27 Hens and 0 eggs

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by nurserygirl01, Sep 29, 2010.

  1. nurserygirl01

    nurserygirl01 New Egg

    Oct 20, 2008
    Forest Hill, LA
    I need help. I have 27 hens and they have quite layin. We have not gotten an egg in a month. They range from 5 months to 2 yrs. We have hung shop lights to give them at least 14 hours of light. Still nothing. Could someone tell me what might be going on? Missing my fresh eggs:(

    Thanks, Nurserygirlo1
  2. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    The changing days have definitely wreaked havok on production...lol. Are your birds moulting (probably won't be getting eggs if they are)??? Are your birds contained within a run (couldn't be laying elsewhere?)?? And no changes within thier environment other than the short days??? All things to consider. That is a lot of birds to be getting Zip eggs... [​IMG]

    Try upping their protein and see if that makes a difference... BOSS, a little cat food maybe, some salmon, fresh spinach....
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2010
  3. nurserygirl01

    nurserygirl01 New Egg

    Oct 20, 2008
    Forest Hill, LA
    They were molting a while back and thought that was the problem but molting has stopped for a couple of weeks now. They are in a run and no changes in their enviroment. I am going to try more protein and see if that makes a difference. I have not thought of that. Thanks for the suggestions. I am so hungry for some fresh eggs.[​IMG]
  4. smk2010

    smk2010 Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 25, 2010
    Could you have some egg eating chickens? I have almost the same problem. I have at least 8 of my 15 chickens laying now but recently I have only been getting 2-3 eggs a day. They are not molting and they are in an enclosed run all day so I know they are not laying elsewhere. I'm thinking something is eating my missing eggs but I'm not sure if it's the younger chickens (not yet laying) or a non 2 legged critter.

    Good Luck!
  5. tuesdays chicks

    tuesdays chicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 26, 2010
    stuart florida
    Check for lice and worms
  6. SugarDuck

    SugarDuck Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 12, 2010
    Lamar, AR.
    I found this online. Could simply be the molting section:

    Declining day length
    Hens are sensitive to day length, and particularly to the direction in which day length is changing, when it comes to laying eggs. Declining day lengths discourage egg production. It is not unusual for a flock owner to have hens go out of production in the latter part of summer and in the fall because the days are getting shorter. Commercial egg producers avoid this problem and maintain egg production year round by using artificial lighting to give hens a long day length no matter what the season.

    A backyard flock owner can do much the same thing if the flock roosts inside a building by keeping lights on long enough to simulate an appropriately long day length. A good rule of thumb is that the total length of light per day, both artificial and natural, should be no shorter than the longest natural day length the hens will experience. Therefore, the amount of artificial light needed will be minimal in summer and greatest in winter.

    Improper nutrition
    Hens need a balanced and adequate diet to maintain egg production. Each egg contains significant amounts of protein and energy, which must first be consumed by the hen as part of its daily food intake. Too little dietary energy or an imbalance of amino acids can cause depressed egg production. Many backyard flock owners don’t realize how much calcium a hen needs. The shell of each egg contains roughly 2 grams of calcium.

    Since the skeleton of a typical modern egg-laying breed of hen only contains about 20 grams of calcium, each egg represents 10% of the hen’s total bodily calcium. While the hen’s skeleton acts as a calcium reserve to supply the demands of egg production, this reserve is rapidly depleted in the absence of an abundant calcium source in the feed eaten by the bird. In such a situation the hen will stop laying eggs. To maintain egg production, flock owners should feed only a prepared layer ration balanced to meet a hen’s nutritional requirements, or at least provide a particulate source of calcium, e.g. suitably sized ground limestone or oyster shell, that the birds can eat selectively according to their needs. The layer ration or calcium source should be available from a local feed supply store.

    Occasionally, a feed mixing error causes important nutrients like salt to be left out of the diet. Insufficient dietary salt will depress egg production. Conversely, in some regions, well water may have too much dissolved sodium, which also will depress egg production. If water quality is suspected to be a problem, a water mineral analysis can be obtained through your county extension office, but be sure to contact the office for instructions before drawing the water sample.

    Some breeds of hens are prone to become broody, meaning that they will try to incubate eggs to make them hatch. When this happens, they stop laying eggs. They are more likely to become broody if they are allowed to accumulate eggs in a nest. The problem is most prevalent during spring under natural daylight as the hens come into production due to the stimulating effects of increasing day length. To avoid this problem, it is best to pick up eggs at least once a day to prevent the hen from building a clutch. Daily egg gathering is also an important practice to preserve the safety and quality of eggs for human consumption. If the housing facilities permit, hens can be moved to different living quarters periodically to disrupt their attachment to specific nesting sites.

    After a hen has been producing eggs for several months, she becomes increasingly likely to molt. Molting and egg production are not mutually compatible, so when molting occurs, egg production ceases. The rest from egg laying allows the hen to restore its plumage condition by shedding old feathers and growing new ones. At the same time, the hen’s reproductive tract is rejuvenated, allowing it to increase its rate of egg production and produce higher quality eggs when it returns to lay. Under natural day lengths, molting tends to coincide with the change in season so that hens molt in the fall after they cease egg production due to declining day lengths. In these circumstances, it is normal for all the hens in a flock to go out of production and molt more or less in synchrony. However, if artificial lighting is provided, a hen may molt at any time of year and not in synchrony with other hens. If this happens, she should return to lay in several weeks.

    A hen can live for many years. It is not unusual for a backyard flock owner to keep several generations of birds and lose track of how old some hens are. Much as in other species, an aging hen eventually will lose its ability to be reproductively active and stop producing eggs.

    Many poultry diseases will affect egg production. Often the birds will show symptoms of illness, but sometimes they will not. If a disease is suspected, it is important to consult a poultry veterinarian without delay. A timely diagnosis may allow effective treatment for some diseases. In the case of certain virulent diseases such as highly pathogenic Avian Influenza, a speedy diagnosis may prevent losses of whole flocks in entire regions, and minimize the risk of zoonotic transmission of deadly disease from chickens to humans, e.g., bird flu.

    Consult your county agent for the nearest diagnostic lab to submit birds for disease evaluation. Further information on actions to take in the case of disease can be found in the November, 2004, Backyard Flock Tip published by the University of Georgia Cooperative Extension Service entitled, “My Flock’s Health is in Question: What Should I do?” Copies may be obtained from your county agent or by accessing the UGA Poultry Science Department website at
    http://www.caes.uga.edu/extension/ .
  7. nurserygirl01

    nurserygirl01 New Egg

    Oct 20, 2008
    Forest Hill, LA
    My husband put his hunting camera(with video) out to see if maybe we would catch something getting them, but nothing (no snake, raccoon or chicken). So we took all the old straw out of their nest and put fresh straw in. They are not even geting in the nest at all, its just like we put it. We have had chickens for 7 years and never have we had this problem.
    I am going to try (you might want to too) the protein like teach1rusl suggested and see if that works. Keeping my fingers crossed.
  8. nurserygirl01

    nurserygirl01 New Egg

    Oct 20, 2008
    Forest Hill, LA
    tuesdays chicks, lice and worms checked.
    SugarDuck, maybe still in molting stage? it does say several weeks. It has been about 5-6 weeks that they started molting, 4-5 weeks not one egg.
  9. jkonkay

    jkonkay New Egg

    Sep 29, 2010
    GOod info, everybody. I am having the same problem. 9 hens, averaging 5 eggs a day and now I'm down to 1. This just started last week, and it started to cool off about that time. Also, because of work requirements, I've been spending less time at home so I don't see them in the morning because it's dark and it's dark when I get home. Maybe the problem is adjusting to the changing days!

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