Winter moulting

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by lauren212, Feb 2, 2017.

  1. lauren212

    lauren212 Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 15, 2016
    Ontario
    I live in northern Ontario. I went on vacation for a week and kept my chickens inside the coop instead of letting them out in the pen. When I was gone it was the mildest week ever. About 5 degrees Celsius. Normally it's -20 here or colder. I noticed that they are loosing a lot of feathers now...ones head has lost a ton of feathers. I have 5 chickens and they are about 10 months old. It's like a chicken exploded and feathers are everywhere. I have no heat in my coop or additional light. Is this normal and will I have to add heat if they loose too many feathers?
     
  2. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

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    At 10 months old, I doubt they would go through a molt severe enough to have to worry about them not being able to keep warm. When my birds under a year old molt, it's generally a quick, light molt.
     
  3. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    I've got a few pretty raggedy looking 10 month olds molting now...mostly necks and tails.
    I don't heat either, they should be fine.
    Give em some extra animal protein to help grow feathers out faster.
    They may act a bit lethargic and want to stay away from the other birds,
    those new feathers coming in are 'uncomfortable'.
     
  4. lauren212

    lauren212 Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 15, 2016
    Ontario
    What kind of food do you give. I'm currently feeding 16.5% organic layer mash. I was fermenting it in the summer but I stopped. Maybe I should start again?

    Pic of sad looking chicken. [​IMG]
     
  5. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

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    Increase the protein more. Either by a feed with higher protein, or supplement with meat scraps, mealworms, etc. They need the protein to grow in feathers.
     

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