1 egg a day instead of the usual 6-7

KikiDeAnime

Crowing
Dec 29, 2017
1,754
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Battle Ground, WA
The hens have a 5 gallon water, a 1 gallon water, a misting system, a kiddie pool, and lots of shady spots. We're just not getting the usual 6-7 eggs anymore.

What could I do to make them lay more?
Are there any egg boosting foods that I could give them?


We give them Bar Ale Poultry feed, scraps everyday, and free range them for a few minutes a day.

We only eat the eggs that they give us but if we don't continue getting what we need, my parents will force me to butcher them.
Only 3 of the layers are 2 years old. The rest are just about a year old.
We also have a pullet who was supposed to start laying right about now but she hasn't started yet.
 

Lady of McCamley

Crowing
9 Years
Mar 19, 2011
7,345
5,241
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NW Oregon
Hens have seasons of laying, just the facts. You simply save eggs during high seasons for low seasons. Usually it is the age of your hens, molting, or shortening of daylight.

Your 2 year old hens are likely slowing a bit after the high season of March to August (if you are in the Northern hemisphere). They may be entering a molt already (mine are). Hens won't lay while molting as they use the time to regenerate their body stores.

Then there is the shortening of daylight if you are upper Northern hemisphere. That means you need to start lighting your coops at night now to continue egg laying. That doesn't have to be a lot of light. About 25watt bulb, even battery powered, will do it. Turn it on at dusk. A timer is best so that you add only enough light to make a total daylight time of at least 12 hours of daylight to continue laying with 14 the best for production. Do not leave the light on all the time or you can cause irritable behavior.

Hens often stop laying during hot weather, no matter how much you mist or cool them. So they may pick up again with cooler weather.

Remind your parents of the fine opportunity to learn good animal husbandry with your chicken. Killing young hens who are not laying is not good farming. Manipulating your flock so you only have about 25% at age 2, 50% at age 1, and 25% at pullet stage will help stagger your hens for all season laying, especially if you begin lighting.

My thoughts.
LofMc
 
Last edited:

KikiDeAnime

Crowing
Dec 29, 2017
1,754
2,495
267
Battle Ground, WA
Hens have seasons of laying, just the facts. You simply save eggs during high seasons for low seasons. Usually it is the age of your hens, molting, or shortening of daylight.

Your 2 year old hens are likely slowing a bit after the high season of March to August (if you are in the Northern hemisphere). They may be entering a molt already (mine are). Hens won't lay while molting as they use the time to regenerate their body stores.

Then there is the shortening of daylight if you are upper Northern hemisphere. That means you need to start lighting your coops at night now to continue egg laying. That doesn't have to be a lot of light. About 25watt bulb, even battery powered, will do it. Turn it on at dusk and turn it off at dawn. You will need at least 12 hours of daylight to continue laying with 14 the best for production. Do not leave the light on all the time or you can cause irritable behavior.

Hens often stop laying during hot weather, no matter how much you mist or cool them. So they may pick up again with cooler weather.

Remind your parents of the fine opportunity to learn good animal husbandry with your chicken. Killing young hens who are not laying is not good farming. Manipulating your flock so you only have about 25% at age 2, 50% at age 1, and 25% at pullet stage will help stagger your hens for all season laying, especially if you begin lighting.

My thoughts.
LofMc
My dad grew up on a farm so he knows a lot about animal husbandry. I think him and his mother use to have around 20-25 chickens, which included lots of roosters.
 

Lady of McCamley

Crowing
9 Years
Mar 19, 2011
7,345
5,241
492
NW Oregon
End of summer is a good time to reassess the flock as you don't want to winter birds who will not be productive.

The 2 year old hens are the ones you can best re-home. Many people will take a 2 year old layer knowing they are past their prime production but still have several years left of decent production.

Old timers stewed the 2 year old hens. They can be tough old birds, so slow cooking or pressure cooking is best.

Keep an eye for flock turn over if you need high egg production...and manipulating your ages and lighting. (I edited my post to clarify what I meant by lighting times).

LofMc
 

KikiDeAnime

Crowing
Dec 29, 2017
1,754
2,495
267
Battle Ground, WA
Final thought...also look for laying in places other than the coop. If something interrupted them, or they simply got lazy, you may have eggs elsewhere too.

LofMc
Not likely since I supervise them while they free range. Otherwise they stay in their fenced yard all day. I've checked all over their yard, no eggs at all.
 

KikiDeAnime

Crowing
Dec 29, 2017
1,754
2,495
267
Battle Ground, WA
End of summer is a good time to reassess the flock as you don't want to winter birds who will not be productive.

The 2 year old hens are the ones you can best re-home. Many people will take a 2 year old layer knowing they are past their prime production but still have several years left of decent production.

Old timers stewed the 2 year old hens. They can be tough old birds, so slow cooking or pressure cooking is best.

Keep an eye for flock turn over if you need high egg production...and manipulating your ages and lighting. (I edited my post to clarify what I meant by lighting times).

LofMc
Even though my parents don't care for the birds, I treat them like family.
 

so lucky

Crowing
9 Years
Jan 31, 2011
1,249
2,844
372
SE Missouri
Also, make sure you are not feeding them too many scraps from the kitchen. I think I saw on here that it should be no more than 10% of their diet. If someone knows differently, please correct me. They love kitchen scraps, so may not be eating enough of their layer food to help with production. If it is not layer feed that you have, they will need some oyster shells to eat when they think they need them.
 

KikiDeAnime

Crowing
Dec 29, 2017
1,754
2,495
267
Battle Ground, WA
Also, make sure you are not feeding them too many scraps from the kitchen. I think I saw on here that it should be no more than 10% of their diet. If someone knows differently, please correct me. They love kitchen scraps, so may not be eating enough of their layer food to help with production. If it is not layer feed that you have, they will need some oyster shells to eat when they think they need them.
They only getting morning scraps which is usually watermelon rinds or old bread
 

GC-Raptor

Crowing
Jul 26, 2016
4,261
6,128
461
Connecticut, USA
Hot weather will decrease the amount of chicken feed they eat. Result less eggs. When weather conditions are hot and I get a drop in eggs. I wet their feed with cold water in a bowl, a 1/4 cup dry for every 2 chickens and make a very wet mash. It brings egg production back up. I give as a treat midmorning, 20180705_135526.jpg . GC
 

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