My Hen's Molting in the Cold MN Winter!

Goldenrod1210

Songster
Jul 6, 2018
139
487
137
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!
 

DobieLover

Easily distracted by chickens
Premium Feather Member
Jul 23, 2018
29,509
236,359
1,612
NY Southern Tier
My Coop
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?
 

Miss Lydia

~Gift of God ~ Eternal Life ~John 3:16
Premium Feather Member
11 Years
Oct 3, 2009
114,741
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Mountains of Western N.C.
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.
 
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StephanieRose44

Songster
Nov 27, 2018
259
306
157
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 .
 

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Cragg Klefor

Crowing
Apr 14, 2017
912
1,621
282
County Kilkenny, Ireland
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!
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.
 

rebrascora

Free Ranging
5 Years
Feb 14, 2014
7,127
8,752
556
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.
 

Debby in france

Chirping
Dec 8, 2018
75
202
86
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!
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
Peas,
Tuna,
Yogurt,
Mackerel,
Spinach,
Mealworms,
Liver,
Sunflower seeds,
Walnuts,
Oats,
Lentils (although mine don’t like them)
Sprouts (as above but who can blame them!)
Quinoa.
Also give Poultry Nutri Drops by nettex. Stick to the dosage, that’s really important.
Good luck.
 

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