Molting when its -20 to -30 HELP!!!

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by PaulaJoAnne, Nov 17, 2009.

  1. PaulaJoAnne

    PaulaJoAnne Songster

    Jul 30, 2009
    We are scrambling to make our coop extra winter proof :eek:(
    It is insulated, and has lots of hay for snuggling in if need be.
    The roosts are 2x6s so that their feet are warm at night.

    With temps that are staying WAY below zero, we are having some issues now.
    We ended up adding a small space heater last night, due to many of our chickens getting frostbite, and literally huddling and shivering on the hay in the coop.
    Its bringing the temp up just enough to prevent the shivering at least.

    We also have one chicken inside, because she decided to molt all of a sudden yesterday. She's nearly half naked now. And she has bleeding sores all over her tail from frost.
    The fact she lays an egg every day, is preventing us from culling her.

    We are at a loss of what to do. I do not want to straight up heat the coop and cause everyone to molt.

    Any ideas are welcome, except telling us to move, LOL!

  2. HorseFeatherz NV

    HorseFeatherz NV Eggink Chickens

    Not sure where you are but BURRRRRRR cold!

    If it was me, I would make sure that my feed has a high protein and the birds have lots of food. They need it to help keep warm. Also a higher protein will help with feather development. Most layer is 16% - I like a 20 to 25% protein in the feed.
  3. SallyF

    SallyF Songster

    Jul 5, 2009
    Middle Tennessee
    Poor chicken... what a time to molt! I had one who went through a very heavy molt this fall, although others lost some feathers. In addition to upping the protein, I used Poultry Drench (got it at a farm co-op), which is a vitamin concoction you put in the water. The ones who were almost bald also got extra feedings of scrambled egg mixed with eggshells, oatmeal and turmeric. I had read on here somewhere that they need protein & calcium (eggs + shells), that oatmeal promoted feather growth, and that turmeric aids digestion. It didn't seem to hurt them, and Baldy's new feathers look great!

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