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molting and cold weather

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by aldarita, Dec 7, 2013.

  1. aldarita

    aldarita Songster

    Aug 2, 2012
    Brenham TX
    Some of my hens are molting right now, I wish they would have started earlier so they would be better protected as the winter advances.The molting is hard in some of them, they are dropping feathers all over the place all day and night long. I am concerned about them being "almost necked" and the temperatures outside dropping like crazy.
    They never stay in their coop during the day unless they are going to lay and egg but since they are molting they have stopped laying. I placed tarps around their run to protect them from the cold wind and they stay inside for a big part of the day. I am also giving them extra protein to speed the process (if possible). Should I be concerned and is there anything else I can do to help them?

  2. LRH97

    LRH97 Songster

    Jul 29, 2013
    Southern Illinois
    A heat lamp in the coop is the only other thing I can think of. Sounds to me like you're good to go!
  3. WalkingOnSunshine

    WalkingOnSunshine Crowing

    Apr 8, 2008
    How cold is it near you? You're in TX, so it seems like it can't be that cold. Your hens will be fine. I've had some that went totally bare during a late moult, and ran around in the snow. They did fine--the snow was their choice, they could have stayed in the coop if they'd wanted to. Continue with the extra protein and wind-proofing the coop, and keep an eye on them.

    Don't use a heat lamp. It won't help them in the long run, it will stop them from acclimating to the weather, and it's a fire hazard.

    We have several inches of snow and below-freezing temps right now, and even my moulting chickens have chosen to be outside in it. Give them the choice of where to be, and they'll be fine.
  4. Mahlzeit

    Mahlzeit Songster

    Jul 16, 2007
    Long Island NY
    I wouldn't be too concerned with it. I have some moulting right now here in NY where it is cold and snowing at the moment. I have never had a chicken die from the cold weather.
  5. aldarita

    aldarita Songster

    Aug 2, 2012
    Brenham TX
    Thanks a lot for your replies. It makes me feel more at ease. This is my first year with molting hens and it is painful to see them almost half their regular size without all those pretty fluffy feathers. It is getting in the high 20s overnight (of course compared to the temps up north, this is nothing). My hens only venture out of the run when the wind dies a little and they all seem to be doing OK. My coops are protected from drafts and have plenty of ventilation. This is just the start of the winter so lets hope for the best.
  6. leetfreq925

    leetfreq925 Chirping

    Aug 7, 2012
    Ipswich, MA
    I have a couple chickens going through a hard molt right now that just got over a respiratory infection a few weeks ago. I have seen them shiver a little... they have a great appetite and have come out on the snow/ice horribleness we have right now, but the shivering is concerning me. I've hesitated to bring them into the basement as they will lose their acclimation. It's going to be near 0 tonight... seeing as they just got over being sick and i've seen a couple shivers, should I just bring them in, or am i being way too overprotective?
  7. JonB

    JonB In the Brooder

    Apr 8, 2013
    It was -15 this morning and we've got 17-20" of snow. Our birds are doing fine, including our one in moult. I too, have saw her shiver a bit at times. I'll keep an eye on her, but she seems to be alright. They're tough birds...

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