Molting...Should I bring them in the house?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by fasschicks, Jan 5, 2015.

  1. fasschicks

    fasschicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 10, 2013
    South Central Wisconsin
    I have 2 chickens that are molting pretty bad right now. One of the girls is starting to get her feathers back, but it is pretty thin right now. The other one has a huge, completely bare patch on her butt/vent area (about 4-5 inch patch) and is bare under both wings. If it were just her wings, I wouldn't worry too much as the top of the wings still cover those bare spots. But her bare butt is worrying me. Since that area tends to be moister than any other area, I am worried about frost bite and just being too stressed from the cold. Both of them have been shivering for the last couple of days. I have a heat lamp on about 3 hours in the morning and 3 hours at night, but that only goes so far. If all birds were feathered, I wouldn't have put the heat in at all.

    We finally have our first real cold snap this week and was thinking that I should bring the 2 in for a couple of days to make it through the coldest part. It is supposed to be a high of -3 on Wednesday and lows in negative teens at night. I think they are okay to about zero, but think it is just really hard on their bodies with the molt and trying to stay warm.

    Any thoughts on this? Am I crazy? I have a large dog kennel they both could stay in, but not sure how that confinement will be for both of them for 2-3 days. I can put them in my basement which is consistently around 45-50 degrees - just don't want them too used to the warmer part of the house. Plus that will give them peace and quiet away from the dogs and cats in the house.

    This is my first time with a hard molt in the middle of winter, so any tips would be helpful. Thanks!

    Wendy
     
  2. Odelia

    Odelia Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 20, 2014
    Idaho
    Have you considered just leaving the heat lamp on in the coop? It sounds like a lot less hassle than bringing these girls indoors.
     
  3. fasschicks

    fasschicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 10, 2013
    South Central Wisconsin
    I have thought about it, but keeping them on light 24 hours for several days might be tough on them. Plus, I am super paranoid about starting a fire. I have one of those high wattage red heat lamps. Otherwise, it might not be a bad idea. I could put another couple settings on it so that it warms the coop up a couple hours during the day and night. Again, just super paranoid about a fire. Thanks!

    Wendy
     
  4. Odelia

    Odelia Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 20, 2014
    Idaho
    In the future when the weather warms up I would put a light fixture in the coop. The kind with the clamps are a huge fire hazard. It isn't that hard to do and they have you tube video's to walk you through it. If it was me I would bring them in the basement until they feather. If you have any large plastic totes that will work better. The dog kennel will let all of the bedding out and make a huge mess.
     
  5. fasschicks

    fasschicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 10, 2013
    South Central Wisconsin
    Unfortunately, we do not have electricity running to our coop (except for an extension cord). I really would like to put a light fixture in some day and since my husband is a professional handyman, that shouldn't be too difficult for him. Our problem is that we cannot run electricity very easily underground to the coop - it would require breaking up cement and going through he basement wall

    I do have our clamp-on light screwed into the wall, but always worry in the back of my mind that something might go wrong as nothing like that is foolproof. Thanks for the suggestions...it helps!
     
  6. Odelia

    Odelia Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 20, 2014
    Idaho
    My sister put a light fixture on the ceiling of her coop. The wire runs into a box inside of the coop and she runs an extension cord to it in the winter. The extension cord is plugged into and adapter so that she can also plug in her heated water base.
     

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