Decreased Egg Production

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by cfrank287, Feb 27, 2015.

  1. cfrank287

    cfrank287 New Egg

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    Hello everyone, I was hoping that someone could maybe help me with a problem that I am having. I have about 65 hens, all of them are 10 months old. I cant seem to get them to lay. Or at least stay consistent. I live in Ohio and it has been rather cold, but I have kept heat lamps on in the coop so far all winter. It doesn't seem to ever drop below freezing in there. My problem is that out of all of these chickens the most eggs that they have produced in a day are 40. Now I know that is not bad, but since Christmas they have dropped down to 15 at the most 20 eggs a day. I have not changed feed, they are getting a 16% layer crumble, cracked corn, and old bread from the local bakery. They do not run out of feed,or water ever. Can someone tell me what I could do to increase production. They are eating like crazy and I'm getting nothing in return. They have light in the coop 24/7 as well as a window. Can anyone offer any suggestions what I could feed them to increase production.
     
  2. Mtn Laurel

    Mtn Laurel Chillin' With My Peeps

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    What breed are they as that can make a difference.

    May want to increase their protein and eliminate the corn and bread which actually decreases their overall protein intake for the day. I have to wonder if the 24/7 light is actually working against you as all birds need a period of dark and sleep. Would reduce light to 14 hrs. a day.

    I have a mixed flock of 7 girls. I feed them a 20% protein feed - Purina Flock Raiser - with limited scraps and treats. They have no heat in the coop and it's been to zero several times this winter and has been consistently below freezing the past 3 weeks or so. They may get 12 hrs. of light daily. I'm getting 5-6 eggs per day, which isn't bad for 7 girls this time of year.
     
  3. cfrank287

    cfrank287 New Egg

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    Jun 13, 2014
    I have Buff Orphintons and Buff Brahmas
     
  4. Mtn Laurel

    Mtn Laurel Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oh, and Welcome to BYC!

    I don't have any experience with Brahmas but I do have a Buff Orp and she's been a very consistent layer through the winter in spite of cold and decreased light.

    I do find my girls need more food through this cold and definitely crave additional protein. Hopefully upping their protein will increase their laying for you.
     
  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    I'd guess that the 24/7 lighting and the dilution of protein are parts of the problem.

    How much space(feet by feet, open floor space) do these 60 hens have?

    Crowding, lowered nutrition and constant lighting can cause stress which can all effect laying production.

    How many nests do you have?
    Do they free range at all, some may be laying out in the range area?
     
  6. enola

    enola Overrun With Chickens

    Your hens only need about 13 hours of lights. Turn the light on at 3am and off at 3pm. This will allow them to go to roost at a normal time. Also, the rule of thumb, treats should probably not exceed 10% of their total diet. Bread is not the most beneficial treat for any type of birds.
     
  7. Percheron chick

    Percheron chick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Brahmas aren't great layers either. 4-5 a week at peak production is all you can hope for. Agree with what the other's have said. Even the mega egg producers have lights out.
     
  8. cfrank287

    cfrank287 New Egg

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    Thank you everyone for the help. I will try the lights out and stop the bread. I was feeding the bread to cut down on some of the feed cause they eat so much. But I never thought of it as also decreasing the protein. They have hanging feeders on there and each one will hold a 50lb bag of feed. i fill them every 2 days. and they are not wasting it. As far as space goes I have a old bank barn and I tore the inside if the grainery out as well as cut a hole in the side and have allowed them a huge fenced area o the barn floor. They have plenty of space. And nesting boxes well I got a little carried away when building them. and there are 30 of them. Although more then 1/2 of them lay on the floor anyhow I cant seem to get them to want to lay in the boxes.
     
  9. enola

    enola Overrun With Chickens

    How high are your nests from the floor? Are the nests dark? Open on the top? What size are the nests?
     
  10. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    'Plenty' is subjective...feet by feet would be more helpful.

    Changing your lights is going cause another stressful change.
    It could cause the egg production to go down further, it might also stimulate molting.
    Not sure what suggest other than just turning the lights off....maybe put on a timer so they come on at say 3am for about 15 hours of light.
    Give it a few weeks to see what happens....big boats and chickens brains turn slowly.
     

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