1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login & click here to learn what's new!

Chicken Molted in the Dead of Winter

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by MJL4, Feb 10, 2015.

  1. MJL4

    MJL4 New Egg

    8
    0
    9
    Jun 9, 2013
    December and January here in the Chicagoland area hasn't been terribly cold but there were a few days back in December that it did get down into negative temps. at night. After the first really cold night, I went out to go check on them and I noticed that two of them were hard molting. One of them, a silver wyandotte, looked like she hadn't lost many feathers and was doing ok but the other, a cinnamon queen, looked to be in bad condition. I think they started molting because of a bit of stress from lack of water. We were fighting the weather to keep the water unfrozen even with our water heater. The chickens were mostly drinking the snow, so we didn't think it was a big deal, but maybe for them it was? Any how… like a good chicken mommy, I brought the cinnamon inside and sewed her a sweater! She wore it for 2 days before it got a bit tangled. She had been laying in the nesting box all day and night and was shaking. I felt bad for her and brought her inside to recoop. I kicked the dog out of his cage and made her a nice home. After several days she began to perk up and act quite a bit more normal. I waited until most of her feathers began coming in thickly and decided she should go back out. I introduced her slowly, keeping her in the dog cage but in the coop. Then I finally released her back to the coop. I'm worried about her now though becuase she doesn't seem to like being out there. She is deffinately picked on, but is not being really hurt by the other girls. But she is back to just staying in the nesting box. I don't want her to think my house is her home but she just doesn't seem to be happy. I don't have any thought about how to help her? What do you think, anything would be appretiated!! Thanks!
     
  2. MJL4

    MJL4 New Egg

    8
    0
    9
    Jun 9, 2013
    She's been outside in the coop and she is not doing well again. It doesn't appear that she is eatting or drinking becuase she doesn't want to go up against the other girls. She looks like she is loosing a lot of weight. We find her sleeping in the nest box and we put her back on the roost at night. The temps are starting to drop back into the negatives and I'm not sure what to do with her?!
     
  3. justplainbatty

    justplainbatty Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,784
    136
    228
    Nov 30, 2007
    emmet MI
    Bring her back in the house. Get her on sugar water or electrolytes right away! Use eye dropper every hour if you have to. (20ml syringe every couple hours easier) Look up tube feeding and get that started next day or two after re hydrating. If she has no water in her she will die. if she has no water, food and feathers, she can't keep herself warm. Keep a heating pad under her until she warms up. I sure hope you can save her...poor girl :(
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by