Something to keep chicken warm during winter molt


Jan 6, 2020
Westchester NY
I have 3 chickens that are about 14 months old. This is their first winter in their outdoor coop. 2 of them are large, but I have one that is petite and the runt. She is the lowest in the pecking order and I pay special attention to her. She is bullied a little bit and to make matters worse she is going through her first molt in December (I live in New York). If she had more meat on her I wouldn't be as concerned, but I know she is cold. She shivers sometimes and likes to be held with warm hands. The other 2 are out in the run with some snow in it but she refuses to go outside. I was wondering if anyone has any suggestions about something to keep her warm. I know they make chicken saddles, sweaters, etc. Any opinions on something to keep her warm. I would like to order something today for her.
Everyone handles winter cold differently and you will get a lot of opinions. I have made some 1 piece polarfleece hen saddles before to use on backs with missing feathers. All if takes is a pair of scissors to make one. This article shows a similar one:

Some use heat lamps which can be very dangerous in coops, and a common cause of fires. We have several possts each year about coop fires and burned or dead chickens. If they are used, double secure them and keep them at least 18-24 inches from chickens. There are also heat panels that can be used. I have used a small ceramic heater when temps were near zero, but the heater was securely fastened to the wall of my coop. Care to keep bedding, dust, or any debris from heat.

I might try the hen saddle and perhaps bring her inside to a cooler area of the house at night until her feathers grow in. Feed her a bit of extra protein for awhile. It is hard to provide heat for chickens, and then suddenly remove it, so trying to prevent using heat would be best. Power outtages are always a possibility.
Thanks for the advice. I had a friend that had a fire caused by a heater. I have also heard that they never properly adapt to the cold temperatures with them. I read an article that said in the event of a snowstorm or power outage that all the chickens can die on one cold night if they are used to having a heater. I saw a heated pad that seemed promising just to give them a little warmth from below. I keep them a little warmer than most as I close the doors on their coop and run an air purifier 24/7 to keep the air clean in there. There are 2 small windows at the top that have one fan blowing air in and 1 blowing air out. On warmer nights I keep the doors open, but I don't like the idea of them being to cold so I take extra steps to warm them and keep the air safe.

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