Molting (in winter??) or being pecked at??

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by yolksonus, Jan 8, 2017.

  1. yolksonus

    yolksonus Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It has been chilly here in Southeast NH so we put a heat lamp in the coop to offset those really chilly night (please don't judge). One of our three girls is all of a sudden molting or she is being pecked at by the other two. They are mainly in the coop all day as it is so cold so I wouldn't be surprised if she was being pecked at. I put clear plastic shower curtains around the enclosed run today hoping the sun would warm that area and the girls would go out for a while. It worked really well last winter. Not sure what else I can do. Any ideas?? [​IMG]
     
  2. BantamLover21

    BantamLover21 Overrun With Chickens

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    I think I see growing feathers quills, so I would say that she is molting (partially or fully). Even though the cold weather makes it a bad time to do so, many chickens molt in the winter.
     
  3. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

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    My Coop
    I'm leaning towards molting. When you part the feathers, do you just see skin or do you see pin feathers? Pin feathers growing in indicate molting. Just skin would indicate picking and the feathers won't grow back in until their next molt.

    Because you are giving them heat, they are less likely to go out of the coop. They are acclimated to warmer temps with the added heat.

    Also, please be careful with the heat lamp. I've seen far too many coops and barns burn down from people using them. It's absolutely devastating.
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/745178/fire-safety-in-your-chicken-coop-barn-important/0_50
     
  4. blondiebee181

    blondiebee181 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    X2 Happy Chooks. I always recommend a low watt bulb over a full-on heat lamp simply because they get soooo hot, if you are into heating. I don't and it was pushing -10F the other night.....aside from a Leghorn with frost blisters (typical). Yolksonus, how cold is it getting at night?
     
  5. yolksonus

    yolksonus Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We have the heatlamp and water warmer set to come on at 35 degrees and it automatically turns off. We initially only heated the water but because it was getting so cold last winter we added them lamp when it got below 20. We have lost three girls since last winter (neighbors dog, one just randomly died, and the other just disappeared/taken by a hawk) so we added the heat lamp this year and set to it to come on at 35. It has been in the 20's and below that last couple of weeks. The lamp is chained up to the ceiling so it can't fall and start a fire. I hate the risk but I also hate to see them shivering- the one in the picture was shivering (or seemed to be) today.
     
  6. blondiebee181

    blondiebee181 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    A lot of people heat, totally your choice. I have had birds for several years now and have never used heat or light and they acclimate to the cold just like we do. For example, this spring when temps start pushing 45-50F it starts to feel great outside right? Such a relief from zero, teens, and twenties you almost feel like donning shorts!! Now, when fall rolls around and temps hit 45-50F and we're used to a balmy 90+ temp our bodies go into a bit of shock and we start to shiver/don our jackets/complain about the onset of fall...but as the season wears on, our bodies do adjust to the new temps again. I know this is probably common sense, but I like to give a more applicable example for people to relate to.
     

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