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
    Not a member yet? join BYC here & then introduce yourself in our community forum here.

Hen starting to molt and it is November...

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by dturren, Nov 27, 2008.

  1. dturren

    dturren In the Brooder

    Apr 16, 2008
    Hello everyone: I am concerned about one of my Wyandotte ladies. She has started to molt and it is cold outside -- into the 30s-40s at night. So far she still has feathers to cover her, but I have seen pictures in this forum of girls with NO FEATHERS (maybe a few). I have a small coop and close the door and window at night, leaving a second window open for ventilation. There is no place to put insulation and leave room for the chickens. I have read other posts about people not heating their coops in even colder states, but I guessed the chickens were full feathered...not naked. Should I consider keeping her in the house until she at least has pin feathers?

    Thanks for your thoughts.
  2. 55885100

    55885100 Songster

    May 3, 2008
    well i live in florida so we dont have to worry about cold but all of my whyendote hens are sheding in november. it might just depend on the breed. but i have never had one of them go bald and if that happens yes i whould bring it inside
  3. crazylilchick

    crazylilchick Chirping 11 Years

    Mar 31, 2007
    I too have chickens molting!!!! Silly Girls. Mine are about 1 1/2 yrs old born in March and they are going through a full body molt. It seems to be my Araucanas (spelling?) The temps here are between 30-45. My coop isn't insulated but I mounted a small ceramic heater on the inside of the door and aimed it at the water tank to keep it from freezing. Seems to be working so far. My goal is to just keep it above freezing. I didn't want it too warm inside because I was concerned the change from beeing inside and then going out in the cold would be too stressful. They still have a handful of feathers for some warmth. They have been snuggling together in the nesting box at night. Three to a box, kind of funny. Hope those feathers grow in soon or I'm going to knit them some sweaters.[​IMG]
  4. Crazy_For_Chickens

    Crazy_For_Chickens Songster

    Nov 18, 2008
    That is no big problem. If you just leave them alone their feathers will grow back in no time!!! But If you feel uncomfortable with this you can put a heater in there temporarily to help her get warm but that maybe will keep her feathers from growing in faster.
  5. digitS'

    digitS' Songster

    Dec 12, 2007
    ID/WA border
    I'm a little surprised about late molting since I've always considered it an October thing. But, I live to the north of most people on BYC. the timing varies from bird to bird.

    Personally, I think the cool temps encourage the feathers to grow back and thickly. Lots of protein in the feed should help once regrowth starts.

  6. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Crowing

    May 8, 2007
    I know what you mean about the hard molts, where they have a lot of skin showing. I had two like that this year, for the first time. I think it's just this strain, as my others have always done a more gradual molt.

    I wouldn't worry too much, yet, as she might just do a gradual molt. Make sure she's getting enough good quality protein, while she's growing her feathers. I like to feed more sunflower seed when they're molting, to help the feathers grow in faster, too.
  7. ibpboo

    ibpboo Where Chickens Ride Horses

    Jul 9, 2007
    always changing
    I have two hens molting right now, too. My other hens molted in Sept and Oct. The two that are molting now, are not getting as bare as the others did. I think they grow feathers according to the amount of warmth they will need for the winter. So, if you 'trick' them into thinking it is warmer, they may not grow feathers as needed. This is true for horses anyway. The colder the winter, the more hair they grow!
  8. scgamecock

    scgamecock Songster

    Jan 18, 2008
    Conway SC
    Molting has been really rough this year.
  9. My chickens are about 9 months old...will they molt?
  10. scgamecock

    scgamecock Songster

    Jan 18, 2008
    Conway SC
    It's possible but they usually molt for first time at about 18 months.There's no set time but you can look for it about then.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: