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molting and cold weather

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

Some of my hens are molting right now, I wish they would have started earlier so they would be better protected as the winter advances.The molting is hard in some of them, they are dropping feathers all over the place all day and night long. I am concerned about them being "almost necked" and the temperatures outside dropping like crazy. 

They never stay in their coop during the day unless they are going to lay and egg but since they are molting they have stopped laying. I placed tarps around their run to protect them from the cold wind and they stay inside for a big part of the day. I am also giving them extra protein to speed the process (if possible). Should I be concerned and is there anything else I can do to help them? 

loving my flock with their personalities, getting to know them and enjoy everyday I spend with them
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loving my flock with their personalities, getting to know them and enjoy everyday I spend with them
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post #2 of 7

A heat lamp in the coop is the only other thing I can think of.  Sounds to me like you're good to go!

"I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in Me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from Me you can do nothing." -John 15:5
 

My dog is my friend; strange dogs are predators. Please be courteous and obey leash laws, or you may end up a dog short.

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"I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in Me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from Me you can do nothing." -John 15:5
 

My dog is my friend; strange dogs are predators. Please be courteous and obey leash laws, or you may end up a dog short.

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post #3 of 7

How cold is it near you? You're in TX, so it seems like it can't be that cold. Your hens will be fine. I've had some that went totally bare during a late moult, and ran around in the snow. They did fine--the snow was their choice, they could have stayed in the coop if they'd wanted to. Continue with the extra protein and wind-proofing the coop, and keep an eye on them.

 

Don't use a heat lamp. It won't help them in the long run, it will stop them from acclimating to the weather, and it's a fire hazard.

 

We have several inches of snow and below-freezing temps right now, and even my moulting chickens have chosen to be outside in it. Give them the choice of where to be, and they'll be fine.

The chickens are sold! We sold off 150 roosters, hens, cockerels, and pullets and are down to 10 birds. Three ISA Brown, one Amberlink, one blue copper Marans, four black copper Marans and one blue Ameraucana rooster.
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The chickens are sold! We sold off 150 roosters, hens, cockerels, and pullets and are down to 10 birds. Three ISA Brown, one Amberlink, one blue copper Marans, four black copper Marans and one blue Ameraucana rooster.
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post #4 of 7

I wouldn't be too concerned with it. I have some moulting right now here in NY where it is cold and snowing at the moment. I have never had a chicken die from the cold weather.

post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 

Thanks a lot for your replies. It makes me feel more at ease. This is my first year with molting hens and it is painful to see them almost half their regular size without all those pretty fluffy feathers. It is getting in the high 20s overnight (of course compared to the temps up north, this is nothing). My hens only venture out of the run when the wind dies a little and they all seem to be doing OK. My coops are protected from drafts and have plenty of ventilation. This is just the start of the winter so lets hope for the best.

loving my flock with their personalities, getting to know them and enjoy everyday I spend with them
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loving my flock with their personalities, getting to know them and enjoy everyday I spend with them
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post #6 of 7

I have a couple chickens going through a hard molt right now that just got over a respiratory infection a few weeks ago.  I have seen them shiver a little... they have a great appetite and have come out on the snow/ice horribleness we have right now, but the shivering is concerning me.  I've hesitated to bring them into the basement as they will lose their acclimation.  It's going to be near 0 tonight... seeing as they just got over being sick and i've seen a couple shivers, should I just bring them in, or am i being way too overprotective? 

post #7 of 7
It was -15 this morning and we've got 17-20" of snow. Our birds are doing fine, including our one in moult. I too, have saw her shiver a bit at times. I'll keep an eye on her, but she seems to be alright. They're tough birds...
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