8 months old and hardly any eggs.......

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by critters, Oct 4, 2011.

  1. critters

    critters Chillin' With My Peeps

    I have 14 hens, 6 of them are 8 months old and the rest are 7 months old...

    I kept them penned until a month or so ago, now I let them out of the morning and put back up in the evening.
    I was getting 7-8 eggs a day and now I only get 2-3 a day....I have looked everywhere to see if they are laying
    somewhere else but have been unlucky at finding any nesting spots..any stray eggs.....

    The drop in egg count started about 6 days back.....could there be a reason for this? do I need to look harder??
    Just don't know what to think about this as I am a first timer to raising chickens.....any help? suggestions?
    and with 14 chickens shouldn't I at least get an egg a day per hen anyways and this age???[​IMG]
     
  2. centurion90

    centurion90 Out Of The Brooder

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    The changing of the seasons might be the cause . As i understand it, im a first timer too, egg production starts to slow down in the fall as it starts to get cooler. Production will most likely halt as winter starts to roll around and then pick back up in the spring. This is of course if your in the northern hemisphere. Some one more experience correct me if im wrong please.
     
  3. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    While the shortening days does have an effect, the drop isn't normally that dramatic in first year pullets. Since you now free range and that ranging matches the drop in egg production, I'd absolutely suspect they are laying outside.

    Doing easter egg hunts is not worth it, ihmo. Keep them in the coop until noon. That will assure you that "most" of them lay inside. As for the afternoon layers, young hens don't always master the return to the coop to lay routine and the only way you are going to get your eggs to stop allowing them to range.

    Do this simple test. Keep them cooped for a few days. If you suddenly get 10 eggs per day, you'll have your answer. Adding 5 am to 8 am light also would solve your questions about loss of daylight.
     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2011
  4. al6517

    al6517 Real Men can Cook

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    I am in the same boat............. got a Quad waiting to lay fertile breeders and NADA for 10mo, they were last winters hatch and NADA, [​IMG]
     
  5. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Overrun With Chickens

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    I would lock them up for a few days and see how many eggs you're getting. People have looked all over and missed a nest before. One day they move something in the yard and find a surprise. Chickens are really good at hiding their eggs! Once the night time predators come out, those eggs can also be taken away and eaten, so you never knew they were laid.

    If they are laying out in the yard, not letting them free range for awhile will retrain them to lay in the coop.
     
  6. critters

    critters Chillin' With My Peeps

    thanks for the suggestions! I will keep them up for a few days then wait til noon for the next few and see what happens!! THANKS!

    now if I can only figure out what got one of my guineas this morning....and right beside of the chicken coop!!
    only feathers left behind and a screaming mate!! [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2011
  7. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Overrun With Chickens

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    I'm sorry you lost your guinea to a predator. I hope you figure out what took her. Maybe this is a good time to keep the chickens locked up for a little while.
     

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