I have been raising Pekin for a couple of years now and have had great egg production until this year. I have 4 girls: 1 is 3 years old, 2 are 2 years old and the other one is only 1. I also have 2 miles who do not fight over the girls and do not harass them too much for mating purposes. I decided to try to see if they would hatch any babies this summer and allowed them to sit on eggs. I had three nests inside their house and had roughly 8-12 eggs in each nest at one time. I allowed the eggs to sit for 20+ days and had no luck so took the eggs away and have been waiting for them to start laying again. I have not not seen egg production start back up though and am wondering why.
They molted throughout the mid to end of summer and and I did not expect to see eggs during that time. However, they are done molting and should be laying eggs again in my thoughts. I am only getting 1 egg every couple of days now. What is wrong? They have regular food supply, access to the pond everyday and secure housing at night. Nothing has changed as far as their routine other than the fact that I allowed them to sit on eggs at the end of spring.
Please help me to understand the issue so I can fix it. Thanks for your input as usual.