Baby it's Cold Outside.

sandiesbrahmas Super Moderator
edited November 2013 in Poultry Health and Welfare
Why do chickens moult just as the weather turns really cold? Seems crazy to me....but it IS what happens.

So poor little Jordan is a diminutive Naked Neck....already a bit feather-challenged....who has just gone into a serious moult.

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Yesterday I found her sleeping,not moving when I touched her,skin as cold as clay.

Out with the hen coat (too big for her!) and into the kitchen. Here she is partially recovered.

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She is in the agricultural shed now with another baldy (but who is fatter and bigger).

Sandie

Comments

  • undautriundautri Senior Member
    edited November 2013
    bless her little cotton socks :D :D
    i thought my chuckle sisters were daft moulting now but theres no skin showing
    xxkath
  • solarbatssolarbats Senior Member
    edited November 2013
    Definitely an aaaaaaah from me! And loving the hairstyle on that NN.:D

    And why is it that old birds tend to get stuck in a moult which threatens to finish them off:eek:
  • BonnieBonnie Senior Member
    edited November 2013
    Awwww how cute is she :D
  • tnoahlessard Senior Member
    edited November 2013
    I was thinking the same thing this weekend! 3 of the 4 of my old hens are moulting and 1 of them is really bald like your Jordan. It was a high of 26 F today with 40 mph winds. I kept the old girls in the coop today with a 250 watt lamp. They really waited late to moult this year for me. Hope your girl grows her feathers back soon! I have been feeding mine a little moose meat for a protein boost.
  • sandiesbrahmas Super Moderator
    edited November 2013
    Wow,it sounds cold in Maine. It isn't so much the low temps as the damp and biting type of cold which we have here in Britain.No moose meat though....the odd bit of mouse left over by the cats.....but I'm giving them a little fish cat food and some cheese for protein/calcium/vit D. Chickens really DO time their moulting badly.

    Jordan is only 3, and this is her first serious moult. She is usually about my best egg layer. The trouble is that Naked Necks are a bit bald to start with (neck,of course, and bald band around the belly and bum),so any feather loss loss is really apparent.

    Jordan has Morebrown (one of my Brown twins) with her,but Morebrown is a stocky Brahma-cross and isn't suffering with the cold at all.Jordan is starting to pick off the new feather cases,so,provided it warms up mid-week as forecast,she will soon be outside again.

    Doesn't spring seem a long way off?


    Sandie
  • undautriundautri Senior Member
    edited November 2013
    spring seems an eternity away but Christmas is coming yikes!!
    both the chuckle sisters are in a heavy moult now which is quite exciting as speckled sussex change their patterns when they moult - their number of spots increases and the size so theyre going to look totally different :D
    xkath
  • Littlechick Senior Member
    edited November 2013
    Love the little blue ribbon tying the coat on. Seems the chooks have moulted in earnest this year. I have never seen such feather loss in so many of mine. However... think they timed it right as no baldies at the moment. However... over the last couple of days I have been seeing black feathers in the nest box... Phoebe... surely she can't be moulting AGAIN??
  • solarbatssolarbats Senior Member
    edited November 2013
    Spring may seem a long way off, but it's only a month until the shortest day - then they start to get longer again! Yey!
  • tnoahlessard Senior Member
    edited November 2013
    I like the hen sweater. I tried to make blackie a sweater out of an old hat but she didn't like it much, I may try to fashion a scarf like your sweater. That big one in the picture is beautiful! Do you celebrate Thanksgiving in the UK?
  • sandiesbrahmas Super Moderator
    edited November 2013
    Big,thick socks with appropriate stitching will usually work for smaller hens.

    I think Thanksgiving is much like our Harvest Festival which is far less of a celebration than it was a hundred years ago. That having been said,all villages around here have Harvest Suppers where everyone brings food and there is an evening of singing,jokes,drinking,music etc.(To celebrate the safe bringing in of the harvest.....which around here consists of hay/silage/sugar beets only!) A lot of fun,though.

    Good luck with the chooks and their moults. Jordan (jacket less) and Morebrown will be emerging from the shed tomorrow if the weather forecast is not too bad.

    Sandie
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