Looking for pea comb chicken breeds? Chickens have various types of combs. Some are large, some are small, some spiky, the list goes on!
Here’s everything you need to know about the pea comb, and some of the breeds that are best known for having this type of comb:
What Does a Pea Comb Look Like?
As you’ll see from the pictures below, a pea comb gets its name from the fact that it consists of small pea-like fleshy growths.
This type of comb typically begins at the base of the beak and extends up towards the bird’s head. It manifests as three connected rows of caruncles.
It’s a small comb and looks very different from the stereotypical single comb sticking up with spikes that we expect to see on a chicken.
Being small and compact has its benefits. Pea combs are a lot less susceptible to frostbite and other issues such as being pecked at by other hens.
Related – Seen black bits on your chicken’s comb?
Pea Comb Chicken Breeds
There are 6 breeds of chicken that have pea combs. Here’s a look at each of these breeds:
Native to South America, the Araucana is easily identified by its “ear-tufts” which are those tufts of feathers you see sweeping out from the side of its head.
They are often sought after because they are one of the few breeds that lay blue or green eggs. The Ameraucana and “Easter Eggers” both derive from the Araucana.
They are great backyard pets. Araucanas are on the smaller side, although not as small as a bantam, they are curious and love roaming free-range, and are friendly and full of energy.
The name “Ameraucana” comes from the fact that this breed of chicken was developed in the United States in the 1970s from the Araucana.
As a result, they share a lot of the same characteristics. Most noticeably, they lay blue eggs and have pea combs.
They are much larger and more weather tolerant. And, most obviously they don’t have the tufts of feathers on their faces.
Another breed originating in the United States, the Buckeye is a very large dual-purpose chicken (hens are around 6.5 lbs and males are 9 lbs).
They’re called “buckeyes” because they originate in Ohio, which is known as the “Buckeye state”.
The buckeye looks a lot like the Rhode Island Red, both in size and color. The main physical difference is its comb, and they can’t keep up with the prolific egg-laying ability of the Red.
The Brahma is one of the biggest breeds of chicken, especially those that are raised in the backyard setting.
Hens typically weigh around 10 lbs, and roosters are around 12 lbs. They lay large brown eggs, and are often kept in cold climates as they’re good winter layers and very hardy birds.
There is no mistaking a Brahma. They’re quite the celebrity on social media as their size impresses everyone – yet they have a tiny pea comb!
The Cornish, also called an Indian Game bird are the most used breed of chicken in the meat industry.
They aren’t among the most common backyard breeds. However, they have a calm and friendly temperament, are good layers, and happy in all climates.
The roosters are known to be aggressive though, something to keep in mind if you want a flock of these birds.
Cubalayas are an interesting breed. They were traditionally bred as a triple-purpose breed in Cuba; meaning they were used for meat, eggs, and fighting.
They are characterized by their long flowing hackle feathers, well-spread tail, slender bodies, and of course their pea combs.
Despite the roosters being used for fighting, the hens are incredibly friendly and docile. They love to forage and interact with other flock members and make excellent additions to a backyard flock.
How Many Types of Combs Are Found in Hens?
There are about 8-10 different types of combs on chicken’s heads. I say “about” because some sources classify a couple of additional combs.
Generally speaking, there are 8 different types of chicken combs that are recognized. These are:
This is the comb we’re looking at in more detail in this post. It’s a medium-sized comb, starting at the beak and running towards the top of the head.
It’s one of the smaller combs, and breeders theorize that it’s more beneficial for breeds in colder climates as it’s less prone to frostbite.
The single comb is the most recognizable type of chicken comb. It’s the spiky or pointy comb that most chickens have, and runs across the top of their heads.
It typically has 5-6 ridges, is smooth to touch, and should stand upright and have a bright red color when the chicken is healthy.
The buttercup comb is a beauty, and there is only one breed of chicken that has it – the Sicilian Buttercup.
This comb is shaped like a crown, it has a leading point on the top of the beak and an almost circular formation of ridges. A truly magnificent sight.
Rose combs are probably the most interesting and unique looking combs. They are fleshy tube-shaped combs that start at the top of the beak and extend upwards to the back of the chicken’s head.
The name comes from Rosecomb’s and Rose Comb Leghorns, both of which have this type. Along with some other well-known breeds like Wyandottes and Seabrights.
There’s no mistaking the walnut comb, because, well, it looks like a walnut! The most obvious examples of this comb are found on some Silkies.
This type of comb was genetically derived from two dominant alleles for pea and rose combs.
The cushion comb looks like as it sounds – a small round cushion in the middle of a chicken’s head.
It has no points or ridges, making this type of comb very different from what you expect to see on a chicken’s head.
The strawberry comb looks similar to a cushion comb, with the only differences being the surface of the comb is rougher and it’ll typically be a little larger.
Basically, it looks like a small strawberry on the chicken’s head. It’s a rare comb, I can find that Malays and Yokohamas have this comb.
This is my favorite looking comb. A V-shaped comb looks like two horns on the top of a chicken’s head, This is why it’s also referred to as a “horn comb” or “antler comb”.
A decent amount of breeds have this type of comb, with the White and Silver Polish probably among the most well-known.
You’re now a fully-fledged expert (almost) in the various types of combs seen across different chicken breeds. More specifically, identifying pea comb chicken breeds.
Not all combs are simply different shapes and sizes. Some are very different by design and are better suited to different breeds.
Interesting stuff for what most people I know call “that red thing on a chicken’s head”.
Image credits – Header Photo by Malthi Baddela on Unsplash