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Very late molt; will hen get too cold?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by suburbanhomesteader, Nov 5, 2008.

  1. One of my two year old hens didn't molt this summer, but she is molting in a SERIOUS way now. She is nearly naked, and we're supposed to have temps in the low 40's for the next several nights.

    Do you think I should bring her in, or will she be OK in an unheated (but protected from the wind, and with her two other buddies) 8x8x8 coop?

    Also, any ideas why she would molt in November, of all times?
  2. chickenlady

    chickenlady Songster

    Aug 28, 2007
    Stillwater, NJ
    I have birds molting right now also. I have left them outside with no problems. They can huddle together if necessary. I up their protein to help speed along the molt.
  3. unclejoe

    unclejoe In the Brooder

    Aug 2, 2008
    Dillsburg, Pa
    I have a few that were molting when our overnight temps were in the low 20's. I didn't lose any.
  4. jjthink

    jjthink Crowing 11 Years

    Jan 17, 2007
    New Jersey
    If you can provide an area with lots of comfy straw or pine shavings she could choose to snuggle in it if she wishes. My roo and hen choose to sleep on a "shelf" covered with this stuff, rather than on a perch. Keeps at least their undersides and tootsies more toasty. Hen Ellie just suddenly went into a second molt, right when the temps dipped into the 20's! [​IMG] Luckily, she only dropped maybe a couple hundred feathers in one fell swoop and then seemed to stop and so she still appears mostly clothed!
  5. Thanks!

    They have a flat 2x4 roost; what a great idea! I think I'll throw a bale of straw in there and cover it with pine shavings.
  6. DDRanch

    DDRanch Songster

    Feb 15, 2008
    About half my birds are molting now. I have 2 that are nearly naked and notice they hang together in the coop most of the day even though they could free-range, so I am imaging they are uncomfortable and cold. I put additional straw in the coop for warmth and am feeding them more protein.

    I am keeping most of the windows closed to avoid drafts on these 2 in particular.

    When my old BR molted about 6 weeks ago, she took over one of the nesting boxes and snuggled in for most of her molt. She is out and about now.

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