Bad egg production

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by kennneth, Mar 12, 2014.

  1. kennneth

    kennneth New Egg

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    Mar 12, 2014
    My two white leghorn hens have not produced a single egg in over a week. They've been eating plenty of food (cracked corn an egg laying feed) and seem to be acting normal. They stopped laying last week after a night that got particularly cold and icy but the weathers been nice since. Wondering what I could do to get them laying again and if there are any other issues i should look into?
     
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    I'd cut out the corn completely for a while.
    What percentage of their intake has been corn and what percent layer? How old are they?
    It takes a lot of protein to make an egg. Corn is under 10% and 16% protein in the total intake is needed to regularly produce eggs.
    Any type of stressor like predator attack or flock/housing change can stop ovulation for a while.
     
  3. kennneth

    kennneth New Egg

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    They were getting mostly corn until about one week ago. There getting about 75% layer 25% corn right now. Ill just let em get through the mix i got now and start giving them 100% layer for a while. Thanks.
     
  4. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    Mostly corn is why they quit laying.
    A neighbor of mine wanted to buy some hens from me because he said his were broken and wouldn't lay. I said, "what are you feeding?" He said "corn". I said, "what else"? He said, "just corn". I said, "well, you're starving them, feed them real food and they'll start laying again."

    If they're getting 75% layer and 25% corn = about 13% protein. That's not enough to produce eggs.
    If they were getting 75% corn and 25% layer for a while, that's closer to 10% total protein. There's no surprise they shut down completely.
     
  5. kennneth

    kennneth New Egg

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    So corn should be used strictly as a treat?. and thanks for all the help. I got them on a full layer diet right now so hopefully I'll start seeing more eggs soon...
     
  6. Aacre

    Aacre Chillin' With My Peeps

    Corn is nice in the evening just before they go to bed because it causes them to produce more body heat. If given too much corn, it can cause them to gain too much weight which will cause them to stop laying eggs or have laying problems.
     
  7. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    Absolutely. Normally anything other than feed should be limited to 5 or 10% of the total intake.
    Almost all chicken feed sold in the United States has corn as the main ingredient. Adding corn to that really isn't a good idea, even though so many people do it.

    Since you're not getting eggs right now, I would switch to a higher protein grower feed. That may make up for all this time when they weren't getting enough.
    They also don't need the 4% calcium that's in the layer feed since they aren't producing shells. They don't need the burden on their kidneys at this time.

    Until one has a good idea of what supplements to offer (meat, fish, fruits, vegetables, seeds) it's best to just give chicken feed. It is formulated with proper ratios of all the amino acids, vitamins, minerals that chickens are known to need. Tinkering with that can upset the balance and in the process cause production and/or health problems - as you've experienced. Most chicken feeds state explicitly on the label something to the effect - "this is a complete feed, give as the sole ration, or no supplements are needed."

    This was posted on Purina's Family Flock e-newsletter referencing insuring one gets continued egg production. "Make sure to provide a high quality complete feed (such as Layena[​IMG] SunFresh[​IMG] Recipe) instead of “scratch” to ensure that hens have sufficient protein, vitamins and minerals to produce hearty, golden-yoked eggs."
    ETA - yoked is their misspelling, not mine.
    This is a quote from the Purina Layena label. "Feed Purina Mills[​IMG] Layena[​IMG] SunFresh[​IMG] Recipe free-choice as the sole ration to free-range and confined laying chickens (including backyard egg producers, small to medium breeds and fancy and exotic breeds) ... throughout the laying cycle."

    That last bolded note implies that one should change to a grower or all flock feed when the birds aren't laying.

    X2
    corn before bed is more for winter
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2014
  8. kennneth

    kennneth New Egg

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    Mar 12, 2014
    Your awesome i appreciate the help. Our girls started laying again this morning. Thanks.
     
  9. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    You're welcome. It's refreshing when someone is grateful for information rather than be offended.
    Hope you have continued good luck.
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2014

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