Molting hen and very cold temps

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by JHortonx5, Jan 5, 2017.

  1. JHortonx5

    JHortonx5 Just Hatched

    28
    0
    14
    Jul 6, 2016
    Apex, North Carolina
    1 of my 3 hens has decided to molt. She doesn't look naked yet, but there are feathers everywhere! It's going to be really cold at night this weekend and I don't heat the hen house. I'm considering putting all of them in a big wire dog crate and putting them under the house at night. It's warmer under there (it's a decent crawl space with a concrete floor.). What do you think?

    [​IMG]
     
  2. redsoxs

    redsoxs Chicken Obsessed

    25,645
    1,834
    463
    Jul 17, 2011
    North Central Kansas
    I think they would be better in the closed coop using their body heat to keep each other warm. If they are too confined they can turn on one another....and the odd chicken out is usually the one that is molting. On occasion I've had chickens snuggle into the straw bedding on super cold nights. That's just my opinion....others may have different ideas. Good luck to you!
     
  3. JHortonx5

    JHortonx5 Just Hatched

    28
    0
    14
    Jul 6, 2016
    Apex, North Carolina
    Thank you redsoxs. That helps me a lot. I took a trip over to Tractor Supply late this afternoon and they suggested that on the three coldest nights, hang a red heat lamp high in there, where they can go under it if they want to get warm. The hen house is about 6 feet high and I hung the lamp on the highest peek. The roost is at about 3 feet off the floor, to one side. The house isn't insulated, but it's draft free and has vents at the top of the roof peak, so the heat that's generated from the lamp won't raise the temp drastically, I think just enough to keep them from freezing, especially the hen that's molting.
    Water is just outside the hen house, in their run, and it too is heated. The run is covered with plastic tarps.

    [​IMG][​IMG]

    I placed it far away from everything and it is high enough that the hens can't get anywhere near it. There's also a cage around the lamp part. I have read so many opinions from both sides. I think this is best for me for these up coming three nights. If we happen to lose power, I have an alarm that wakes us, & my DH and I will go outside and get them and bring them into the house and put them in the dog crate for the rest of the night.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2017
  4. Adalida

    Adalida Chillin' With My Peeps

    531
    107
    111
    Nov 21, 2015
    Montana
    What breed of chicken is she? Some of mine do better in the cold than others, so just curious.
     
  5. JHortonx5

    JHortonx5 Just Hatched

    28
    0
    14
    Jul 6, 2016
    Apex, North Carolina
    Hi Adalida, I'm not sure, I think, 1 is a red sex link (lighter red), 1 may be a Red New Hampshire (darker red), and the 3rd might be a Delaware (white). It's the red sex link that is molting.

    [​IMG]
     
  6. chicknmania

    chicknmania Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    4,942
    177
    301
    Jan 26, 2007
    central Ohio
    We have one or two molting and it is bitter cold here for a few days. I put four straw bales together to form a sort of enclosure, and piled loose straw in the middle.
    The flock loves it! They will all pile in there together on cold afternoons, even our peafowl get in there. They don't sleep in there at night, but they do
    huddle together to keep each other warm on the roost at night. Yours will be fine, I agree, I wouldn't try to put them in an enclosure they are not used to. .
     
  7. chicknmania

    chicknmania Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    4,942
    177
    301
    Jan 26, 2007
    central Ohio
     
  8. JHortonx5

    JHortonx5 Just Hatched

    28
    0
    14
    Jul 6, 2016
    Apex, North Carolina
    Going to go out today and look for a sweeter heater. Thank you so much for the suggestion chicknmania!
     
  9. chicknmania

    chicknmania Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    4,942
    177
    301
    Jan 26, 2007
    central Ohio
    Good luck. I think you can find them on line, I know FirstState Vet supply carries them. Don't worry too much about the cold.
     
  10. moparchicken

    moparchicken New Egg

    5
    0
    7
    Jan 9, 2017
    Harriman NY
    Iv had 2 or 3 chickens start molting on me in the past month or so,they didn't loose all there feathers just around the neck & tail feathers,the did just fine I think mother nature kicks in & doesn't allow a full molt when very cold out not sure who knows,I was very concerned about this & what I would do but it didn't happen.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by