Molting at a TERRIBLE TIME!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by PatriotM, Dec 16, 2013.

  1. PatriotM

    PatriotM New Egg

    4
    0
    7
    May 14, 2011
    My best laying chicken has decided to molt during this extremely cold winter (here in Ohio). Her back is nearly bare! She is currently in her coup, which has a heat lamp in it, but of course that will barely raise the temperature in the coup to freezing.

    My question to the forum is whether I should move her inside, into a "hospital" area (a plastic horse watering tank)? I'm wondering if she will get frostbite on her exposed skin or maybe even die from exposure? Needless to say, she is staying in her coup most of the time.
     
  2. Jakoda

    Jakoda Chillin' With My Peeps

    651
    36
    131
    Apr 12, 2012
    Old Lyme CT
    I am fire paranoid so would never put a heat lamp in their coop:( With that said, it's pretty cold here in CT, right now it's 27, some of my chickens are coming out of a molt and a couple are molting pretty bad..Not bare, but pretty thinned out..I don't do anything different, I do cover their roosts with material to keep their feet warmer, and hope they all pack up and sleep together for warmth..

    If yours is really really bald, maybe consider a chicken sweater??
     
  3. seminolewind

    seminolewind Flock Mistress Premium Member

    17,687
    507
    461
    Sep 6, 2007
    spring hill, florida
    A chicken sweater sounds good. Some cracked corn will keep them warmer by eating it. I just can't understand why chickens have to molt in the winter.
     
  4. 253Orange

    253Orange New Egg

    7
    0
    6
    Jul 24, 2012
    My beautiful Bantum chicken has been molting terribly and I am not sure if the other chickens are picking at her or what. She is acting funny and none of my 3 chickens are laying eggs now. It is like they just quit! The others are molting a little but "Minnie" is terrible. I think i am going to the local feed store tomorrow to talk to them to see what can be done. Good luck.
     
  5. Wyandottes7

    Wyandottes7 Overrun With Chickens

    20,568
    1,165
    391
    Jul 24, 2013
    If none of your birds are laying anymore, they are probably all going to molt soon. My chickens almost always stop laying a week or two before beginning to molt. To help Minnie grow in some feathers, give her higher protein foods like game bird feed, scrambled eggs, and mealworms. Even if its cold where you are, Minnie and the other birds should be fine-- even molting chickens are quite hardy (I've had molting birds in 0 F weather before).
     
  6. 253Orange

    253Orange New Egg

    7
    0
    6
    Jul 24, 2012
    Thank you for the advice. I was up at 3am this morning worrying about Minnie. When I checked on her this morning, she looked fine. I gave her scrambled eggs, meal worms, cut up lettuce and celery. I also put wood shavings in the pen, to see how the chickens liked it. My girls will be 2 in February, I have never seen so many feathers, ever!
    Thanks again, they all act and look better today, I am happy! [​IMG]
    Cathy from Ondulando
     
  7. PatriotM

    PatriotM New Egg

    4
    0
    7
    May 14, 2011
    Thanks for the posts and advice. The situation with my chicken resolved itself when the other chickens began picking at the molting chicken. Also, her comb is beginning to lean to one side, which I consider a warning sign. Therefore, I brought her inside for some TLC until she starts growing feather back.
     
  8. seminolewind

    seminolewind Flock Mistress Premium Member

    17,687
    507
    461
    Sep 6, 2007
    spring hill, florida
    Orange, you can bring her in at night and let her out during the day. I think silkies are sensitive.
    Even my canary, Stanley had a crown of head feathers and is now bald!!!!
     
  9. 253Orange

    253Orange New Egg

    7
    0
    6
    Jul 24, 2012
    Hi, my chickens have not laid any eggs in the past 2 months. Do you think they will start when the days are longer? I thought about a light on them with a timer but I also thought maybe I should let Mother Nature do its thing. I really miss the fresh eggs. The chickens are really fluffying themselves in the dirt. I thought about a bath, 85 degress here but I have been sick and decided not now. Otherwise they look healthy, survived the molting (terrible). I would like to know what some of you think.

    Thank you so much.
     
  10. pamcpitts

    pamcpitts Out Of The Brooder

    25
    0
    22
    Sep 16, 2010
    West Palm Beach Florida
    Dear Orange,

    Not sure if this will help my chickens were molting and also did not lay eggs for several months, I read in a article about some feed called feather fixer I gave the girls (9) of them with there crumbles and it worked miracles all there feathers grew back and they started laying again it also has high protein, and helps with mites. I would highly recommend it just gave my sister a bag of it for her chickens.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by