Egg production governed by many factors and these are grouped under three main categories:
Lets take a closer look at these factors and how they can affect egg production in both backyard chickens and commercial breed as well. It is worth noting here before proceeding any further that genetics (chicken type) plays also an important role but it is beyond the scope of this article.
- Nutritional Factors
- Environmental Factors
- Pathological Factors (Diseases)
Nutrition plays a direct role in egg production and egg quality, here I list the most common factors that have negative impact on egg production:
Any imbalance in these nutrients will cause one of the following at least:
- Vitamin D
- Decreased egg production
- Malformed egg
- Reduced egg size
Environment is defined as anything that surrounds the chickens, whether it is temperature, humidity, lighting or tangible objects such as housing and surrounding biological ecosystem.
Here are some of the most important environmental variables that have direct impact on egg production:
- High temperature causes decrease in feed intake and egg production. In some cases could cause malformed eggs.
- High humidity also reduce feed intake and egg production
- Lighting: If lighting hours is decreased like in winter egg production will stop completely and if increased more than 16 hours a day will not only decrease egg but there will be a high possibility of permanent reproductive system damage.
Disease are by far the most disruptive factor affecting egg production world wide and causing damages in millions of dollars. Not all disease cause damage but the ones that do are sometimes difficult to fight once they hit. Here are the most common disease causing damage to egg production and before listing it is important to state that always consult a veterinarian and keep one's phone number available at all times.
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- Infectious Bursal Disease
- Infectioius Bronchitis
- Newcastle Disease
- Fowl Box
- Avian Influenza