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15 hens of egg laying age and only 3 or 4 eggs per day!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by zowieyellowflame, Sep 11, 2010.

  1. zowieyellowflame

    zowieyellowflame Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 11, 2009
    Nova Scotia
    Hello,
    I have 7 hens that are about 1.5-2 yrs old and 8 that are slightly over 1 yr old. (3 of these younger ones are from the incubator) In the winter we were getting a dozen eggs a day and then in May, it seemed like they all decided they just were not going to lay much anymore. I have a chart where I keep track of who is laying and it is mostly the older ones.
    I understand about molting but it has been ongoing now for over 4 months. One is broody right now, so I dont expect anything from her.
    Here is some info about their conditions....
    Fresh, clean water always with acv added.
    Layer mash, i feed them plenty. they consumed an entire bag in 8 or 9 days (along with 9 older chicks, and a rooster)
    They have a 8x8 coop that is kept very clean. Straw and shavings for bedding. Lots of room to roost, 8 nest boxes to lay in.
    They are supplied with oyster shell.
    They do not free range but they have a very large outdoor enclosure. It does not have greens but we feed them buckets of greens, most days. they are not laying out there, i checked.
    They get the occasional treat, bread, scratch, vegetables.
    As far as disease, we have had outbreaks of mites which we treated with sevin in their feathers and their coop. DE in their dust baths. Vaseline on their legs. The mites are never completely irradicated but I consider it to be under control.
    When I bought the original hens, they were sneezing. It quickly cleared up after they settled. But during the winter there was one hen that had a respiratory illness so bad that she sounded gurgly with every breath. She pulled through, it was all better except for just one day this summer, she was gurgly again. Just a few hrs. This respiratory illness affected 3 other hens in the winter. All of them the ones that are a bit older. They were fine after a few days.
    So that is it. I am wondering if anyone has any ideas. There are some hens out there that definately don't lay at all, ever. We are not really sure what to do.
    Thanks
     
  2. chickie63

    chickie63 Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 11, 2010
    Sound like I have the same problem except mine has just started about 3 weeks ago. So frustrating. I did the same things you are doing and no improvement. I used to be the one who everyone asked what I am doing right cause my egg production was always fantastic even in the winter and now this. Oldest birds are bout 3 yrs. max. and how on earth do you kow which birds are laying? Do you sit out there all day and observe??? I tried to mark them but still can't be sure who is doing what. I hope this all ends for both of us soon cause I have egg buying consumers who are really missnig the fresh eggs. chickie63
     
  3. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    Well, since your flock is mixed, it could partly stem from what they're mixed with, as some breeds are only known to lay 2-3 eggs per week. Have you had these birds from the beginning, so that you're sure on their ages??? I guess I'm wondering if they could be older than you're thinking??? As for a "fix," the only thing I can think of is upping their protein and doing away with any filler treats, even scraps unless they're high protein. Try that for two weeks and see if it helps [​IMG]
     
  4. zowieyellowflame

    zowieyellowflame Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 11, 2009
    Nova Scotia
    I keep track by setting my timer in my kitchen for every 20 min from about 8 am to noon on my days off. Each time the timer goes off, I go to the coop and record who is in a nest box. Sometimes i get side tracked though.
    As far as the age, when I got my inital 9 birds last year, one was the rooster and one was really old that is now my pet who i do not expect eggs from. 2 others could be older but they do lay on a regular basis. Hmm. now that I think about it, there are 2 others that were older. hmm. Actually I can only say for sure that 3 were pullet age when I got them. [​IMG]
    So maybe that is it, but it seems like it is the older ones that do most of the laying.
    I like the idea of adding protein. I will give that a try. Maybe sunflower seeds?
     
  5. tuesdays chicks

    tuesdays chicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 26, 2010
    stuart florida
    I have 1 hen 3 pullet. The hen was my only egg producer I was getting 5 eggs a week. I was giving cracked corn till it went moldy. When she stopped getting it she started giving 6 eggs. This was in the heat of summer when everyone was complaining of reduced production. I put it down to the reduced carb intake and added protein I give them my trimming from my meat and pick the chicken bones and feed them.
     
  6. Stevo

    Stevo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 14, 2010
    Howell, NJ
    I have 19 hens. One has been laying 1 egg a day for 3 weeks. Nothing from the rest lol. There are all the same age (easter hatchlings). Same breed EE's. I have no ideer what is going on.
     
  7. zowieyellowflame

    zowieyellowflame Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 11, 2009
    Nova Scotia
    There is another post on here, how to tell if a hen is not laying..... I have been reading about pelvic tests, lipstick and digital exams. Pretty interesting! Have a look.
     
  8. briteday

    briteday Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 16, 2008
    Northern NV
    In Nova Scotia your days are getting pretty short now. You might want to try adding some extra light in the coop to extend their "daylight."
     

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