18 chickens and hardly any eggs

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by atief1253, Jan 31, 2016.

  1. atief1253

    atief1253 Chillin' With My Peeps

    97
    9
    74
    Mar 2, 2013
    I have 18 chickens. Four are four or five years old. About five are around 3 years old, 7 are 9 months old and two are around 3. I am lucky if I get 3 or 4 eggs a day. I don't expect the oldest to lay but I should still be getting some eggs!. Another thing is I had two campaines. One died and ever since then, the other campaign has not laid at all. I know because she is the only one that lays white eggs. Any advice? No one is stressed, everything in their lives are the same, they get calcium, greens and cabbage. Would cabbage make them stop laying? Any advice would be so appreciated! Thank!! :)
     
  2. Pyxis

    Pyxis Hatchaholic Extrordinaire Premium Member

    11,845
    5,729
    501
    Mar 27, 2012
    Vermont
    My Coop
    So given your numbers, you have about 12 chickens that are most likely still laying, although depending on what breed your three year olds are, they might not be laying either. Each hen has a finite amount of eggs and breeds bred for production run through them faster and a lot of those are really slowing down in production by two years. Of course your older birds might still be able to lay too - I've got a five year old EE that still lays.

    If you're in the northern hemisphere, this is the time of year when birds take a break. Shorter daylight hours mean they are not stimulated to lay. A lot of young birds, if they start laying before the light fails, will lay through winter though, so all your nine month olds may be laying. If they are, four eggs from seven birds each day is not unusual :)

    If you want to encourage everyone to lay, add a light to your coop that will provide them with 14 hours of light a day. Otherwise, just hang tight until spring and they should start up again (if they still have eggs to lay).
     
  3. atief1253

    atief1253 Chillin' With My Peeps

    97
    9
    74
    Mar 2, 2013
    thanks for replying. We are in Connecticut. We have a light on in the coop beginning at 4:00 am. The four not laying are australorps. They are so sweet. The older ones are silver wyandotte, buff orpingtons, auracauna, buckeye, rhode island red, and the 9 month olds are auracauna, rhode island red, white orpington, amber link, brahma, buckeye and black jersey giant. The youngest molted a bit in the fall but everyone seems normal now. Does what I told you help at all? We have had a mild winter with snow once so they have been free ranging and finding alot of bugs, etc. Maybe it's just winter? Thanks
     
  4. atief1253

    atief1253 Chillin' With My Peeps

    97
    9
    74
    Mar 2, 2013
    It seems I'm doing everything that you said already so I guess I'll have to be patient and wait until spring. Hopefully by then I'll have more eggs than I know what to do with. At least my customers will be happy.
     
  5. Pyxis

    Pyxis Hatchaholic Extrordinaire Premium Member

    11,845
    5,729
    501
    Mar 27, 2012
    Vermont
    My Coop

    Mine are all on break right now too (I'm in VT). I'm hoping to start seeing eggs soon. I think the mild winter has them very confused. One of my hens who didn't molt in the fall just started a very heavy molt, which is very strange for the end of January.
     
  6. atief1253

    atief1253 Chillin' With My Peeps

    97
    9
    74
    Mar 2, 2013
    And the weather wasn't even colder up there? Geez. Well, thanks for the help. I appreciate it. Good luck with your hens too. Soon hopefully we will both have more eggs coming in than we know what to do with.
     
  7. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    34,467
    7,678
    596
    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    How big is your coop(feet by feet)?

    What are you feeding?

    Do you free range?

    How did the one bird die?

    Adding light is not a guarantee for winter laying, especially for hens, lots of other variables.
     
  8. atief1253

    atief1253 Chillin' With My Peeps

    97
    9
    74
    Mar 2, 2013
    My husband can tell you the measurments better than I but it is roomy for 18 hens, 4 nest boxes and three long pieces of wood to roost on, small door to get out of, and the other side has two full doors so we can get in and out. They eat food for laying hens, purina (blue bag) right now; free range, plenty of water and food, calcium. There is a window on the south side of the coop. I don't know how the hen died. She was fine when I saw her at night. I didn't check on them (my husband did) until later that day and she was dead in the nest box. We have had a couple of other hens suddenly drop dead like that over the course of a couple years or so. No reason, no other hens sick, no disease. Nothing. The coop is well ventilated. Hope that helped. Do you have any ideas from what I said?
     
  9. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Lots of Chickens Premium Member

    17,180
    5,087
    476
    Jul 16, 2015
    central Wisconsin
    I am having good luck feeding a higher protein ration, some of my two years have been laying since the end of December, I personally don't think light plays into laying enough to do it. Most of your breeds aren't known solely as egg layers, so in the future if your goals are lots of eggs than breeds like leghorns and sex links will be more likely to keep you in eggs.
     
  10. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    34,467
    7,678
    596
    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Maybe he can give them to you to write here.

    Free range pops out as possible 'problem'....they might be laying out in range area.
    Cooping them up for a week or so may get you more eggs and re-habituate them to laying in the coop nests.

    Light can help, but they will still molt..... I think it may get them started again sooner....but it has to be application can vary as to results.

    Agrees with OHLD on the higher protein feed to get them thru molting faster and over all better health, especially if you give any 'treats' or other foods.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by