I live in Northern Wisconsin where the winters get very cold. It seems like every year I have one or two chickens that molt in the dead of winter. They are usually OK, but this year I had a barred rock hen undergoing a hard molt in January. We got a cold snap (days and nights between zero and 20 below) while she had nothing but pin feathers. She seemed fine for several days, but unfortunately died last night.
I do not heat the coop. Based on what I have read it is a fire hazard and unnecessary generally. I also do not provide any artificial light. I had considered bringing her inside, but was afraid she would not be able to re-acclimate to winter temperatures after getting used to the warm indoor temps. Since she was eating, drinking, and roosting normally I thought it was best to leave her in the coop.
Any advice on what I should do if this happens again? Any way to encourage a fall molt rather than winter? Advice on reacclimating a hen to cold coop temperatures if I do bring her inside for a while? I am feeling pretty bad that this happened.