2 year old birds laying very few eggs

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by bovine0001, Nov 14, 2016.

  1. bovine0001

    bovine0001 Out Of The Brooder

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    Hello all,

    I have 7 birds whom, 3-4 months ago, were laying 3-4 eggs a day. Good times. Now I get 1 every other day.

    A couple of my California Greys were molting, but are better now. They have ample access to laying rations and don't eat much more than that. I kicked them out of the compost pile as one of them was laying eggs without a shell (a blank?) They seem healthy enough, but can't figure their problem.


    They are all the same age, 1.5 to 2 years. I have 3 California Greys, 2 Welsummers and 2 Gold Lace Wyandottes.

    Any advice is welcome.
     
  2. junebuggena

    junebuggena Chicken Obsessed

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    Completely normal. As the days shorten, egg production drops. All part of the normal egg production cycle.
     
  3. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    Add to this the fact that they are at an age when a break in egg laying is common. After resting and as the day length increases, they will resume production.
     
  4. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Lots of Chickens Premium Member

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    When birds molts they generally take a few months off of laying to recover and to get ready for winter. The earliest I've had them resume laying was in late December with most not resuming until February and March.
     
  5. bovine0001

    bovine0001 Out Of The Brooder

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    .

    The reduced egg laying started in late summer, so I didn't think it was seasonal. It is interesting to hear they take a break around 2 years though.

    I had a thought. I wonder if they stop laying a few months leading up to molting and then a few months after. That would fit really well.
     
  6. bovine0001

    bovine0001 Out Of The Brooder

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    Probably a good reason to stagger the age of my birds. I hate buying eggs.
     
  7. junebuggena

    junebuggena Chicken Obsessed

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    The late summer reduction in production was caused by molting. Now, it's because of the time of year. Some do stop laying a few weeks prior to molting. And after molting, it takes several weeks for them to get back into laying condition. One of my hens only took 2 weeks to start laying again after her molt. Another one has been done for 2 months now and still isn't laying and likely won't till spring is on the way. Both are completely normal.
     
  8. Lyranonamous

    Lyranonamous Out Of The Brooder

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    I'm having the same issue. I have 12 chickens-two are older and probably aren't laying much anymore so they get a pass. But the other 10 (4 different breeds) should be producing something. Four are from last summer and 3 from this summer, yet I'm only getting 1 or 2 eggs a day (and at times nothing). I realize it's now winter but this has been going on since August when the eggs very suddenly stopped. They were free range for most of the summer but after a coyote took one they are confined to about 1/4 acre of fenced area. They have fresh food and water every day. I have never seen them fight although I am sure they do the usual thing. They are let out every day into the fenced area which has a large, secure, run-in shed where they are protected from rain and snow but can still scratch and roost. They seem happy (although admittedly I don't know what an unhappy chicken would look like)
    I get their feed from Agway or a local store run by farmers....Currrently Poulin Grain Layer Crumble (16.5% protein) They get some corn cracked mixed in when it gets cold. Their water is heated. The coop seems very adequate (about 10x10) with a long roosting pole, a ladder, and 3 nesting boxes with covers. The boxes are covered kitty litter boxes which in the past they loved. (i have photos of the two oldest ones sitting together in the box) Last winter my flock laid eggs thru the winter although it slowed down. ( We had days of -15 so winter was no picnic. I do not use any artificial light reasoning that they need their energy to stay warm.)
    I'm at a complete loss. If this had just begun I would think it was the weather. But it's been months.
    I do know that my oldest girl was chasing the others from the nesting boxes for a while during the summer. She is very bossy.
    Any ideas? I feel like I take really good care of my girls-and I hate buying eggs too. Am I doing something wrong with them?
     
  9. Folly's place

    Folly's place Chicken Obsessed

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    Hens need about fourteen hours of lighting daily for egg production, so winter without artificial lighting really reduces egg production, sometimes to zero. I have a small light in my coop on a timer, 4 am to 8 am every day. It helps a lot, although the hens are also offended by the abrupt weather changes, and a couple decided to molt late. Mary
     
  10. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Lots of Chickens Premium Member

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    I would suspect they might be laying elsewhere. I have about half of last year's batch laying now, but a few still haven't started. It has been dark and gloomy which probably has contributed to their late starts. Some of my new hens are still trying to lay in what they think are appropriate nests. They can be sneaky so I would look around. Otherwise I would expect them to pick up again in the next month or so.
     

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