Temperature and food

Elena Kh

In the Brooder
Mar 27, 2019
13
4
26
I have only 3 hens. I live in MA. Coop has size for growing 6 - 10 hens. Hight layer of bedding, Drinking bowl with electric heater to keep the water from freezing. Ceramic lamp 4 inches for heating . When T is lower than 32F, I close coop for night. Chickens don’t come from coop, if T is 32 - 28F or lower. Should I change something temperature mode in coop?

Usually I feed chickens Purina Flock Razer. When I started to use NatureWise Feather Fixer 2 weeks ago, rapid feather loss began and still continues. Chickens stopped laying eggs. What to do? Change the food or wait?

Please, help me to answer these 2 questions.
 

hysop

Back from hiatus (11/24/21)
Premium Feather Member
Sep 16, 2019
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How old are the chickens? What breed are they?

Is it possible they started molting coincidentally when you switched feed?

Have you compared the ingredients on both bags? Would you mind posting it so we can compare?
 

rosemarythyme

Scarborough Fair
Premium Feather Member
5 Years
Jul 3, 2016
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My Coop
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I have only 3 hens. I live in MA. Coop has size for growing 6 - 10 hens. Hight layer of bedding, Drinking bowl with electric heater to keep the water from freezing. Ceramic lamp 4 inches for heating . When T is lower than 32F, I close coop for night. Chickens don’t come from coop, if T is 32 - 28F or lower. Should I change something temperature mode in coop?

Usually I feed chickens Purina Flock Razer. When I started to use NatureWise Feather Fixer 2 weeks ago, rapid feather loss began and still continues. Chickens stopped laying eggs. What to do? Change the food or wait?

Absolutely no reason to heat a coop at 28F - how cold does it get at the coldest? Do you have ample, draft free ventilation in your coop to allow moisture to escape the coop? The birds can keep themselves warm, even molting birds don't have too much issue in most cases. But moisture build up can lead to frostbite and respiratory issues.

How old are your birds? Molting is a natural thing for birds over a year old, and sometimes for younger adolescents as well. During molt they don't lay (or lay at very reduced amounts) as all their energy goes into regrowing feathers. Feeding them food that's higher in protein can help get them through molt - from my understanding "Feather Fixer" is a little weird in formulation as it's higher in protein (18%) than typical layer feed, but also has higher calcium like a layer feed (and they're not laying) so you're were much better off sticking with flock raiser (20%), as it has more protein and less calcium.

Changing food is a stressor so that wouldn't help them lay anyhow.
 
Last edited:

Birdsong 82

Crowing
Aug 17, 2017
3,608
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Virginia
As far as heat that doesn't sound like it would be an issue. That is not too cold for chickens. As far as them laying eggs that has more to do with the amount of daylight they get. You could supplement light for part of the morning but I don't know too much about how to do all that because I just let mine take a laying break in the winter.
As far as rapid feather loss. That is very normal for them to m as far as rapid feather loss. That is very normal for them to molt this time of year. Why when temperatures gets so low do their bodies choose to lose the feathers I will never understand. Haha . The feather fixer may help with a protein level but nature will still take it's course as it should
 

Elena Kh

In the Brooder
Mar 27, 2019
13
4
26
How old are the chickens? What breed are they?

Is it possible they started molting coincidentally when you switched feed?

Have you compared the ingredients on both bags? Would you mind posting it so we can compare?
Мы
 

Elena Kh

In the Brooder
Mar 27, 2019
13
4
26
My chickens are around 10 months old.
Ingridients of food:
Purina - Protein 20%, No antibiotics/ hormones'.
Nutriena Feather fixes ( From Nature Wise) - Protein 18%, no information about hormones and other ingredients.
Molting process continues 3 weeks and became more active. Chickens eat less.
Yes , ventilation in hoop is bad. Humidity is high.
Now I don't close hoop for night, if temperature is around 26 F. How long do chickens molt usually ( Orpington, Arucana)? How can I change ventilation in hoop? Should I change food? Thanks all for help, for very useful answers.
 

Elena Kh

In the Brooder
Mar 27, 2019
13
4
26
Absolutely no reason to heat a coop at 28F - how cold does it get at the coldest? Do you have ample, draft free ventilation in your coop to allow moisture to escape the coop? The birds can keep themselves warm, even molting birds don't have too much issue in most cases. But moisture build up can lead to frostbite and respiratory issues.

How old are your birds? Molting is a natural thing for birds over a year old, and sometimes for younger adolescents as well. During molt they don't lay (or lay at very reduced amounts) as all their energy goes into regrowing feathers. Feeding them food that's higher in protein can help get them through molt - from my understanding "Feather Fixer" is a little weird in formulation as it's higher in protein (18%) than typical layer feed, but also has higher calcium like a layer feed (and they're not laying) so you're were much better off sticking with flock raiser (20%), as it has more protein and less calcium.

Changing food is a stressor so that wouldn't help them lay anyhow.
Hello,

My questions:

At what temperature should I close the chicken coop for night?

Quick change of food is stressful, birds don’t eat, refusal of food, even have diarrhea. How can I smoothly change chickens frood?

How to change ventilation in a small chicken coop? It has a window. Need to open it up? Make chicken to come out from hoop on winter, if T is around 40 – 45 F?

Thank you.
 

rosemarythyme

Scarborough Fair
Premium Feather Member
5 Years
Jul 3, 2016
17,879
35,825
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WA, Pac NW
My Coop
My Coop
At what temperature should I close the chicken coop for night?

Quick change of food is stressful, birds don’t eat, refusal of food, even have diarrhea. How can I smoothly change chickens frood?

How to change ventilation in a small chicken coop? It has a window. Need to open it up? Make chicken to come out from hoop on winter, if T is around 40 – 45 F?

I close the coop for security, not due to temperature. If you're seeing persistent temperatures of around -20F or more, that's when I'd be concerned about being cold.

I actually don't do slow transitions of food. When I switch, I switch over at once. But I very rarely switch feed, so it's never been an issue for me.

Really need to see your coop to make ventilation suggestions. Opening "a window": might help, but depends on the location of it, and the size. For 3 hens you'd want at least 3 sq ft of draft free ventilation but that might be difficult in a small coop.
 

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