40 hens, 7 eggs?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by riaketty, Jun 27, 2010.

  1. riaketty

    riaketty Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 23, 2010
    We have about 40-45 hens. We'll be generous and say 10 of them aren't laying because they're too young.
    so 30 hens, 7 eggs?

    They're fed layer feed and scratch, half a 5-gallon bucket in the morning. Should I be feeding more? In the evening?
    Their water is completely fresh every 2 days and refilled daily. They have two wide buckets, they get to them with no problem and they're never more than 1/4 empty when I go out there daily. We're working on shallow, bigger troughs.
    Coop needs a layer of straw but is pretty habitable. They do roost really close to where the nest boxes (10 of them) are.
    They free range for about 4-5 hours in evening. Right now Ohio is getting about 14-15 hours of sunlight every day. There's only 1 tree in their pen for shade, right over the coop.
    I have found some yolk in the boxes once in a while but it doesn't seem to be a constant thing. We have roll-away boxes built, we just need to cut a hole in the coop and mount them.
    About a week ago we added 15 hens, but the process was pretty stress-free and easy.
    I haven't found any eggs in our barn (only other place with straw).

    What the heck am I doing wrong???? I mean, maybe 20 eggs out of 30 hens I could understand. Maybe even 15. But 7?

    Thanks in advance! I feel like I'm about to pull out my hair.

    BTW, new member but I've been lurking for ages and I LOVE you guys.
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2010
  2. georgialee

    georgialee Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 9, 2009
    Knoxville, TN
    I would search all the places that they free range (regardless of whether there is hay there or not). They should definitely be laying more eggs than that. You could also try shading more of their run... my hens don't lay as much when we get weather that's 90*+. My hens production has slowed considerably but I'm still getting 7-8 eggs out of 17 hens daily... so you should be getting more I would think.
     
  3. NoseyChickens

    NoseyChickens Feathers On The Ground

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    Aug 3, 2009
    Southern California
    Chances are with that many birds and only 7 eggs, they are hiding them when they free range. Whenever there is a drop in egg production around here I send my daughters off on and egg hunt and 9 times out of 10 they find a huge clutch of them hiding in the bushes somewhere. Either that or they could be eating them. I also had a problem once with ravens coming into the coop and stealing the eggs. Good luck!
     
  4. riaketty

    riaketty Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 23, 2010
    Quote:Thing is, as an experiment, I upped their feed and locked them in for a week, with only a few more per day. [​IMG] And we have 10 acres to search... ugh...
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2010
  5. jenjscott

    jenjscott Mosquito Beach Poultry

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    May 24, 2008
    Southeast Arkansas
    how much scratch and how much layer feed? Scratch reduces the amount of protein in their diet. If you are feeding half and half by weight , you're probably down to about 12 percent protein, I don't know what they estimate for free ranging.
     
  6. ranchhand

    ranchhand Rest in Peace 1956-2011

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    Back off the scratch completely, see if that helps. Also, consider the heat - mine aren't laying well right now because it's too dang hot.
     
  7. trunkman

    trunkman Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 26, 2009
    Rock Hill SC
    Welcome to byc Riaketty. [​IMG]
     
  8. tuesdays chicks

    tuesdays chicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 26, 2010
    stuart florida
    you never mentioned what kind of hens you had either though with that amount of chickens I'm sure you should be getting more eggs, my hen lays in the afternoon. an aquantance of mine told me someone gave her a chicken that hadn't layed in 6 months (she figured it was lonely) because the day she got it, it layed 2 eggs right away. could they be over crowded in your coop?
     
  9. riaketty

    riaketty Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 23, 2010
    Quote:They're all standards, a mix of RIR, golden comet, delawares, silver wyandottes...

    They could be a little overcrowded. We're adding another wing onto the coop when we expand the nest boxes, so maybe that will help. I'll also try limiting the scratch and upping the lay feed.
     
  10. BarkerChickens

    BarkerChickens Microbrewing Chickenologist

    Nov 25, 2007
    High Desert, CA
    You may have egg eaters as well. We have 28 hens and we've dropped to 10-ish eggs a day. We have caught several waiting for a hen to finish laying then eating the egg. [​IMG] [​IMG]
     

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