Anything else we can do to keep the #'s up?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Momagain1, Oct 23, 2011.

  1. Momagain1

    Momagain1 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 13, 2011
    Central IL
    Our ladies are about 10 months old...

    we have about 29 - 10 month olds and about 5 or 6 6 month olds...
    all together...
    we do have a roo..who willbe butchered; he's just too mean to the kids by attacking them...
    we do have a roo to take place tho..

    however...we have not disturbed the ladies in any way shape/form...
    they are NOT molting...

    they have went from 20-25 eggs a day to 4 or 6 if we are lucky..

    we have a light in there to keep them laying..
    we havent changed feed etc..

    however we arent getting a decent number of eggs...
    we sell the eggs too and its taking many many days to even get enough for my family to use..

    ANYTHING else we can do?? I know they decrease in winter due to lack of light etc..
    but we have the light in there for when it is dark at 7..we turn it on about 5 pm so it'll stay light in their coop..

    we have:

    Brahma, EE'ers, RIR, BA, NN, RS, BR

    all good layers...so any ideas?? besides the fact its getting darker sooner?
     
  2. Momagain1

    Momagain1 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 13, 2011
    Central IL
    ? anyone with wise advice?
     
  3. yellowirenut

    yellowirenut Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 27, 2011
    New haven, IN
    I see you are in central IL. If you like me had our first very cold rain all last week that may be why your numbers are down. I went from 5 eggs a day to 2. My cousin her numbers crashed also. An Amish woman she knows usually gets 4 doz a day and was barely getting a doz. its supposed to be nicer for the next week. See if your numbers increase.
     
  4. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    The usual things. Worm them, if you suspect any issues. Dust them as well?
    The other issue, as always, is hidden nests if allowed to range and egg eating. If hens keep going into boxes, but eggs aren't piling up, then you'd have to suspect that. If the nesting boxes rarely have an occupant, then you needn't be as concerned.

    While you haven't changed their feed, perhaps you might consider an experiment. Try feeding a higher protein, quality feed for a couple of weeks and see if there is any effect. While it is no consolation, I can tell you our numbers have not "crashed". Down by 10-15% as expected, but no crashing.

    Hen's simply take breaks too. It happens. What I find unusual is this. Your flock is not all the same breed, nor all the same age. That is usually a preventative against total crashing. The 6 eggs you are getting, are they from the younger pullets?
     
  5. Momagain1

    Momagain1 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 13, 2011
    Central IL
    Fred's Hens :

    The usual things. Worm them, if you suspect any issues. Dust them as well?
    The other issue, as always, is hidden nests if allowed to range and egg eating. If hens keep going into boxes, but eggs aren't piling up, then you'd have to suspect that. If the nesting boxes rarely have an occupant, then you needn't be as concerned.

    While you haven't changed their feed, perhaps you might consider an experiment. Try feeding a higher protein, quality feed for a couple of weeks and see if there is any effect. While it is no consolation, I can tell you our numbers have not "crashed". Down by 10-15% as expected, but no crashing.

    Hen's simply take breaks too. It happens. What I find unusual is this. Your flock is not all the same breed, nor all the same age. That is usually a preventative against total crashing. The 6 eggs you are getting, are they from the younger pullets?

    we have had 6 eggs today...
    and one we KNOW is from our 10 month old EE'er only cause we seen her lay it lol..we brought her out to let her free range in backyard w/kids..and as soon as she was let go of..she laid lol...

    we have NO clue who the other eggs are from as we have so many hens it is IMPOSSIBLE to keep track!​
     
  6. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    Well, a few trips out to the hen house during prime laying time, say 7 am thru 10 am and look see who's in the nesting boxes. That's about all I can tell ya.

    What time do you let the hens out to range? For how long? You're sure they aren't laying out in field somewhere? I know, I know these are stock, boring questions, but it helps sometimes to review. Lock them up for a couple days and take a count. Get 18 or 20 eggs? Ah!!! There'd be an answer.
     
  7. Momagain1

    Momagain1 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 13, 2011
    Central IL
    Fred's Hens :

    Well, a few trips out to the hen house during prime laying time, say 7 am thru 10 am and look see who's in the nesting boxes. That's about all I can tell ya.

    What time do you let the hens out to range? For how long? You're sure they aren't laying out in field somewhere? I know, I know these are stock, boring questions, but it helps sometimes to review. Lock them up for a couple days and take a count. Get 18 or 20 eggs? Ah!!! There'd be an answer.

    No, they normally DONT free range...if they do; we are right there with them...

    they are locked up in a large pen and coop....

    and they dont lay until afternoon time..but like I said...not lately..ugh!​
     
  8. Momagain1

    Momagain1 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 13, 2011
    Central IL
    just on the safe side; I went around and looked in their pen/coop..no eggs anywhere...so no hidden nests...grrrrrr....

    6 eggs today total from about 35 hens!
     
  9. HHandbasket

    HHandbasket The Chickeneer

    We went through this last year, and it started again this year. We have a whole bunch of girls that are 8-10 months old and have been laying for 2-3 months & they have all stopped. Several are molting, but the ones that are not molting are only laying an egg every few days.

    It's because of the shortened days. Put a light in the coop on a timer & set it to come on an hour or two before sunrise. They'll start again. That worked very, very well for us last year & we had excellent egg production all winter long! We are not in the same house we were in last year, so we still have to put a light in their new coop which we will be doing Tuesday when we're off work.
     
  10. Life is Good!

    Life is Good! Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 14, 2011
    suburbia Chicagoland
    Our numbers are also down (Black Java's) - I'm in northern Illinois, so I do think the weather had a large part in it all.

    Also, you mention you have lights to extend the daylight - but are turning them on at 5pm? Try putting the lights on a timer for 5am - 7am; 5pm - 7pm. I know our pullets, formerly morning layers; are now laying in the mid to late afternoon - I think because of the lack of early light.

    I've also been supplementing with high protein snacks, as I've noticed our eggs are not the bright orange, but are now light yellow. I think the lack of bugs and loads of greens are having a difference on their metabolism. So they're getting ripped up spinach, mealworms, cottage cheese and yogurt as snacks....and BOSS when I have to treat for bumblefoot inspection (one is nearly over it - ugh!). It's helping the yolk color return slightly.
     

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