Confused about egg laying

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by HamorHollow, May 25, 2010.

  1. HamorHollow

    HamorHollow Out Of The Brooder

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    May 7, 2010
    New Hampshire
    I have 5 laying hens and I've only been getting 1-2 eggs for the past few days. Usually I get 3-4 eggs/ day. It's been warmer then usual here this week (mid to high 70's), would that affect their egg production? Is there anything I should do?

    They seem to be acting completely normal, eating and staying with their flock. If they hear me come outside, they all run to the side of the pen.

    I have 10 chickens and a guinea hen. The 5 layers are 2 speckled Sussex, 1 Giant cochin, 1 little cochin, and 1 bantom of unknown origen. Both cochins laid today, but the speckles haven't laid since Friday (and that was only 1 of them.

    I also saw what appeared to be a bloody poop in the pen, although I couldn't figure out who it came from. I checked the bottoms of the layers, but could not find any tell tale signs.

    Sorry for the newbie questions, I've only had the chickens for about 3 weeks and I'm still getting the hang of this. Should I be concerned?

    The oldest chicken is 1 year, the others that are laying are 10 months.

    Thanks,

    Kelly
     
  2. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    Any kind of stress, including heat stress, can cause egg production to decrease. However, the 70s doesn't sound that hot. It sounds as if you just recently acquired these hens??? That can play a role too. It usually takes a few weeks for hens to get back into their normal routines when they've changed hands. The bloody poop doesn't sound good. Do you know if they've been wormed any time recently? Do keep an eye out for more off stools.
    They are on regular layer feed? And have plenty of fresh water available. There's no overcrowding issues; the birds get along well??? By the way, are the other five birds roosters, or just "decorative" hens? If they're roosters, I would think that might cause a lot of stress...5 roos w/5 hens.
    I guess what I'm saying is there are LOTS of reasons why egg production could decrease. Since they're fairly new to you, I would give it a little more time, unless I noticed more bloody poo.
     
  3. HamorHollow

    HamorHollow Out Of The Brooder

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    May 7, 2010
    New Hampshire
    I don't believe the last 4 were wormed, that's something I would definitely like to do (for all, just to be safe). Can you point me at an article or some info on how to do that/ what to buy? Today was the first sign of blood

    I've had them for about 2.5-3 weeks, and they had a small change in their routine in the middle when I was away for a few days and they had less outside time. They have a large shed and an outside pen that I let them in durring the day. I close them up at night.

    Here is the breakdown: 2 RI reds (5is months, not laying yet), 2 Barred rock (1 black sex link, one black and red, also 5ish months), 2 batoms of undecided origen (1 laying, the other should be starting soon), 1 gray guinea hen (hopefully laying soon), 2 speckled sussex (laying), 1 Giant Cochin (laying), and 1 small cochin (laying) No roosters. I think my neighbors would kill me.

    They have clean water and layer mash, plus they love their scratch. They also seem to all lay in the afternoon. I always thought you collected eggs first thing in the morning (then you cook them, right?). I read about how they cycle and lay a little later every day, but I just think it is funny that I never get early eggs.

    Kelly
     
  4. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    Here's a link you might find useful on worming: https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=87395&p=1

    I
    would cut back on the scratch and any scraps for about two weeks. Chickens will fill up on those types of things (people call scratch "chicken crack" for a reason) and eat very little of their layer feed. That could be part of the problem. Make sure you're using scratch as a minimal treat...just a handful or two a day tossed out there...or as a lure to get them back into their pen if they're ever out. Scratch is like candy bars for kids (or us...lol). A better treat is sunflower seeds and high protein foods, as lots of protein is needed to produce eggs. Try that for two weeks and see if it helps...

    Also, there's no predicting the egg thing...lol. Mine lay pretty much all day. I get eggs from early up till 5 pm or so. The only thing that's certain is that their bodies need at least 25 hours (or more) to produce an egg, which means they'll lay slightly later each day over a few day period. I have some who lay 6 days a week faithfully, while my EE only lays 4-5 eggs a week.

    I hope things get better for your hens...back on track.
     
  5. HamorHollow

    HamorHollow Out Of The Brooder

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    22
    May 7, 2010
    New Hampshire
    Thanks for the worming info and all your help!

    I have a really small scoop I use for the scratch, it's probably about a handfull, and I've been doing 2-3 (total) scoops throughout the day for the 11 of them. I'll cut that back to just in the evening to get them back in the pan and I'll get some sunflower seeds at the local store (would it be dumb of me to ask if they should be shelled or unshelled?).

    I noticed that they seem to be eating like crazy when I fill their feed dish, which seems strange since the trough always has at least a half inch or so of feed left in it. Can they not get the stuff in the bottom? It's one of those long metal dishes with the holed cover. I added a 2nd dish. I need to get a bigger, better dish and would love a recommendation.

    Do I need to do anything different for the guinea? I have some meal worms I use for my hedgehogs, would she like those? I bet the chickens would!

    -K
     
  6. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    Quote:Black Oil Sunflower Seed, referred to here on BYC as BOSS. Unshelled. They're smaller than the grey striped sunflower seed. Don't buy it salted!

    CHICKENS LOVE MEALWORMS.
     
  7. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    Quote:HA! I can have a whole pan of feed out for my girls, and if I add a scoop of "new" feed on top, it's like serving some wonderful new treat...lol. Chickens are just funny that way. I just use one of the round plastic gravity type feeders and a bucket feeder I made myself, so I couldn't really say whether they're any better than the tray type feeder... I do like round because lower on the ladder birds can go around to the other side to eat if a hen gets snippy. And sorry, I know nothing of guineas, and so wouldn't think of recommending a feed for them. Since so many people keep them with their chickens though, I'd think the layer feed would be fine for them. Gryeyes answered your other questions.
     

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