17 Hens and only 2- 3 eggs a day??

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by peppe23, Aug 5, 2014.

  1. peppe23

    peppe23 Out Of The Brooder

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    I have 17 hens... 6 are still young, so I don't think they are ready to lay, but close. So 11 egg laying hens and we are lucky to be getting 2-3 eggs a day, at best.

    We are in Upstate, NY

    They all appear to be very healthy, eating great, plenty of fresh water.

    Any ideas why they may not be laying?
     
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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  3. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Do they free range?

    Sometimes they need to be rehomed to lay in the nests by locking them in the coop for a few days to a week or so...all day or at least until midafternoon.
     
  4. peppe23

    peppe23 Out Of The Brooder

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    They definitely have started to molt, but I have never had a decrease in production this drastic. We have had some of the girls for about 2.5 years.

    I dont believe they have been under stress, they seem to be getting along just fine and acting normal.

    Most of the girls are leghorns, buffs and austrolops
     
  5. peppe23

    peppe23 Out Of The Brooder

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    The girls have a very large double run area, part is shaded and cool the other part has much vegetation and is sunny most of the day.

    The other weird thing is they have not been eating as much vegetation as usual. normally the vegetation area is picked down pretty good, but it is pretty overgrown right now.

    I just hope they are not getting sick :(

    I have one hen who hardly comes out of the coop, she stays in the nest box all day but to eat and drink.

    We have to pull her out of the box so we can retrieve the eggs if any at all.
     
  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Older hens don't lay as often per week.

    Does the one who stay in the nest all day, stay there all night too? She may be broody , they don't lay when broody either.
     
  7. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    There's your answer. Molt for most breeds is the second autumn and every autumn thereafter.
    They won't lay while molting. They can't build a new winter coat and produce eggs at the same time. Feathers are about 93% protein. Eggs are about 6 grams of protein.
    They also need a rest because the molt is the time when their reproductive tracts get an overhaul.
    Everybody that started with birds and was so happy with how well they laid through the first winter is shocked when they take a long molt break. Each winter the break will be longer. They'll sometimes start laying again after the feathers are completely regrown but sometimes they won't start up again till days start to get longer in February or March.
     
  8. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    My birds can't keep up with the vegetation this time of year.
     
  9. peppe23

    peppe23 Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you... I thought something may be wrong with the girls! I dont recall them molting July into August in the past. I do recall late August into September. Maybe the girls know something more about the weather than we do!
     
  10. peppe23

    peppe23 Out Of The Brooder

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    The hen that stays in the nest is taken out each night and placed on the roost, otherwise the nest boxes become her litter box
     

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