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16 Laying Hens, No Eggs ??

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by figsonwheels, Dec 17, 2010.

  1. figsonwheels

    figsonwheels In the Brooder

    Apr 17, 2009
    Southwest Missouri
    I have 16 laying hens and this is their second winter. Last year we didn't notice much of a drop in egg production, but this year, we're getting only 4-6 eggs a WEEK for the last 2 weeks! We have an open air coop, but their roosting area is blocked from excess wind. We have a heated water bowl that keeps their water just warm enough not to freeze.

    I actually had to buy eggs from the grocery store for my Christmas baking!!

    Any ideas?
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2010

  2. mamahen923

    mamahen923 In the Brooder

    May 19, 2009
    I was told that chickens need 14 hours of light a day to lay. I installed a floodlight with a timer, and my girls are busy making pretty eggs again.
  3. bburn

    bburn Songster

    Jul 9, 2010
    Delaware, Arkansas
    I only have 11 that are laying. Mine have just started to slow down. Last week I was getting 8-9 a day. I just went out and there were only 5 for today. I am however, good with it. I am going to let nature take it's course and not do lighting. It would be really easy to light the coop but I don't want to wear out my laying hens. I have been keeping eggs this month more than normal to get me through Christmas. After that I will just wait on spring to arrive and the hens to start laying again.
  4. Judy

    Judy Crowing Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    I've bought eggs recently, too, and hadn't for a couple of years. I believe they are at an age when you will see fewer eggs in winter; they're supposed to lay pretty well through the first winter and after that, not so much. I think that's what is happening here, along with all the molting going on. I doubt it's anything you are doing wrong.

    You might get better production with a little light to stretch their day to 14 hours; I don't know, I haven't tried it.
  5. mypicklebird

    mypicklebird Songster

    Aug 8, 2008
    Sonoma Co, CA
    Totally normal for young hens to lay through the winter, but in their second year- they will usually not lay during the winter due to short day length and other factors such as age. You can light the coop next year, or even try doing it now- but you may just need to wait until spring....
    Many people with small flocks will time their chick purchases or hatches so that they have pullets coming into lay in the fall, so they have winter eggs.
  6. biddyboo

    biddyboo Songster

    Apr 27, 2008
    Ashland, Missouri
    I suspect that you'll receive as many ideas as the forum has people who keep hens! Our production dropped way down in mid-autumn, but then our spring chicks matured and began laying and our older molting hens refeathered and began laying again. Our Silkies are still more broody than productive, but that's common for them. Of 27 assorted hens, we are now gathering between 12 and 16 eggs daily, not bad for the bitter cold "winter" we've had so far. We do not put out lights for the hens, fearing the possibility of fire, but the hens do have the choice of nights in their outdoor coop (uninsulated but enclosed tightly) or their indoor pen (about 10 x 12') in our metal barn. They generally come indoors at dark. We turn off the barn light at 8 pm and turn on the light and open the big door to daylight between 7 and 8 am. If I can get our son to come do some honey-do's, I'll have that light put on a timer to come on at 6 am. Their bedding is deep litter, same pine bedding is in their nest boxes in the indoor pen and outdoor coop. If the night falls into very low freezing temps or the day is to stay in 20's or below, I cook a hot breakfast mix for them of several cups of Quick Oats (cheapest I can find), skim milk powder, raisins or veggie leftovers from the night before. They can hardly wait for me to serve this up in several plastic pans to spread around the treat. Ithrow out scoops of BOSS and scratch to add to the warming/energy feed both in their outdoor chicken yard and the indoor pen. If nothing else, this keeps them scratching through the bedding rather than pecking each other. Their basic feed is layer mash in pellets that I get from MFA. This is our regimen, it works for us and produces contented productive hens. Best wishes! ~G An added thought, to increase their protein intake, I add Calf Manna Pro pellets to their feeder bucket, mixing it in with their regular laying mash. I have no idea what their protein intake is daily, but at least we offer them an enriched diet to support their egg laying.
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2010
  7. Muggsmagee

    Muggsmagee Menagerie Mama

    Dec 15, 2009
    Central NY
    I have 63 hens that are laying age...I got around 8 eggs the ENTIRE month of November! [​IMG] The girls just started to lay this week. We have gotten about 10 eggs so far. It is natural for them to take a break this time of year...I've been reassured numerous times. You'll be swimming in eggs like the rest of us in a month or so!

  8. johny

    johny Songster

    May 22, 2010
    Maybe because mine are young they are doing fine.
    I get 8 1/2 hours of natural daylight at this time oy year.
    A light on a timer entends the birds lighted time to about 16 hours per day.
    So I've had no decrease. Today, they all laid an egg.
  9. bock

    bock Songster

    Oct 10, 2008
    Northern CA
    I have heard of adding Calf Manna to their diet? I have never tried it though.
  10. freezefamilyfarm

    freezefamilyfarm Chirping

    Nov 17, 2010
    Quote:This makes me feel better about my situation. I am having to save eggs all week to have scrambled eggs on the weekend!

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