In a perfect world, your chickens would all molt at the end of the summer as soon as the days start to get shorter and grow in nice new feathers to keep them warm through the winter well before the temperatures drop. But we all know that things don’t always go as planned, and sometimes you’ll end up with a chicken who decides to start molting in the dead of winter.
I’ve had a few over the years who have molted late in the fall, but I’ve never had one start molting in January before! But this year, Bonnie, my almost-two-year-old Olive Egger decided to do just that. Now mind you, this has been an unseasonably cold winter here in Maine with days on end that don’t get above single digits. We’re talking serious cold here.
So what to do? Without feathers, chickens have a hard time keeping warm. I don’t heat my coop, so it’s getting down to zero overnight some evenings, and I have to admit that I was a bit worried about Bonnie.