Diseases That Cause Black Comb in Chickens

Why Chicken Comb Turns Black? Diseases That Cause Black Comb

If anyone asks me what’s the best part of a chicken that I love the most then I will surely answer it’s his or her comb. A chicken comb is a very essential part of their body. It plays a vital role to keep their body cool. Also, it is an indicator of the chicken’s health condition. It has another function to initiate the mating process.

But often we notice black spots on our chicken’s comb. Often people assume this as a disease. But actually, it isn’t a disease. Rather black spots on the comb are the symptoms of some certain diseases in chickens. In this article, you will find the reasons for black spots on chicken.

Diseases That Cause Black Comb in Chickens


In cold weathers, chickens conserve their body heat and the flow of blood to their comb, wattles, and feet is stopped. Generally, these parts are being used to release excessive heat of their body. This situation results in the decrease of oxygen. Your chicken might also lose the temperature of its comb. So, these reasons put your chickens into the risk of frostbite.

Frostbite can become really dangerous. It causes damage to the tissues and cells of the body when the fluids in the cells freeze. As the result of freezing, blood clots from depriving the cells of oxygen, causing comb tissue damage to varying degrees. This might turn your chicken’s comb full of black spots.frostbite-turn-black-chicken-comb

Liver or Heart Problem

Black spots on your chicken’s comb often indicate towards heart & liver problems.

If the liver of your chicken is damaged in some way, the body begins to shut down and the extremities are usually the first to go as they are the furthest blood supply. The damaged liver will only look after the surrounding tissue the rest is left to go. Also, if your chicken has any heart diseases, the very first symptom is a black comb. So, if you notice black spots on their comb then immediately consult with a veterinarian for treatment.

Fowl Pox

There are some viral diseases seen in the birds. These diseases can infect a bird of any age! Fowl pox is one of them. Since you chicken is also a bird, it might get infected by fowl pox. The disease slowly spreads on your chicken’s body through direct eye contact with an infected chicken. Your chicken might also get infected via mosquitos.

If the fowl pox is the dry type, it will present nodules which will turn into scabs on the combs, wattles, eyes, and ears of your chickens. You will see black scabs on the comb as a very first indicator of fowl pox in your chicks.

Wet fowl pox presents in the respiratory system and inside the mouth area. This type of fowlpox causes eating and breathing difficulties.

Your chickens will need 3-5 weeks to fully recover if they get infected. To prevent the occurrence of this disease, vaccination is the only way. Consult with your veterinarian for the dosages of vaccines.

Fowl Cholera

Fowl cholera is a disease caused by bacteria. The symptoms of fowl cholera include purple spots on the chicken comb, wattle swelling, diarrhea, oral discharge, and coughing. There are also other symptoms like swollen joints, fever, loss of appetite and even a sudden death of your chicken.

The bacteria that causes fowl cholera can be brought in by swine and cats. The disease is treated with antibiotics like penicillin, tetracycline, and erythromycin. But it can recur after the doses of antibiotics has stopped. The bacteria of fowl cholera can stay in the soil for long time periods. To control this, you need to always use disinfectants. It is more likely to occur in your pullets than the cockerels.

If you see your chicken’s comb is turning into purple in color then it’s an indicator that it is infected by fowl cholera.

Avian Influenza signs in chicken comp

Avian Influenza

If your chicken is infected by avian influenza, it’s comb will show some symptoms. The symptoms of the strong impact include their face swelling, dehydration, respiratory problems, black comb, and wattles. Also, some red spots on their legs and blue spots on the comb may present in the infected chickens. sometimes their nostrils discharge blood and they lay soft or shell-less eggs.

Chicken Comb Turns Black just a symptom, not as a disease

When we see black spots on chicken’s comb, often we assume it as a disease. I have a neighbor who has a chicken farm. Once he found two of his chickens had black spots on their combs. He quarantined them very well but the mistake he made that he assumed it as a disease. Later on, both of the chickens died. When he consulted with the nearest veterinarian, he said that the chickens were infected with bacteria and had cholera.

So, never ever assume the black spots as a disease. It’s just a symptom as well as an indicator that your chicken is suffering from a serious health condition. Whenever you notice some black spots on the comb, visit a good veterinarian and consult with him for better treatment of your chickens. Remember that any disease can be fully cured if you take early preventive measures.

Hope this article helped you find the reasons for the black comb of your chickens and its preventive measures.

One Response

  1. Alex

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