My Hen's Molting in the Cold MN Winter!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Goldenrod1210, Nov 21, 2018.

  1. Goldenrod1210

    Goldenrod1210 Songster

    Jul 6, 2018
    Minnesota, USA
    My 2 year old BO hen Jenny is molting in the cold Minnesota winter, losing a lot of feathers. What should I do? Should I put a heating light in there, or pile straw around the coop? She's in the coop right now, I put a whole bunch of shavings she can snuggle up in. I'm worried because my aunt's chicken that was the same age, and died of cold because she was molting.
    She's one of my favorites and my best layer (usually).
    If you guys have any suggestions please post below. Thank you so much!
    Bamboohens likes this.
  2. DobieLover

    DobieLover Easily distracted by chickens

    Jul 23, 2018
    Apalachin, NY
    My Coop
    I'll be interested to read the suggestions on this one.
    It seems Mother Nature was taking a nap when the 'timing of the molt' was being decided by some underling flunky.
    Why oh why would Mother Nature decide the best time for a bird to loose her feathers is right when the cold weather arrives?
    Goldenrod1210 and Bamboohens like this.
  3. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia John 3:16

    I had one of my lavender Orpington hens molted in cold weather a few years ago I ended up putting a hen saver on her she wore it for a month till all her feathers grew back and didn’t seem to mind it at all.
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2018
    Bamboohens likes this.
  4. Mosey2003

    Mosey2003 Crowing

    Apr 13, 2016
    NC IL
    I had most of mine decide to start molting about NOW last winter, and weren't finished until March. They fared fine, surprisingly.
    Goldenrod1210 and Bamboohens like this.
  5. StephanieRose44

    StephanieRose44 Songster

    Nov 27, 2018
    Fishkill NY
    I have 5 5-6 week old chicks that I am supposed to house outside tonight in NY it’s had to be 30 or below right now I have a cage that is boarded up and insulated around the outside with this thick foam insulation (they can’t get to it) It’s an extra large dog cage now it’s a box I put a 250 watt heat lamp up in the corner above there roost. From the pictures does it look like they are old enough or feathered enough for it. I’m outside right now checking the thermometer every 10 min or so until it heats up. But the second picture down is a meat bird (I found out) and he is just getting his feathers that he lost back. I’m just hoping they will all be warm enough .

    Attached Files:

    Bamboohens likes this.
  6. LittleCheepers

    LittleCheepers Songster

    Oct 28, 2017
    Just wanted to say that they are so cute! :love I hope you get everything worked out just right for them!
    StephanieRose44 and Bamboohens like this.
  7. StephanieRose44

    StephanieRose44 Songster

    Nov 27, 2018
    Fishkill NY
    Thank you! I hope they will be okay!
    LittleCheepers likes this.
  8. Cragg Klefor

    Cragg Klefor Crowing

    Apr 14, 2017
    County Kilkenny, Ireland
    I believe if she is in a spot that is dry and draft free she will be fine. She has flock mates? Huddling with her flock while roosting will protect her also.
    Wyorp Rock and rebrascora like this.
  9. rebrascora

    rebrascora Free Ranging

    Feb 14, 2014
    Consett Co.Durham. UK
    I agree with @Cragg Klefor She will be fine and I would not use a heat lamp for two reasons..... it makes the birds reliant on it and then they are more at risk of getting cold if for example the power goes off and it poses a fire risk so I would suggest you just make sure there are no draughts in the coop.
    I would be interested to know if a necropsy was performed on the bird that "died of the cold" or if that was just someone's assumption. Moulting can stress some birds and leave them vulnerable to latent viruses in their system, which can kill quite rapidly.
    Cragg Klefor likes this.
  10. Debby in france

    Debby in france Chirping

    Dec 8, 2018
    What sort of temperatures are we talking about ? Can you separate her (old dog cage or new compost bin or even cat box ?) and wrap it in duvets, sleeping bags or s9mething like that ? Watch out for ventilation though. Do you have a max min thermometer with a humidity checker ?
    Here is a list of foods that replenish the vitamins lost during moult
    Sunflower seeds,
    Lentils (although mine don’t like them)
    Sprouts (as above but who can blame them!)
    Also give Poultry Nutri Drops by nettex. Stick to the dosage, that’s really important.
    Good luck.

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