Molting chickens are shivering in the cold

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by karmical, Dec 9, 2010.

  1. karmical

    karmical Chillin' With My Peeps

    271
    3
    151
    Aug 3, 2007
    Honeoye Falls, NY
    There seem to be many mixed opinions out there about chickens and cold weather...my question is, if two of my girls (I have a total of six) are shivering inside the coop from the cold (they are mid-molt), do I need to find a way to warm things up in there? Or is it OK for them to shiver? It's about 10 degrees F outside...and 25F or so inside the coop...looking for some opinions! :)
     
  2. kristen2678

    kristen2678 Chillin' With My Peeps

    383
    0
    129
    Apr 26, 2009
    North Berwick Maine
    I think when folks say they would not add heat they assume you are talking about chickens with feathers. At least I do. I have 2 that are at the end of their molt but have no bare spots. I am not adding heat.
    I would supplement with BOSS to help with feather re-growth, make sure the coop is draft free, and add some heat. I wouldn't make it 80 in there but taking the chill out seems like a good idea. Once you start with heat, you may not be able to stop though. This season at least.
     
  3. Carrie Lynn

    Carrie Lynn Chillin' With My Peeps

    831
    3
    131
    Aug 30, 2010
    S.E. Michigan
    I'm thinking that the stress of moulting followed by the stress of trying to regulate their body temps, can't be good.
    I'd add just enough to keep them from shivering (poor things).
    Then, I would start cutting back gradually as they grew in.
    I think, but do not know for sure, that they could be weaned off safely.
    Good Luck
     
  4. theblackridge16

    theblackridge16 Out Of The Brooder

    82
    0
    39
    Dec 9, 2010
    Pintura, Utah
    i know im new to this but i would and heat! i live in texas and the coldest its got here is 22 at night but its been in the 30s most nights and i run two heat lamps all day and mine seem to love it and be very comfy at night. but my coop is also not insulated so keep that in mind.
     
  5. karmical

    karmical Chillin' With My Peeps

    271
    3
    151
    Aug 3, 2007
    Honeoye Falls, NY
    They all get the BOSS daily, so maybe I should give a little extra to my two that are shivering? Can you overdo it with those? I feed them just the seeds out of the shells...

    I think I might get one of those flat panel heaters they sell at shopthecoop...anybody have any luck with one of those? If I screw the heat panel against the wall by the roosting area (which is where they all seem to hang out when it's cold) then those that are warm enough can just move to a cooler spot if they want to, right? Kind of like the brooder heat when they were babies...I'm a little worried that I might overheat the girls who are fully feathered, but they should have the sense to move if it's too warm in a certain spot, right?

    Fingers crossed it won't take too long to get the heater panel delivered! It really is heartbreaking to watch them shiver. When I go down in the morning, I try to give the shivering girls some quality lap-time to cuddle in with their mum and warm up a bit :) Any excuse to cuddle with my girls!
     
  6. PamB

    PamB Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 20, 2010
    Dayville, CT
    Quote:You run heat all day too? Just make sure that you have some back up plan if your lose electricity for any reason. A drop in temp like that could kill them. This is why with healthy birds (not molting and shivering of course), many prefer not to heat the coop. I personally don't heat, but the coop is insulated to help out a bit. There are about 6 inches of shavings on the floor of the coop also to provide extra warmth.
     
  7. karmical

    karmical Chillin' With My Peeps

    271
    3
    151
    Aug 3, 2007
    Honeoye Falls, NY
    Hmmm...I didn't think about what would happen if there was a power failure...you're right, PamB...that would be bad. Maybe I should add in some more shavings and just get one of those mats that heat a specific area...maybe the cold girls would find a warm spot like that?
     
  8. PamB

    PamB Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 20, 2010
    Dayville, CT
    Quote:I think in your situation, you need to do something to help them stay warm. If it were me, and I'm no expert by any means, I'd probably do what I did with the chicks. By that I mean, give them a heatlamp that will warm them up well and as they grow their feathers back, back the heatlamp off of them so they gradually get used to the change in temperature.

    Normally, I think chickens do just fine in the cold (according to what I've read, this will actually be my first winter with my chickens). Our weather is very cold right now, tonight we are expecting a low of only 7 degrees!! So, I went to the store and put in a lot of shavings today to help them out.
     
  9. ellieroo

    ellieroo Chillin' With My Peeps

    582
    1
    151
    Mar 22, 2008
    Quote:straw bales work great for added insulation.If you can get them and build a hay fort around your coop.Knowing it is temporary. One can always find a place for extra straw. [​IMG]
     
  10. karmical

    karmical Chillin' With My Peeps

    271
    3
    151
    Aug 3, 2007
    Honeoye Falls, NY
    I think you're right...I feel terrible that I left them shivering this morning! Hoping the coop warmed up a bit in the sunshine today. I will definitely add more shavings tonight and see what I can do about some heat over the roost that I can gradually raise, like when they were chicks. It's supposed to go down to single digits tonight...ouch!
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by