Peter, sometimes the points don't mean as much as we might think they should. On a sussex for instance, the whole head including the comb is only worth 10 points yet I've seen judges obviously favouring birds with a tidy comb. I think it depends on what kind of birds the judge keeps themselves as that can colour the way they look at a bird, but if all else is equal, a comb matters in the end. If you produce an absolutely fabulous bird in all other respect but it has a poor comb - what do you see when you look at the bird?
Thanks for the pictures htul. I think that is spot on. If you have a look at this pdf by Sigi she has put up a number of photos from page 5 onwards that are labelled for the He+ or he gene combinations. http://www.chickencolours.com/What%20Wattles-lowres.pdf
The combs that are of most interest in the context of this thread are those labelled for rosecomb as well. This is a fantastic document because she's labelled so many pictures. She's thinking about the differences in silkie comb but the pictures are helpful for many other things.
He+ is written as dominant which is why I think flocks that get an overwhelming number of 'putty combs' in them can be fairly easily fixed. He+ is fairly easily bred back in as it's dominant. I haven't found any other information about He+ but if people are reporting an intermediary effect from a split then I'm assuming it's only partially/incompletely dominant. Anyone know more?
Quite often the master breeders have worked out the right thing to do even if they don't always know the reason why it works. In the Wyandotte Handbook when it says that breeder should breed a rough comb to a smooth, I think the chicks they are producing which are 'just right' are probably He+/he, producing a smaller or moderate amount of workings. It makes sense. If, on the other hand you are breeding medium to medium (He+/he to He+/he) you would get 25% overly rough, 25% smooth and 50% spot on. Could this be the reason they advise crossing rough and smooth?
I'm not sure about this, I'm just surmising that this might be the case. Have a look at the tables below and see if it makes sense.
Table 1 shows 100% medium (or smaller) worked combs from a rough/smooth cross.
Table 2 shows that you would only get 50% from a medium/medium cross. You'd also get 25% too rough and 25% very smooth (perhaps putty).