Freezing molting chicken Please Advise

Merrymouse

Crowing
Jan 8, 2017
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Hello, Its been a while since Ive been on the forums and not sure this is a true emergency but my chicken could die so.... I have an Olive egger that literally lost most of its feathers to molt in like two days. This would not normally be a problem but Im in MA and its been below freezing for the last several days. Its currently 25F. She is shivering. I have never seen a chicken shiver before. I fed her some scratch and mealworms. Is there anything I can do? This may sound dumb but should I bring her in for a little or will she have too hard a time acclimating when I put her back out or could I even put a little sweater on her or something just for a day or two. Don't flame me for the dumb questions please. Im not a total newbie but just a new problem for me. Thanks all
Ill try to post She's obviously the Olive egger in the middle.
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a picture but it doesn't really show the extent of her molt but she probably lost 80% of her feathers, she is at least half the size she is normally.
 

sourland

Broody Magician
Premium Feather Member
12 Years
May 3, 2009
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Keep a close eye on her and increase protein in her diet. Generally such full blown late molters feather in quickly. If it becomes apparent that she is in trouble I would move her to a somewhat warmer environment. Good luck with her.
 

humblehillsfarm

Crazy chicken lady
Mar 27, 2020
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I can't speak from experience here, but I'm a worrier and would probably bring my gals inside if temps were dipping below freezing during the day. I don't think I'd worry as much at night since chickens huddle. I very recently had a roo get a frost bitten comb when temps were 17*F during the day a few days ago.
 

Merrymouse

Crowing
Jan 8, 2017
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Massachusetts
I see plenty of feathers. Of course continue to monitor, but I suspect she will be just fine. And hello neighbor. The weather looks like it will not be that bad for the next week.
View attachment 2468465
It was hard to get a good picture of how bad the molt is, I didn't want to pick her up and bother her. Her butt and underside is completely gone an her back too. Her head and neck and some of her wing feathers are still there. Ill keep an eye on her today as Im not working today and its good its going to warm up over the next couple days. Its been a weird winter here already don't you think? Big snow storm early and then 60F on Christmas?? Thats New England I guess :)
 

jreardon1918

Crowing
5 Years
Jul 13, 2016
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It was hard to get a good picture of how bad the molt is, I didn't want to pick her up and bother her. Her butt and underside is completely gone an her back too. Her head and neck and some of her wing feathers are still there. Ill keep an eye on her today as Im not working today and its good its going to warm up over the next couple days. Its been a weird winter here already don't you think? Big snow storm early and then 60F on Christmas?? Thats New England I guess :)
We have seen some pretty extreme molting. Again, she should do just fine. I would limit treats (scratch) and maybe go with higher protein until the molt completes. Augment with free choice oyster shell for any of the girls that are still laying.
 

Merrymouse

Crowing
Jan 8, 2017
1,303
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Massachusetts
We have seen some pretty extreme molting. Again, she should do just fine. I would limit treats (scratch) and maybe go with higher protein until the molt completes. Augment with free choice oyster shell for any of the girls that are still laying.
Do you think giving meal worms is enough to up the protein? Also they have free choice oyster shell always so Im good there. Someone told me a little scratch is harder to digest so warms them up not sure if that is true or not. They are all currently eating Purina Layena with oyster not sure what the protein content is. I have the separate oyster shell and I have a huge bag of meal worms too.
 

humblehillsfarm

Crazy chicken lady
Mar 27, 2020
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Do you think giving meal worms is enough to up the protein? Also they have free choice oyster shell always so Im good there. Someone told me a little scratch is harder to digest so warms them up not sure if that is true or not. They are all currently eating Purina Layena with oyster not sure what the protein content is. I have the separate oyster shell and I have a huge bag of meal worms too.
Oh yeah, mealworms are almost 50% protein and 50% fat. Great source of energy!
 

LizzzyJo

Crowing
Dec 14, 2018
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Does she have a draft free place to escape wind? Does she have a place to lay on a bed of shavings if she wishes (like a broody?). I think she will be fine. I had one with a hard molt during the polar vortex (-30°f) and she was always fine when I checked on her. When in doubt, feel their feet when roosting. If they’re hot, you’re in the clear.
 

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