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Single hen-pecked molting chicken in the cold tonight

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by TheLoneHen, Dec 14, 2015.

  1. TheLoneHen

    TheLoneHen Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 13, 2015
    Florence was left to me by a neighbor recently. She's been pecked and has a large bald spot on her neck, even larger now that she's molting. It's going down to freezing tonight and she has no one to huddle, less feathers, and that enlarging bald spot. I found out today I had the wrong feed to help her keep warm... scratch and peck 3 grain. - more of a summer supplemental feed. I went and got her a fortified blend today - same brand, which I read is supposed to help her generate heat. Fed her grains, fruit, veggies, and a little seed today also. My question is (don't laugh, haha) - Should I bring her into the laundry room tonight since she doesn't have much going for her as far as keeping or generating heat, especially alone. (My plan is to integrate her into a flock come spring - if it's posible to do it safely.) THANK YOU!!!!
     
  2. chicknmania

    chicknmania Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Sure, you can if you want. She will probably get very spoiled by spring, but it's ok. It will make YOU feel better knowing she's warm and safe in the laundry room, and a happy person makes a happy chicken. Good luck, and let us know how she does. Welcome to BYC. :)
     
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  3. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    32 isn't all that cold for a chicken, and not all chickens huddle or sit close to one another. It sounds like you are feeding a grain only diet, I would personally put her on a higher protein complete chicken ration, 18-20%, it will help her molt faster as well as offering other sources of proteins like cottage cheese, meal worms or some canned fish.

    The idea behind giving a bit of whole grains especially at bedtime is that the act of digestion will generate some heat. Proper housing is more important, good ventilation and no drafts will keep a chicken from getting chilled. She will need other chickens more for her mental well being than staying warm.
     
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  4. Bridebeliever

    Bridebeliever Chillin' With My Peeps

    She's actually a little 100 degree heater all by herself! Bringing her in may actually be too warm for her if she is used to being outside. If it's only her neck lacking feathers she will pull her neck down "into" herself anyway and fluff up and keep her own feet warm too. Think of it as wearing an expensive down coat yourself! You don't have to huddle next to someone when you have a down coat on, the coat itself insulates you.
    They do make special feed just for molting birds called "Feather Fixer", it's higher protein which is required when they are growing out lots of new feathers.
     
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  5. chicknmania

    chicknmania Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    That is why I said it would be ok to bring her into the laundry room. Not so much for warmth, but just companionship, and peace of mind. chickens are social. They also make sweaters for chickens, although personally I think they would be more trouble than they are worth.
     
    1 person likes this.
  6. TheLoneHen

    TheLoneHen Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you so much for your expertise. I am believing that she will be ok.

    I do realize that she needs other chickens and so I am resolved to spend two or three hours a day with her outside, scratching the dirt with a weeding fork right next to her, exchanging dinosaur sounds with her. I have set up two mirrors for her next to her coop, a giant ceramic dust bath, and she loves both.

    I look forward to her being safely integrated with other chickens.
     
  7. Bridebeliever

    Bridebeliever Chillin' With My Peeps

    Great! You are doing right by her and the rest of your flock by quarantining her first! Sounds like she got lucky...a good chicken mamma you are! [​IMG]
     
    1 person likes this.
  8. Ballerina Bird

    Ballerina Bird Chillin' With My Peeps

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    This is cute and hilarious about the fork and the dinosaur sounds! You do sound like a great chicken mom. I wanted to say x2 on the suggestion to give her that Feather Fixer feed -- one of my girls went through a hard molt this year, and that stuff was amazing. She feathered out really quickly and looks beautiful.
     
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