Molting for Christmas?? Is that normal?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by PrincessChicky, Dec 25, 2012.

  1. PrincessChicky

    PrincessChicky Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 24, 2012
    Dallas area
    I have a pullet that has decided to molt through the winter. I told her it wasn't a good idea but she didn't listen to me.

    We live in north Texas and we've had our most serious cold weather move in today. We have about 6-8" of snow out there, it is COLD, and my chicken is missing all of the feathers on her head, many from under her wings, on her breast and from her tail. She looks awful.
    Tonight I arrived home at about 7, it was already dark and I went to make sure everyone got in the coop for the night. Naked hen was missing! I looked all over for her and finally found her on the porch sitting on the bakers wrack, shivering. I put her in my coat and warmed her back up and decided to bring her into the house for the night. It is supposed to warm back up in the next few days so I'll probably put her out on Thursday after the snow melts.

    She was broody about 6-8 weeks ago. Is coming out of being broody something that sets off molting? Is she going to die for getting naked at this time of year? What's up with this chicken!?!?

    Thanks for the advice. I'm new to chickens and just flying by the seat of my pants! Help!

  2. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    The stress of brooding coupled with time of year may very well have combined to force her into a molt. I alwys worried about the 'late'molters, but generally they feather in very rapidly. Keeping her from getting wet and chilled is a good idea.
  3. PrincessChicky

    PrincessChicky Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 24, 2012
    Dallas area
    Thank you sourland. I think I'm going to have to move her to a larger carrier if I'm going to keep her inside much. She can hardly turn around in this little one I put her in tonight. I guess if I just have her in the house over night she won't need much room to just sleep.

    I'll dote on her and hope she turns herself around quickly. This chicken Mama's is worried about her!! :)
  4. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

    Jul 9, 2009
    Northern CA
    My Coop
    I've had hens molt in the middle of winter with much more feather loss than your hen. I too worried about them the first few times, but they do fine. They snuggle up to the other chickens for warmth.
  5. spotsplus

    spotsplus Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 29, 2008
    Franklin, MA
    My 2 year old Rhode Island Red hen "Raspberry" went into molt about two weeks ago and is quite ragged looking with a good amount of ther feathers missing. She is doing fine out in the coop. If you keep your hen inside just remember the hen will get used to the heat in the house and it will be harder for her to acclimate once you put her outside so you may end up keeping her in until she's molted or until spring! Better if you can keep her out with the group- hopefully she'll snuggle up and keep warm :)

  6. MimiChick

    MimiChick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 8, 2009
    Glocester, RI
    In addition, she'll lose her place in the pecking order if you keep her away from the others for too long. Two of my girls went into molt in February last year (of all times), and they were just fine snuggling up with the others. Your girl is really better off with her flock mates. There's really nothing to worry too much about.

    Good luck.
  7. K-12 Chickens

    K-12 Chickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 6, 2010
    One of my two Silver-Laced Wyandotte hens has finally started to molt within the past few weeks, but seems to be fairing well in the low 20 to early 30 degree temperatures. Keeping her from getting wet and out of the wind does benefit her greatly.

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