Drastic Drop in Number of Eggs

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by baabaamilker, Mar 8, 2015.

  1. baabaamilker

    baabaamilker In the Brooder

    Apr 24, 2014
    I have a total of 38 hens, thirteen are about 17 months old and molting. I know these girls have probably stopped laying for now. (Can I expect them to start again and when?) Our egg production has gone from 24-29 eggs a day to 6-10 eggs per day. The other remaining hens, aside from the 13 I mentioned were all hatched last year and they started laying this last fall.

    We have kept lights on them all winter, and still have them on, to provide 14 hours of light per day.

    About 4 weeks ago I brought home 2 new roosters, and then two weeks ago 2 more. I'm bringing in new blood lines so I can hatch some more chicks.

    Only one of the new roosters is more rough with the hens than previous roosters we've owned. He will actually chase the hens around the barnyard until they finally let him breed.

    Would bringing in new roosters cause this drop in production? If so how long should I expect until it comes back up.

    I can't think of anything else that would have caused this. I haven't been doing anything else new recently, same food, water, and routine, etc. All the hens are still there, and nothing has been raiding the nest boxes.

    Any help would be great.
  2. justplainbatty

    justplainbatty Songster

    Nov 30, 2007
    emmet MI
    Yes, the sudden intrusion of the roosters,one being very inexperienced and the extra lighting on molting hens and those on winter break is very stressful! I would ditch the extra light right now and have a bachelor pad for the roosters. You can allow them with the hens you want to breed when the time is right and then return the roo to the bachelor pen. When the hens do start laying again, your production will still be lower as the hens are aging. [​IMG]
  3. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    They are used to the lights, that's not a problem...it's the new birds that's causing the stress and thus the slow down of production.

    The molters will start to lay again after they are down with their molt.....which can vary greatly from bird to bird.

    So you have 4 roosters and 38 hens total?
    How big is your coop and run(feet by feet)?
  4. baabaamilker

    baabaamilker In the Brooder

    Apr 24, 2014
    I'm not sure how big the coop is but it's large. I'm pretty sure when we designed it we planned on 50 layers. We've built 16 nest boxes into the side of it. My husband would know more about the size, I'd have to measure to be sure.

    I think production came up just a tad yesterday. The kids help me with the eggs, so sometimes they aren't as careful about keeping count, and will sometimes mix the eggs from the day before with the eggs from today.

    Hopefully after a while they will just all get settled in and production will come up. The rooster that I mentioned as being maybe a tad more aggressive I will probably not keep, he's too small for my liking.


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