18 Chickens, 2-4 eggs a day

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by tmain, Nov 7, 2015.

  1. tmain

    tmain Just Hatched

    9
    1
    11
    Aug 23, 2015
    I accidentally posted in the new members forum so I'll try this again. I have 18 chickens; 5 black Australorps who are 1 year old, 2 barred rocks so I know they are slowing down on egg production, 5 Auracaunas, who are only about 6 months old one was laying and stopped, 1 Columbian Wyandotte also 6 months old, and 5 Bantums. I have a coup that stays pretty warm but not insulated, I use a red light at night mostly, & a white light to extend their day, but was told to do the white light in the morning instead so I will be switching that over. They seem to have finished molting. I use AgLand feed, two scoops lay crumbles to one scoop scratch. I have two ducks whom I feed corn chop to and the hens attack that when I refill it. I was getting around 6 eggs a day this summer so I'm a little frustrated. Any other suggestions?
     
  2. Liddy

    Liddy Chillin' With My Peeps

    101
    16
    71
    Jul 31, 2014
    I'm curious to see the answers to your question. I have a mixed flock of 99-cent end-of-season TSC chicks I got a year and a half ago. 17 layers were giving me 12-15 eggs a day until mid-August. Today I gathered a grand total of two!

    They are through molt, and I suspect construction of a second coop inside the shed to house the 14 chicks I bought in late August might have stressed them. Halflings are now incarcerated in their new accommodations and all is quiet. We are down to 10 hours of daylight and the light and timer extend their "day" to 15 hours. I have been able to replenish their regular food and things had better get back into a groove with them or I will be alternating chicken with moose as my main form of protein.

    Five of my layers are Brown Leghorns. I haven't seen a white egg in about 5 weeks.
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2015
  3. ChickenJesus

    ChickenJesus Out Of The Brooder

    60
    8
    46
    Sep 30, 2015
    Conowingo MD
    I keep a red lamp on 24/7. Before i started breeding my own and got into this, I started out by purchasing 12 RIR hens that were 4 years old with the intent to butcher for chicken apricot sausage. Was really cold out and didn't want these mostly bald old girls to freeze to death before I had a chance to butcher them. To my surprise, 10 eggs a day. Last 3 years, when my production I the fall dips below 60% for 5 straight days, I bring out the red light and immediately go back up to normal production all winter long. Not everything works for everybody, but this works for me.
     
  4. Liddy

    Liddy Chillin' With My Peeps

    101
    16
    71
    Jul 31, 2014
    Is that a red high-watt heat lamp or simply a red bulb? Maybe they like the red light therapy? :D
     
  5. ChickenJesus

    ChickenJesus Out Of The Brooder

    60
    8
    46
    Sep 30, 2015
    Conowingo MD
    Yea, it does happen to be a high wattage, but I highly doubt that it makes a difference. When it is -20 degrees out, a 250 watt bulb isn't going to make much of a differnce with respect to heat. I have a neighbor who also does the red light thing and it works for them as well.
     
  6. tmain

    tmain Just Hatched

    9
    1
    11
    Aug 23, 2015
    It's for heat but I don't know the wattage. Can check tomorrow.
     
  7. ChickenJesus

    ChickenJesus Out Of The Brooder

    60
    8
    46
    Sep 30, 2015
    Conowingo MD
    What I was trying to say, for the purpose of being outdoors in a coop, doesn't matter if the red light is 25 watt or 250 watt. It isn't going to do anything for heat. The red light lengthens the day which is what you want for egg production. Plug it in, leave it on 24/7, collect your eggs every day! :)
     
  8. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    34,452
    7,655
    596
    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    This is probably part of the problem.
    Layer feed is about 16% protein(minimum needed for laying), scratch is about 8-10% protein......so you are diluting their protein intake.
    Stop the scratch and keep them away from the ducks corn.

    There is no reason to have a red heat light running at all, many reasons NOT to use a heat light.



    ETA:
    My Feeding Notes: I like to feed a 'flock raiser' 20% protein crumble to all ages and genders, as non-layers(chicks, males and molting birds) do not need the extra calcium that is in layer feed and chicks and molters can use the extra protein. Makes life much simpler to store and distribute one type of chow that everyone can eat.

    The higher protein crumble also offsets the 8% protein scratch grains and other kitchen/garden scraps I like to offer. I adjust the amounts of other feeds to get the protein levels desired with varying situations.

    Calcium should be available at all times for the layers, I use oyster shell mixed with rinsed, dried, crushed chicken egg shells in a separate container.

    Animal protein (mealworms, a little cheese - beware the salt content, meat scraps) is provided during molting and if I see any feather eating.
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2015
  9. ChickenJesus

    ChickenJesus Out Of The Brooder

    60
    8
    46
    Sep 30, 2015
    Conowingo MD
    There is a huge reason to have the red light. So the chickens lay eggs. I don't know if there are a lot of reasons or not, but that's the only one I need.
     
  10. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    34,452
    7,655
    596
    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    They need white light, not red, to lay during winter.
    Here's a pretty good article on supplemental lighting.

    Heat lamps are unnecessary and a huge fire hazard.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by