Dramatic decline in egg production, due to stress, parasites, or both???

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Guerra, May 2, 2016.

  1. Guerra

    Guerra Out Of The Brooder

    May 16, 2013
    We are chicken newbies. We have 15 Cuckoo Marans (hatchery), they are only 30 weeks old and have been laying for about 10 weeks.

    First a little background:

    About 2-weeks ago we had several days of really bad storms. Lots of rain, thunder and even some hail. The girls are under a pole barn, so no one was hit by the hail, but the ground did get very very wet. After the worst of the storms there was a lot of standing water in the run.


    We always give the girls fresh water (buckets w/ nipples), but they seemed to keep drinking from the puddles. [​IMG] They usually go through about 7 gal of water from the drinkers per week. That week they probably only drank 3 gal from the buckets.

    After the storms, things started to dry up, and we noticed a lot runny poop. I thought they may have gotten parasites, so I purchased the "Backyard Chicken Health Pack" from Tractor Supply and started using it. The poop seems to be drying up.

    We got more rain and thunder again this week.

    Finally to problem:

    The egg production is dramatically down. The girls were laying 10-13 eggs a day (about 7 doz/week). Last week (the week right after the storms) we only collected 19 eggs for the entire week.

    Could it be that they have parasites, super stressed from the storms, or possibly both??

    All the girls appear happy. They are eating about the same. It is really tough to say how much water they are drinking, because no matter what we try, they are still drinking from the puddles.

    How long will this last. Please tell me this is a temporary thing and they will get back to laying like they once did?? What can we do to help them along?

    Your comments/suggestions are appreciated.

  2. dekel18042

    dekel18042 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 18, 2013
    Wonder if they could have picked up coccidiosis from drinking out of puddles? If so, I believe it can be treated with corrid. (Sp?)
  3. animalgrl

    animalgrl Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 7, 2015
    X2. Coccidiosis was my first thought as well.
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Chicken seem to always choose to drink from puddles, or snow banks, despite being provided fresh clean water<shrugs>
    'Treating' with the 'chicken pack' which may, or may not, effectively treat whatever caused the diarrhea.

    Could be some stress, could be a bloom of 'bugs' from the water logged ground.
    Marans can be inconsistent layers, so could just be a 'normal' fluctuation in production.

    Might be a good idea to ameliorate the 'flooding' situation, either by diverting runoff and/or building up the bedding in the run with a good mix of organic materials.
    Here's a great description of contents and how to manage organic 'bedding' in a run or coop...and there's a great video of what it looks like.

    How big is that coop and does it have good ventilation?

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