Drop in egg production-Why? how long??

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by chantecler, Feb 18, 2009.

  1. chantecler

    chantecler Chillin' With My Peeps

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    HI Guys

    Over the past 3 -4 weeks, my 16 hens have gone from12-15 eggs per day to 9-10 eggs per day.
    One has been broody for a good two weeks now and another one has been broody for a few days so I don't think thta accounts for the significant drop. I should still be getting 10-13 eggs a day if it's only two broody hens. The other girls don't seem to be broody or least not as nest obsessed as the other two. There has been no chnage in feed or water. They did have a bit of a cold about 3 weeks ago but are fine now. I have submitted a fecal sample to the vet today to make sure they do not have worms of some kind.

    Could it be there are more that are getting broody? Any suggestions?

    Thanks
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2009
  2. ghulst

    ghulst Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Since you don't have production bred chickens what you see is normal. They will all come back to production in a couple weeks and then go though the same cycle.
     
  3. chantecler

    chantecler Chillin' With My Peeps

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    OHHHH! Cool
    That's good to know. [​IMG]
    So they cycle like this on a regular basis ? how long is a cycle usually or is that an individual bird variable?

    Thanks so much!! I was really starting to worry.[​IMG]
     
  4. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    After being nagged by SO about it for awhile I finally started keeping track of how many eggs I am getting from my 14 hens. It didn't take long to see a pattern.
    I average 11 eggs a day. Every sixth day or so that number drops for a day and then goes back up.
    On the same sheet I record when one of my regular customers buys eggs and how many dozen. Now I can anticipate when that customer is going to need eggs again, so I don't fret as much when they start piling up in the frig.
     
  5. ghulst

    ghulst Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If they go though a broodie cycle it is after laying about 15 eggs. Some get broodie like your two but the others just slow down a bit on laying.
     
  6. chantecler

    chantecler Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks
    This makes me feel better.
    I only got 6 eggs yesterday out of16 hens!!!!!! [​IMG]

    How long should this last??
     
  7. digitS'

    digitS' Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Can you tell us about their lighting schedule?

    And, what made you think they had a cold and did you do something about that?

    Steve

    edited to say: they do lay in clutches but I bet that varies from 5 to 50 and I suspect that the time lag between clutches also varies a great deal.
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2009
  8. chantecler

    chantecler Chillin' With My Peeps

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    HI DigitS
    Sorry for the long post- !! [​IMG]
    They are on Natural lighting - although they do have a heat lamp (red) not sure if that makes a difference.

    The "cold" they had consisted of sneezing, some coughing and rattling. They also had snotty nostrils. Only one pullet was really sick - she was depressed and not eating much. I put her on antibiotics and she cleared right up. I beleive she developped a secondary bacterial infection on top of the "cold" that she had, as her discharge from her nostrils was stinky ,whereas the others was not. I think they had infectious bronchitis- a virus, after discussing with a poultry vet specialist. The rest of them cleared up on their own. I noticed the beginning of the drop in egg production around the same time as the "cold". It was also at the same time of a very cold , cold snap.

    I did move the red heat lamp to the other side of the coop about two weeks ago so the birds don't have full access to the lamp anymore.

    They seem healthy otherwise, although a little on the thin side.
    I have them on organic layer mash. They waste an incredible amount of food and seem to pick out the grains they like the best and through the rest on the ground - perhaps they missing specific nutirents?

    Anyhoo any help and insight would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks so much!!
     
  9. digitS'

    digitS' Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nicole, one reason to have a milled feed is so that the birds can't pick thru, get only the high-calorie goodies, and throw out everything else onto the floor. Eggs develop from nutrients that are surplus - not needed for the hen's own body maintenance.

    Their recent illness required more nutrients than would have been needed normally. Cold weather also taxes their bodies. They may simply be out of the nutrients needed to go into eggs right now.

    I don't know anything about infectious bronchitis - the folks over in the "Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures" forum should be of help. It isn't all that uncommon. Here's some information from Mississippi State University. Among other things they say, "Four weeks or more may be required before the flock returns to production."

    Best of luck!

    Steve
     
  10. chantecler

    chantecler Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks Steve

    I started them on a vitamin supplement tonight. So hopefully after the deworming (assuming they have worms) the vitamins and a few extra weeks, they will up their production again.

    [​IMG]
     

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