Barely getting any eggs!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by christa7032, Aug 14, 2010.

  1. christa7032

    christa7032 Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 11, 2009
    Hi Everyone,
    I have 8 chickens, 5 are rirs who haven't started laying yet (& 2 are roosters anyway) but the other 3 are older chickens who have been laying for a while (1 bo, 1 wyandotte, and 1 cochin). However, a few months ago all 3 went broody and stopped laying. I got them to stop sitting & they all started laying again for a couple of weeks but now I hardly get any eggs. Between the 3 of them I get maybe 3 eggs a week if I am lucky. What is going on? The weather is beautiful here and I have started locking them all in their pen all the time because I thought they might be laying on the property somewhere while they were out but nothing has changed. They all seem healthy and none are moulting or anything. There are squirrels that get into the pen but would they steal the eggs? Any suggestions? I am sick of buying eggs at the store when I have 8 chickens in my yard that I am feeding every day! I haven't changed their feed that they have been on their entire lives but they do get treats from me and my neighbor's kids buy mealworms to feed them sometimes. Is it possible for them to get too much protien?
  2. dee88

    dee88 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 26, 2010
    You say your weather is beautiful, is it cool? Is it hot like it is right now in so many states? If it is in the 90's or above, I think their lack of laying might be do to the weather. If "beautiful" weather means cooler weather, than I don't know...
  3. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    They need a balanced diet. Too much protein can make them fat which can interfere with egg laying.

    You've taken care of the possibility they are hiding a nest on you. My next thought is that something might be eating the eggs. It could be the hens themselves, possoms, skunks, a snake, rats. Never discount that a human may be stealing the eggs. Squirrels will eat bird eggs so chicken eggs could be on their diet. It is not one that is normally mentioned though.

    In the heat they will cut back a bunch on laying. I'd still think you would get more than three a week from those three, even with an unbalanced diet. Not so much the Cochin but the other two should be good layers. I'd seriously consider a predator of some kind.

    Good luck!
  4. poultrypatch

    poultrypatch Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 15, 2009
    We just slaughtered 6 RIR this morning. After about 9 wks or so of watching them closely I came to the conclusion that NOTHING on earth was going to keep them from eating my eggs. Not only did they eat their eggs but those of the other hens...SLW. Seperated them out and kept a close eye on them. I have found one egg in the past 2 1/2 wks. Then this morning found another egg....or rather an empty shell that they had eaten the egg out of.
    When they were dressed out with a shell...were found in them. I hope the fools enjoyed them enough to give their lives for the eggs.
    By the way, they always got food high in protein, in the winter special warm goodies with dairy products, all sorts of treats, all winter I bought them fresh produce ! What more did they want ? Too bad, I really loved them.
  5. christa7032

    christa7032 Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 11, 2009
    Thanks for the info. Its wierd that my cochin seems to be the only one laying now. The weather has been in the 80's to low 90's but here in southern california that is nice & lat year when it was over 100 every day & i was hosing off my girls to keep them cool they were still laying regularly. Also their coop is really insulated so it stays nice in there even when it is hot. I havent seen any signs of broken shells except for a few eggs that they layed while on their perch for some reason. Hopefully they will start again soon.

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