Molting and Coldness

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Chicks Galore3, Nov 10, 2013.

  1. Chicks Galore3

    Chicks Galore3 Artistic Bird Nut

    Dec 16, 2011
    Tomorrow night it is going to be 15-16 degrees Fahrenheit. I am trying not to use a heat lamp much if at all this year, but I was wondering since I have some molting chickens, should I put a heat lamp up since it is going to be so cold?
  2. Wyandottes7

    Wyandottes7 Overrun With Chickens

    Jul 24, 2013
    Most molting chickens do just fine without any additional heat. I don't supply my molting birds (usually) with any supplemental heat, even when temperatures drop to near zero. However, if your birds are experiencing a really bad molt (and don't have many feathers on their backs or breasts), it probably wouldn't hurt to temporarily supply them with some heat.
  3. CherishHolland

    CherishHolland Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 16, 2013
    Canyon Texas
    If you use a heat lamp please make sure you secure it with several fail safes. First, clamp the heat lamp to one of the ceiling joists. Second, duct tape the clamp to the joist. Third, use a spring loaded clamp or a screw clamp to secure it in place, and finally, use a chain and eye hooks to chain the lamp to the ceiling. Better safe than sorry

    ETA: I say this because I have just within the last week read about 3 coop fires due to heat lamps.
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2013
    1 person likes this.
  4. donnavee

    donnavee Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 7, 2009
    Central NC
    I can't answer the heat lamp question, but I feel bad that I'm complaining about our temps that will drop down into the mid 20's. Hope your chickens can snuggle together and stay warm. I always wonder why they seem to molt during the cold weather. Seems summer would be a better time?
  5. GD91

    GD91 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 1, 2013
    I'm concerned about this to with my flock, I don't want them molting in minus temps.

    They probably molt in autumn because they can't do it during the breeding season, it would take too much of a toll on their bodies. Also remember chickens ancestors origin is in a warmer climate where an autumn molt actually wouldn't cause as many issues with temperatures being warmer.

    I would supply heat temporarily, just my 2 cents :)
  6. Chicks Galore3

    Chicks Galore3 Artistic Bird Nut

    Dec 16, 2011
    I actually do have my two worst molters separated with supplemental heat. They have no tail feathers, wing feathers, and minimal chest feathers. The others aren't as bad, so I was wondering if they needed it too. Thanks for your replies guys! I won't put heat on the not-so-bad molters unless they show signs of extreme coldness.

    Donnavee - Oh just wait, the worst is yet to come!!! :)

    CherishHolland - I am very, very, VERY careful about that. I am paranoid about fires. I u-bolt it into the ceiling multiple times, have it on a hook, secure it with wire, and tie it to the plug-in.
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2013

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