Winter Molt - Need some reassurance

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by MimiChick, Jan 6, 2011.

  1. MimiChick

    MimiChick Songster

    Apr 8, 2009
    Glocester, RI
    I have 2 hens that seem to be going through a hard molt right now. They have bare spots on their rumps, neck and chest. I can see new feathers coming in, but I'm a little concerned because of the cold. They have a dry, draft free (but well ventilated) coop, and they are coming outside even when temps are in the teens and twenties. I don't provide supplemental heat in the coop. The other three girls who molted did a slow molt from late August and are just starting back to laying now, and I also have 2 pullets who are not ready for molt yet. There was a minor bit of pecking on the girls who are showing bare skin, but I sprayed some blue-kote on the areas and that seems to have stopped the problem. I think I saw somewhere that a hard molt like this won't last long and their feathers will grow in quickly, but I can't find it now. Can someone just reassure me that they'll feather back out soon and be okay? Thanks for any help/advice/reassurance anyone can offer.
  2. HEChicken

    HEChicken Crowing

    Aug 12, 2009
    BuCo, KS
    My Coop
    Not sure how much reassurance I can provide. I had a hen start a hard molt a month ago. She looked so pathetic for a couple of weeks there, with a naked neck, no tail and scruffy everywhere else. She did feather back in amazingly quickly and is starting to look like a chicken again now. She is a BO and actually looks very beautiful now as the feathers grew in a deep buff color, whereas my other BO who hasn't molted yet is still very sun-faded.
  3. bargain

    bargain Love God, Hubby & farm

    Apr 13, 2008
    Bowdon, GA
    You are doing all the right things! This moult will pass...How long I don't know....Just do keep that bluekote nearby..As long as they have a dry place to go to in the day time they should be fine. Last mid winter, our temps went to teens and seemed 1/2 of one of flocks moulted....They were okay, but I was a wreck![​IMG]

    Have a blessed day. Nancy

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  4. Gallusfarm

    Gallusfarm Songster

    Jul 14, 2009
    I think they'll be fine. You're doing all you can. Why do they molt in the cold months???
  5. MimiChick

    MimiChick Songster

    Apr 8, 2009
    Glocester, RI
    Thanks for the reassurance. I don't know why the silly girls decide to go into molt in the coldest part of the year [​IMG] . I imagine I'm actually more uncomfortable than they are with it. Oh well. I'm giving them extra protein to help with re-feathering and I'll just keep hoping they feather in really fast. It's cold out here [​IMG] Thanks again.
  6. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    Quote:They need to molt to replace broken or worn out feathers. They also need to rest and recharge their internal egg-laying factory. It is harder to raise chicks in the winter than the Spring or Summer. They normally quit laying when the days get short and use the protein they eat to grow feathers instead of lay eggs. Then when spring comes around, they have new feathers and a recharged internal egg laying factory.

    Turkens, also call Naked Necks, are known as a cold hardy breed. Their necks are naked, that is, they have no feathers on their necks. I personally don't worry about a chicken getting cold when she molts but I do allow her the choice of going to a dry place out of the wind if she so desires. The choice is hers.

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