Inconvenient Moult Timing

eekay

In the Brooder
Feb 7, 2021
23
24
27
Alberta, Canada
This is my 2nd year with my hens but this is their first moult. They are now 18 months old, so right on schedule.

I have 4 Black Sexlinks. So far it appears to a soft moult, but Im keeping a close eye. I've begun slowly swapping their feed to Cluck'n Good 19% protein layers mash. (Locally produced).

We are entering winter and already at night it goes down to -15/-20C, and in a few short months we will be at -60C.

I do suppliment their heat with a Kozy Coop panel heater and a Thermocube set to 3C, hen house is fully draft free with ventilation and the run is fully tarped up with Mil 6 plastic sheeting.

Any advice on how to make it through the next few months? I'm beginning to think I'll need a backup emergency plan to house multiple birds indoors if they don't have any natural thermal layering.

Has anyone gone through this before?
 

eekay

In the Brooder
Feb 7, 2021
23
24
27
Alberta, Canada

3KillerBs

Enabler
Premium Feather Member
12 Years
Jul 10, 2009
11,849
30,878
1,116
North Carolina Sandhills
My Coop
My Coop
I used that article last year. They made it through the previous winter fairly well with only minor frostbite. My biggest concern is the timing of the moult, given how long it takes to grow those feathers back in theyre going to be without a lot of their thermal layer this winter.

*Most* chickens will grow their feathers back quite quickly.

If it took all winter for a healthy chicken fed an appropriate diet to grow new feathers to replace their molted feathers no chicken would have ever survived. :)
 

eekay

In the Brooder
Feb 7, 2021
23
24
27
Alberta, Canada
*Most* chickens will grow their feathers back quite quickly.

If it took all winter for a healthy chicken fed an appropriate diet to grow new feathers to replace their molted feathers no chicken would have ever survived. :)
Thanks, it looks like a soft moult so hopefully they can hang in there. Jan/Feb is when we hit those hellish temps.
 

NatJ

Free Ranging
Mar 20, 2017
8,635
18,884
726
USA
We are entering winter and already at night it goes down to -15/-20C, and in a few short months we will be at -60C.
That is really cold! Roughly where do you live?

Are those actual thermometer readings, or are they adjusted because of wind chill?

(I'm used to dealing with Fahrenheit, but -40C = -40 F, so I've got a fairly good idea how cold that is.)
 

eekay

In the Brooder
Feb 7, 2021
23
24
27
Alberta, Canada
That is really cold! Roughly where do you live?

Are those actual thermometer readings, or are they adjusted because of wind chill?

(I'm used to dealing with Fahrenheit, but -40C = -40 F, so I've got a fairly good idea how cold that is.)
Central Alberta, Canada. They're more or less wind chill only they don't use that any more. Now it's "feels like". Actual thermometer readings will be around -55C.
 

NatJ

Free Ranging
Mar 20, 2017
8,635
18,884
726
USA
Central Alberta, Canada. They're more or less wind chill only they don't use that any more. Now it's "feels like". Actual thermometer readings will be around -55C.
That is definitely cold outdoors, but I would measure the temperature inside the coop before you worry too much about your molting chickens-- if your coop has no wind, you can use a straight temperature reading, and it is probably a bit warmer than outside even before you add heat.

If your coop heater is actually keeping it above freezing (0C /32 F), then the chickens should be fine even if they are pretty bare. And as someone else already pointed out, the new feathers do grow pretty quickly.
 

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom