a comb changing color and or falling over.

And, without the comb, your bird losses its sexual appeal. A mature male bird has a larger organ, and a female bird has a smaller one.

In conclusion, avoid bandaging the wound after treatment when your chicken comb is injured or bleeding. Instead of helping your chicken, a bandage may be a source of bother. The bird may be uncomfortable and try to remove the wrapping. However, when the wound or injury is on the leg, you can use a self-adhesive bandage.