Chickens not laying regularly

smkirch84

In the Brooder
Apr 18, 2019
9
20
24
Fairport New York
I have searched and searched, read and read, but I am not sure what is the issue with MY girls. I have 4 chickens, this is their second laying season. I am getting mostly 1 egg per day. last year I got almost one egg per day from the chickens. Often I find that they have dropped an egg in the night, have shell less eggs or very soft shells. I feed them New Country Organics, corn free, soy free, non-gmo feed. I provide oysteer shells that they never seem to eat. They are free range, we do not treat our yard or gardens with any pesticides or non organic fertilizers. Their coop is mostly clean, very large. I do have a chipmunk issue, they are constantly eating their feed. I have recently stopped providing 24 hour feed to try and deters the chipmunks and try and make sure they are eating their feed. I also added a granular vitamin supplement to their feed. they have a enclosed coop with a typical access door where they lay. They spend their nights in an open air perch, caged area. We have never had an issue with night predators (that I know of), just hawks during the day. There is no evidence that any animal is trying to get in, we have a motion light on the back side of the coop to deter night predators, we also have a dog which I believe helps deter predators (not really sure, like I said no evidence of predators). They all spend a good amount of time every day in the nesting box, which does not result in eggs, I have checked the birds and not found any evidence of being egg bound. I do have one bird who as had a prolapse issue twice so I check them regularly. One of my birds is currently molting so it would make sense that she is not laying. But what about the other 3? I do also feed them dried meals worms as a treat & to get them back in the yard but I have reduced the use of these in the last month drastically to see if that makes a difference. The only thing I have found to increase egg production is to feed them yogurt with added crushed calcium supplements. I am worried that doing this regularly may not be good for them, setting the balance of phosphourus off or something, but they won't eat the oyster shells! They will sometimes eat their egg shells, but when they are only producing 1 egg per day I can't recycle the shells except a few times a week. Sorry this is long but all the info I am reading is leaving me dizzy. I am hoping someone can help with my situation. TIA
 

Acre4Me

Crossing the Road
Nov 12, 2017
6,246
18,671
817
Western Ohio
Molting, and being broody are two common reasons for no eggs. Another is less light, but right now light is increasing daily, so that should not be contributing to the issue.

you can up the protein intake for any that are molting bc it usually helps to shorten the molt as feathers are mostly protein. You can buy a higher protein feed, or you can supplement current feed with canned meat (watch the salt), DRY cat food (soaking it or crushing it helps), or fish food flakes, or just extra meat you have Cooked yourself.

Calcium/egg shell quality. Some people have provided calcium treatments -crushed up human supplements, I think calcium citrate -but I’m not sure. Hopefully someone else chimes in On this.
 

smkirch84

In the Brooder
Apr 18, 2019
9
20
24
Fairport New York
Molting, and being broody are two common reasons for no eggs. Another is less light, but right now light is increasing daily, so that should not be contributing to the issue.

you can up the protein intake for any that are molting bc it usually helps to shorten the molt as feathers are mostly protein. You can buy a higher protein feed, or you can supplement current feed with canned meat (watch the salt), DRY cat food (soaking it or crushing it helps), or fish food flakes, or just extra meat you have Cooked yourself.

Calcium/egg shell quality. Some people have provided calcium treatments -crushed up human supplements, I think calcium citrate -but I’m not sure. Hopefully someone else chimes in On this.
at first I thought they may be broody, but they don't spend all day in there and
 

smkirch84

In the Brooder
Apr 18, 2019
9
20
24
Fairport New York
Is it crumbles or pellets or cracked grains?
cracked grains - Our 17% Protein Low Starch Layer Feed is a complete nutritional feed of cracked and milled grain that's supplemented with kelp, organic alfalfa, and Poultry Nutri-Balancer. Designed for adult laying hens, our layer feed is formulated with additional calcium for egg shell strength and organic flaxseed to increase the omega-3 content of the eggs. Made without corn, this feed is ideal for flocks living in hot climates
 

rosemarythyme

Scarborough Fair
Premium Feather Member
Jul 3, 2016
15,801
30,311
1,052
WA, Pac NW
My Coop
My Coop
Soak it, or ferment it, so premix powders sticks to grains instead of settling to bottom.

x2. Ferment it, or at least wet it, to force the chickens to eat the entire mix and not just favorite pieces. Plus if you need to supplement calcium, you can sprinkle a small amount of oyster shell onto the fermented feed. I do this 2-3 time a week for my birds that refuse to eat oyster shell and lay thin shelled eggs, and it fixes the issue for me.
 

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