A December molt in COLD weather?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by aank4, Jan 5, 2010.

  1. aank4

    aank4 Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 22, 2009
    My red star and my white leghorn were laying right up to winter solstice. Once a day, like clockwork. I felt sorry for the poor girls, since we've had an especially cold winter here in Colorado, and sometimes their eggs would freeze in the egg box before I could get to them. Not always, but when we were in the negative teens, they would freeze sometimes. They have an insulated coop with plenty of ventilation, they've had water from a heated waterer, and plenty of food and veggie scraps from the kitchen. Still, the water usually does need to be plugged in to stay liquid.

    Now, though, they seem to be going through a molt. I'm pretty sure it's a molt, and not something else, even though it's their first year. The new quills are there, and I've checked thoroughly for lice or anything that looks like a skin problem. My other two girls did something similar a bit earlier, but they stopped laying earlier. Now my EE and my barred rock are gorgeous, but the leghorn and red star look pitiful. It's supposed to be below zero again later this week. So far, they've done okay (and we've had some bitter cold) - but with the loss of feathers, I'm worried about my two best laying girls.

    Would it be a bad idea to provide supplemental heat as things get cold again this week? They've been okay so far... but those missing feathers....

  2. Bandit

    Bandit Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 16, 2009
    My silly chickens had a molt the first of December just when the temps went into the negative side of zero. I had pity on them and did put in a heat lamp that was on a timer and just heated our really small coop for about 15 minutes 3 or 4 times a night. Now they have grown back most of the feathers and started laying again. And I forgot to turn off the heat lamp but they haven't complained!
  3. msdoolittle

    msdoolittle Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 28, 2009
    I would say 25% of my flock is now in molt. I wondered why they all looked so terrible, then I noticed a whole body full of pin feathers, lol. Silly birds!
  4. FaereChicken

    FaereChicken Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 1, 2009
    N. Central Maryland
    I turned the 40 watt bulb on at night for the poor SS - she's finally starting to look like a chicken again!

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