Down from 40 to 5 eggs a day...

Brillig

Chirping
May 20, 2016
66
5
54
Hi Y'all...

So I have a flock of two dozen hens...Just before June 21st, I was collecting 30 to 40 eggs a day...Shortly after the longest day of the year, egg production started to decrease rapidly...At present, I get maybe 5 eggs a day...These are hens that are in their prime (all 1.5 - 2 years old)...Now, I had an egg eater that seems to have taught the others to eat eggs as well, BUT, I can always tell when they have been eating eggs because of the mess it leaves on the other eggs...There's no way they are eating dozens of eggs...Normal winter production last year was 18 eggs a day...

Any ideas what might be going on???

Also...Any help with the egg eating situation would be greatly appreciated...
 

oldhenlikesdogs

Great Horny Toads
BYC Staff
Premium Feather Member
5 Years
Jul 16, 2015
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Sounds mostly normal to me. Pullets lay through their first winter. The second they quit to molt in the fall and generally won't resume until December to March. Your should be molting soon if they haven't started already. Of course I'm assuming you are in the northern hemisphere?

Your birds sound deficit in protein. Feeding a higher protein ration can help avoid that. 18-22% is best. They definitely need a higher protein during the fall molt.

Your hens have already peaked in production. The best is during the first two seasons than production will begin to fall off, some quite dramatically. Yearly replacements will keep you in eggs.
 

Brillig

Chirping
May 20, 2016
66
5
54
Not molting...Did that earlier this year...They get layer pellets and I supplement with scratch grains (daily) and BSF larva (occasionally)...My Orpingtons and my Cochins seem to lay the most...My Easter Eggers come in second, and (sadly) the Cinnamon Queen and other 'production hens' seem to be the most useless (and unattractive)...
 

oldhenlikesdogs

Great Horny Toads
BYC Staff
Premium Feather Member
5 Years
Jul 16, 2015
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Wisconsin
Where are you located? Many people say their birds molted earlier, but what they actually saw was a mini-molt followed by feathers growing in the bald spots. Until you seabirds dropping all the big wing and tail feathers it isn't a full body molt.

Layer pellets that are 16% protein combined with scratch grains that are often 8-12% protein leaves hens deficit. 16% is minimum daily requirements. Layer is formulated to be fed as the sole ration to confined birds. Adding extras will dilute that and will affect production. Either feed only the layer or feed something higher in protein to offset the extras.
 

Brillig

Chirping
May 20, 2016
66
5
54
I'm in Western North Carolina...They only get one scoop of grains a day and that gets split between 24 hens and a rooster...They also free range every day and get BSF larva at least once a week...But I can definitely try a higher protein feed...Will that help to stimulate production again???
 

oldhenlikesdogs

Great Horny Toads
BYC Staff
Premium Feather Member
5 Years
Jul 16, 2015
44,711
78,065
1,452
Wisconsin
Eggs are all protein. Limiting or not feeding enough protein will definitely affect production, and molting. I feed all mine want to eat. They will choose the range when it's better and consume more ration when it's not. If eggs are important than feeding should be important.
 

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