Can molting ever be dangerous?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Roadangel, Dec 11, 2013.

  1. Roadangel

    Roadangel Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 5, 2012
    Hi,
    I've lost two chickens in the past year and now I'm overly worried. I don't want to lose another one. My favorite chicken went into a molt in late November and today was a high of 4 Degrees here today. Tonight it will be -2. Moose (that's her name) is in a hard molt. It's actually her second. She lost some of her feathers late last spring. They turned 1 in June. Now, most of her butt is bare and she looks rather skinny too. I put in a heat lamp and now all three of my chickens are in the coop for most of the day. I close the hatch at night, but there's still cold air coming in on top, so it never gets REALLY warm in there. Can it be too cold for my Moose? I learned that I should buy grower feed for them. I know the light can shorten their life, but I think so can the cold, so I feel I have to. I dont' care about the eggs. Yes, their nice to have, but my chickens are my pets. She's a speckled sussex
     
  2. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 True BYC Addict Premium Member

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    Are you sure she is just molting and doesn't have something else going on? Somebody feather plucking her butt, mites etc? Does she have most of the feathers on her body still? A lot of people like to feed extra protein while they are molting to hopefully help them grow the feathers back faster, grower feed can be as low as 14-15% protein so I would check what it is in what you have and consider getting some high protein game bird food, chick starter or something similar to supplement with, you might also add some high fat treats like sun flower seeds etc. If the white light is causing a problem you could try a red light bulb if you think she needs extra heat... or maybe you need a house chicken ....
     
  3. Roadangel

    Roadangel Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 5, 2012
    lol.. if they weren't so dirty, I'd love to take her in the house..lol. yeah, it's a molt. It's not JUST the butt, but that's where I can see bare spots. And she IS getting them back..that funky looking stuff is there. I do not have a white light. it's a red light, but it's still like a daylight situation isn't it? Where it shortens their lifespan? I'm just really worried about the cold. I probably over worry. I did buy some feed today that has a 22 % protein content for meat chickens. I also have been feeding them meal worms and sunflower seeds. Pretty much daily as treats. I also feed them yogurt every morning for the bacteria so they don't get diarrhea. Then I bought scratch for winter. I'm thinking of putting straw in the coop instead of wood shavings (as another heat source). Maybe I'll have to invent chicken diapers and take her in the house. :)
     
  4. Roadangel

    Roadangel Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 5, 2012
    Moose is doing well. Her feathers are coming in nicely. I'm just too much of a worry wart. She's almost done now. :) Now I have a new worry I am researching. IT's going to be -16 F here on Monday night. Poor girls. I have a heatlamp in their coop, but still worried.
     
  5. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 True BYC Addict Premium Member

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    Glad to hear she finally decided to grow some feathers. We don't get below 0 often here, low so far this winter has been 5, I feel for you. It does seem like half the people who live where it gets -20 don't have extra heat, and as long as the chickens are healthy and have a draft free coop they are fine, number of chickens is what I wonder about though. With only three girls can come up with enough body heat...maybe try a separate thread on that, small numbers in extreme cold? I thought that the light output that affects them from red light bulbs was so low it didn't make any difference, will have to dig up a box and see what the numbers are.
     

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