Winter molt, should I be worried ?

Casso

In the Brooder
Feb 16, 2018
8
33
44
I have two 18 month old hens, one of them has started a very heavy molt, she has bare patches in various places. The hen house is warm and dry but both birds spend all day free ranging my large garden. They have a constant supply of layers pellets and I also treat them with grapes, mealworms and cooked rice, and also a scratch mix of cracked maize and various table scraps. We have a severe weather warning for the coming weekend with snow forecast, and I'm worried about the hen that has the bare patches (Mabel) might get too cold. She is a RIR, her companion June is a Buff Orpington and is showing no signs of a molt despite being the same age. Should I be taking action ? is there anything I should be doing to help Mabel keep warm during this cold spell ?
 

Trish1974

Araucana enthusiast
5 Years
Mar 16, 2016
3,078
6,855
592
North Central IN
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Just keep an eye on her and if she shows signs of distress bring her inside. I had an australorp go through a heavy molt at the end of December last month. It got down to 0 degree for the high and into the negative teens at night. I found her huddled under the coop standing on one leg with her eye closed. She wouldn't eat or drink. I kept her in a dog crate in my utility room until temps got back up to the upper teens. She soon started acting better. Most of the time they will be okay. Just keep a good eye on her.
Edited: Sorry, I meant last year not last month.
 
Last edited:

Casso

In the Brooder
Feb 16, 2018
8
33
44
Just keep an eye on her and if she shows signs of distress bring her inside. I had an australorp go through a heavy molt at the end of December last month. It got down to 0 degree for the high and into the negative teens at night. I found her huddled under the coop standing on one leg with her eye closed. She wouldn't eat or drink. I kept her in a dog crate in my utility room until temps got back up to the upper teens. She soon started acting better. Most of the time they will be okay. Just keep a good eye on her.
Edited: Sorry, I meant last year not last month.
Thank you for the fast response Trish, it is much appreciated, I'll certainly be watching Mabel carefully for any adverse reactions to the coming cold spell. I'm not sure I could bring her indoors without also bringing June in too, the pair of them are always together and I think June would fret wondering where her constant companion had gone and would be quite lonely on her own.
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Nov 27, 2012
95,008
125,658
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SW Michigan
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I have two 18 month old hens, one of them has started a very heavy molt, she has bare patches in various places. The hen house is warm and dry but both birds spend all day free ranging my large garden. They have a constant supply of layers pellets and I also treat them with grapes, mealworms and cooked rice, and also a scratch mix of cracked maize and various table scraps. We have a severe weather warning for the coming weekend with snow forecast, and I'm worried about the hen that has the bare patches (Mabel) might get too cold. She is a RIR, her companion June is a Buff Orpington and is showing no signs of a molt despite being the same age. Should I be taking action ? is there anything I should be doing to help Mabel keep warm during this cold spell ?
Is your coop heated?
Might want to give more protein(animal protein) during molt...
...cut out all the treats except the mealworms.
 

Cindy in PA

Crowing
12 Years
Jul 8, 2008
2,752
1,090
401
Fleetwood, PA
My last two just started molting last week. Both are black Australorps & I am amazed how fast their feathers are coming in. My Partridge Rocks molted super fast about a month ago & the EEs molted first & look great, but only 1 in 4 is laying eggs. It has been cold here for about 10 days, but the BAs don't seem to mind. I am mixing 20% Turkey grower in with their laying pellets & it is working well.
 

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