I've got a cold hen!

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by terbear1967, Jan 1, 2011.

  1. terbear1967

    terbear1967 Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 14, 2010
    Williamsburg, VA
    Hello! One of our girls, Blondie, started molting about two weeks ago and she has become quite the site. It's been pretty cold here in Williamsburg, VA, and I'm sure she is not liking it one bit due to the lessening of her feathers. I read here about someone saying getting a sweater for a chicken. Would anyone know of where I might be able to purchase a sweater? The coop is not warmed and is uninsulated. It's got more than the normal amount of shavings and is pretty air-tight, but none the less, I hate thinking she is cold. [​IMG] We are also going to "up" the corn scratch. Thanks for any suggestions on where to obtain a sweater. Have a nice day! [​IMG]
  2. NottinghamChicks

    NottinghamChicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    I have heard of people making things out of Felt squares. It doesn't have to look pretty just be warm!

    Good Luck [​IMG]
  3. CMV

    CMV Flock Mistress

    Apr 15, 2009

    This is where I got the pattern for the no-sew chicken saddles. I use a big old piece of fleece I got on clearance and chop it up to make the saddles for some bare hens I have. The only tricky part is making the saddle fit on the first try. Chickens are smaller than you would think- only about 2 inches wide across the shoulders where the wing holes go.

    Good luck.
  4. impis

    impis Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 20, 2010
    I have a knitting pattern for hen jumpers and we made some for our ex batts when they first came to live with us.

    While they look pretty cute, and are warm, we found the hens tended to get their toenails caught up in them and kept tripping over. So while they're great to put on the chickens while you can keep a check on them, I don't think its a good idea to leave them unattended while wearing them.

    If you 'd like the knitting pattern, just pm me your email address and I will send it to you.
  5. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Overrun With Chickens

    May 8, 2007
    Instead of upping the scratch, maybe up her protein just a bit, to help her grow new feathers faster. I've never done a side by side comparison, but it seems like giving mine sunflower seed during a hard molt helps, too.
  6. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    Quote:I agree. There is a myth that corn keeps them warmer. In reality, it is no different from any food, and it is the digestion that warms the body, produces heat. They use extra protein when replacing feathers as feathers are basically protein. Too much scratch could result in compromising her nutrition, just at the time she needs to be assured of good nutrition.

    Another thought is that layer is often a bit short on protein, and they don't need the extra calcium while they are molting, as they generally stop laying during a molt. Some switch to a grower or flock raise for the extra protein, or make the treats something like BOSS or game bird feed.
  7. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    Oh, I forgot.

    You can make her a saddle/apron/jacket, whatever, with a little sewing, or even none at all if you have a scrap of polarfleece or sweatshirt fabric, anything that doesn't ravel. I have one on a hen now as she was getting worn looking back feathers from mating. (She's my little hussy, solicits it.) I never tried the tail feather hole in them, just the wing holes.


    You'll probably guess wrong the first time you try it: I have sewed all my life, and I think I cut 3 before I got one that fit, the first time I made them. Maybe try it with a rag first?
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 1, 2011
  8. HorizonSon

    HorizonSon Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 5, 2010
    Pacific NW
    Might I suggest some fatty scraps of meat dusted in cayenne pepper powder. This should help he keep warm and molt a little faster [​IMG]

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