Advice needed. Badly.

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by LinckHillPoultry, Oct 10, 2008.

  1. LinckHillPoultry

    LinckHillPoultry Songster

    Jan 17, 2008
    So, I have 13 adults hens in a pen with 8 nesting boxes. The dimension of the inside of the coop, their side, is 12 x 10. It is those hens and 3 roosters.

    I used to get about close to 5 dz eggs a week, about 8-10 eggs a day, now I've only been getting 1 egg a day.
    They have a huge run on the outside, so I am positive they have tons of room.

    What are your opinions on this?
    What would you do?
  2. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude

    Hard to say. Are they molting? That will slow down the eggs, as will being hassled by too many roosters. If you have 13 hens, you have two too many roosters. I have 40 something hens with just two roosters and I swear, sometimes, I think I need to just have one rooster.
  3. aliciaford

    aliciaford In the Brooder

    Mar 31, 2008
    All I can say is how fast can you get rid of 2 roosters? I went from 2-5 eggs a day to 16 from my hens two weeks after getting rid of my extra roosters. My hens were so terrified of them they wouldnt come off the roost at times to drink or eat, watch your hens and see if they are being bullied.
  4. Colored Egg Farmer

    Colored Egg Farmer Chicken overload

    I had the same problem only no egg for me. It might be just getting cold and the days getting shorter.
  5. Cason

    Cason Songster

    I have 19 hens and one rooster.
  6. dancingbear

    dancingbear Songster

    Aug 2, 2008
    South Central KY
    You only need 1 roo with 13 hens, I'd say eat the others or sell them, or give them away. Too many roos will inhibit egg production, the hens are using all their energy to evade roosters, instead of making eggs. They probably aren't eating very well either, roos will be trying jump them at the feeders.

    Aside from that, it IS molting season, they're probably starting molt. Increasing the protein can help them get through it faster. It takes a lot of protein to grow nice new feathers. It may take from 6 to 12 weeks to finish molting, but with extra protein, some of the hens will resume laying, at least a few eggs.

    Last year we had trouble with some poor feed quality, my hens quit completely for about 4 months. I found a new feed dealer, got better feed, increased the protein, they were laying again in about 2 days. By two weeks on the new feed, we had tons of eggs.

    This year, with good feed, my hens are molting, but they haven't stopped laying. They've slowed way down, but I'm still getting a few eggs everyday, anywhere from 4 to 9. I have 28 hens and pullets, 4 or 5 haven't started laying yet, I know I have a few old girls who've mostly quit altogether, I'm guessing 3 or 4. So about 19 actual layers I can count on. When not in molt, during the winter, I get an average of 16 eggs a day. So while 4 to 9 isn't great, it's great for during a molt.
  7. chickiebaby

    chickiebaby Songster

    Jan 2, 2008
    western mass
    How old are they??? they could be moulting but, then again, they could have outgrown laying. If they have never done this before, and don't usually molt, and if they are over approximately one and a half years they have probably stopped laying. Has it been hotter or colder than usual?? They might be confused by a temperature change. They don't lay well when cold, and if it has been hot, they might not be getting enough food and water to provide the energy to cool down. If it has been hot, I suggest extra cold water, lots of feed, and a dish of cold plain yogurt. They love yogurt, and it hydrates them really well.
  8. LinckHillPoultry

    LinckHillPoultry Songster

    Jan 17, 2008
    I have some that the age ranges from 5 months to over 2 years.

    The 5 months are pretty big and beating some of the older ones in size... so they should be laying soon.

    I have a small bantam roo, which is one of the 3, and he is my favorite. I never see him bothering the hens or mounting them. He is also my favorite so he is going to stay, I'd say he is more afraid of the hens than they are of him. He usually sits in the run and waits for me to throw some extra scratch in it because he prefers to not eat in the coop where the feeder is.
    Also my male RIR, who is the leader of the flock and the protector I am keeping because of his leadership over them and he would be very depressed to be taken away from them.

    The big white rooster mounts the hens a lot, and has been known to fight the dominant rooster for leadership, and even though he is bigger, he always loses. I will seperate him and build a new rooster pen away from the hens, because I've noticed my roosters have no fighting problems when they're together UNLESS they can see a hen. I have a pen of 3 out back that can't see the hens and they've been fine.

    On the other end of the coop I have all the younger chickens, about 3 months old now. There are plenty of unwanted roosters in that batch. I will try building about 3 smaller pens for roosters tomorrow and see how everything goes and how it helps with the laying production.
  9. Omran

    Omran Songster

    Jul 26, 2008
    Bagdad KY
    Do you let your hens free range for a long hoursnout side the run?
    if so maybe they found a place outside their coop and started laying.
    I also encourage you to get redof the extra roosters.
    good luck.
  10. dancingbear

    dancingbear Songster

    Aug 2, 2008
    South Central KY
    Quote:Sorry, but that's incorrect.

    Chickens don't stop laying at only a year and a half. I have some about 5 or 6 years old that still lay. Not as much as when they were younger, but they still lay. They don't even start laying their biggest eggs until the 2nd year.

    This is fall, it's molting season. They're most likely molting, all chickens molt at some time. While molting, they will slow down on laying or stop altogether until molting is over and all the new feathers grow in.

    And there's too many roosters.
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2008

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