Off-colour hen

Significance of purple combs in chickens

source: Victoria Roberts
Country Smallholding April 2002 p21

Chickens with purple combs have circulatory problems, especially heart disease. There is usually no treatment, though sometimes a broad-spectrum antibiotic can help, if the condition is due to a bacterial infection. This condition tends to affect older birds and chickens from large breeds, which may go purple when they are washed in preparation for a show. Chickens with purple combs tend to become sluggish, due to oxygen deprivation, and they may have green droppings, since the bile content rises.