Molting hen in winter

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by Bumpa, Jan 6, 2017.

  1. Bumpa

    Bumpa New Egg

    Sep 1, 2016
    I have two buff orpington's a and one Rhode Island red. The red is molting and it's getting cold here for Texas (teens to twenties). I have put a heat lamp in their coop and covered it with a blanket. Is it okay to put a heat lamp in their rooting area?
  2. Teila

    Teila Bambrook Bantams Premium Member

    G’Day from down under Bumpa [​IMG] Welcome!

    Living in Aus, winter is not something I really have to contend with. I have, however, seen a few posts on BYC recently regarding chickens moulting in winter. Out of interest, I popped ‘chicken molting in winter’ in the search option and quite a few threads popped up in the results so you might be able to find your answer on one of those.

    With regards to the heat lamp, again not something I need to consider, but I have read some horror stories about fires being started and the below are just two examples from your winter this season:

    It is definitely a personal choice on wether to heat the coop or not, but I would consider the risks carefully.

    You might want to say hello on your local thread: ‘Find your State’s thread.

    I hope you enjoy being a BYC member. There are lots of friendly and very helpful folks here so not only is it overflowing with useful information it is also a great place to make friends and have some fun. Unlike non chicken loving friends, family and colleagues, BYC’ers never tire of stories or pictures that feature our feathered and non feathered friends [​IMG]
  3. N F C

    N F C home again! Premium Member Project Manager

    Dec 12, 2013

    I agree with Teila, more research is needed to figure out all your options. The possibility of a coop fire (and they mostly seem to be started by heating lamps) is too scary.

    Hope things work out for you, I'd encourage you to do a lot of searching on BYC for other options and opinions.
  4. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

    Aug 26, 2009
    Out to pasture
    Chickens tolerate cold much better than heat. In the case of your molting hen some folks put a baby sized sweater on them till their feathers are regrown. Also give more protein- molting takes a lot out of a bird and they can use the boost..
  5. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Flockless Premium Member

    Jan 30, 2015
    Africa - near the equator
    Hi and welcome to BYC - you have some great advice and links already so I'll just say hello!

    All the best
  6. redsoxs

    redsoxs Chicken Obsessed

    Jul 17, 2011
    North Central Kansas
    Howdy from Kansas and :welcome! Great to have you in our community! Best wishes! :)
  7. Bawkbawktll

    Bawkbawktll Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 9, 2016
    I would think your breeds are very cold hearty. I have a few RIRs n barred rocks molting now. It has been negative temps here lately (WI). I've been feeding some BOSS and mealworms in am and again right before dark. A few snuggle up to the others but one has been sleeping in a nest box alone. I think she's getting picked on so she gets a lil extra mealworms. Just keep an eye on them. If one is really acting slow then get her a space in the garage for a lil while. Maybe just overnights
  8. Bumpa

    Bumpa New Egg

    Sep 1, 2016
    Thanks to all for the good info. I guess I feel sorry for them in the cold. I guess all the wild birds don't have heat lamps either. I also have one for the three outside cats that sleep in a dog house, but they can also go into the garage via a cat door if they want. Just a softy I guess.
  9. Bumpa

    Bumpa New Egg

    Sep 1, 2016
    Okay, sounds like the heat lamp is not a good idea. I was reading about ventilation and drafts.
    I bought a coop kit from Tractor Supply for 4 to 6 hens (seems like it would be a bit crowded with 6). We had four and one died, we plan to add two more this spring.
    I am going to enlarge it a bit. It has a ramp going up to the roost/nest box area with a sliding door. I never close the sliding door at night, only the main wire door to keep out predators out of the coop. That way they can come out before I get up and go into their pen that I have added on. I let them free range in the backyard during the day. Do I need to close the sliding door at night to keep out drafts? Also I installed a roof vent (same as on a house) for extra ventilation in summer.
  10. EggSighted4Life

    EggSighted4Life Overrun With Chickens

    Hi, welcome to BYC! [​IMG]

    I had the same thing happen a few years back. [​IMG]

    I didn't provide extra heat and she did OK. I also am not a fan of heat lamp in the coop. 1 reason is it can actually cause stress including girls being up eating during the night and possible bullying. And fires happen so easy. Did find my clamp lamp on the ground one morning when I used them. Got lucky that time! Another reason is it can make it harder to adjust to the outside temps when they leave the lamp.

    And I also agree that upping the protein amount will help grow feathers back faster and better because that is 95% of what they are made of.

    Ventilation is actually the key to avoiding frost bite! I know the roost should not be in the direct path of the opening but unsure if you should close your bottom door. My bottom door back then stayed open all the time back then because we were predator free and it actually was a ramp that came through the floor. Here I would never do that.

    Wow the things I have learned from BYC are more than I would have ever even thought I would care to know about chickens! So many helpful and caring people here. Enjoy!

    ETA: I like to feed at least 20% protein. If you are feeding layer AND treats, you could be at less than 16%. Though your treats didn't sound like the 8% that scratch usually is.
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2017

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