Separating molting hen during the winter?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by sariea, Feb 7, 2017.

  1. sariea

    sariea Out Of The Brooder

    38
    0
    37
    Aug 21, 2015
    Rochester, NY
    My Blue Andalusian, Blue, is molting pretty hard right now. I noticed she's been spending a lot of time in the coop rather than the run where the others are. Today I noticed that it's probably because the others are pecking at her pin feathers. I went into the coop and she immediately jumped in my lap and buried herself under my arm.

    She does have some blood spots on a couple pin feathers. My husband will not allow her into the house. We have a dog crate we can put her in (in the garage) but my biggest concern is the cold temperature. It's ranging between 24-35 degrees (F) here and I'm worried that if we separate her, she won't have the other hens to keep her warm at night.

    The other thing my husband suggested was blocking off a section of the run for just her but again I'm worried about the temperature.

    Can anyone give me any ideas on what to do or even just reassurances that either of these 2 options would work?
     
  2. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict

    30,776
    5,163
    561
    Apr 3, 2011
    southern Ohio
    I would place the dog crate inside the coop with food and water, and place her in there in view of the others. You can cover parts of the crate to block out drafts, but she will lie down in the bedding to keep warm. Feed her at little chopped egg for extra protein. They don't eat a lot during a molt, so extra protein can help. When you put her out with the flock, spray any bare spots with BluKote. My chickens are standoffish and feel a little puny when in molt, and can be bullied by the others.
     
  3. sariea

    sariea Out Of The Brooder

    38
    0
    37
    Aug 21, 2015
    Rochester, NY
    So I put a little coat on her, hoping that I wouldn't then have to separate her. It stayed on until this afternoon when I took it off because her wing (not covered by the coat) was bleeding. I've taken your advice and put the dog crate in the run, put a bunch of towels over the top and sides to keep out drafts (left the front side/door uncovered) and put food and water in there with her. She wasn't happy.

    I also put my Buff Orpington Buffy in there with her, because the other night they were on the roosting bars together. Buffy has been battling an eye infection (not contagious) for over 6 months and is very mellow so I don't think she'll hurt Blue and they can nest together for warmth. Hopefully this will work. I wish the other hens weren't such jerks.
     
  4. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict

    30,776
    5,163
    561
    Apr 3, 2011
    southern Ohio
    It probably only needs to be covered at night or on 2 sides during the coldest temps, just so she can see the others and have a little contact to stay part of the gang. It is always sad if they are molting in winter, which is why I try not to get chicks later than May, so they will molt in the fall or late summer. I'm sure she will like her friend being in there with her.
     
  5. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    10,430
    3,924
    406
    Sep 20, 2015
    Southern N.C. Mountains
    You have recieved good advice from @Eggcessive

    I just wanted to add, I feel for you. Some of mine have been going through a bad/hard molt. It's hard to see them so miserable.
    I think letting her have a friend (Buffy) is a good idea. One of my Rock girls needed to be separated for a couple of days - she was bonkers being caged in the run. I let my BO Betty June in there with her - she calmed down immediately and was happy. Buffs are "usually" gentle and calm so make good companions.

    I hope all goes well[​IMG]
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by