egg count down by 50% for no apparent reason

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by toddreed, May 27, 2010.

  1. toddreed

    toddreed Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 12, 2010
    Oakland, CA
    Sorry if this sounds like another "ah, what's going on" with no real focus kind of question. I am new to chickens, have had a flock of 12 hens for only 6 months now. I got 9 of them as 3 month old pullets and they all just started laying about 6 weeks ago. So for about a month i was getting a consistent 8-10 eggs per day, which sounds right for 12 hens in the spring-time. Less than two weeks ago the egg count started decreasing and this week i've been getting only 3-5 eggs per day.

    I am just wondering if i should be worried. I have examined all their rear ends, and I don't see any apparent clogging / blood / swollen bellies. I am not sure if the feed i am giving them is high quality, and it doesn't seem like they are eating that much of it. I don't know. Should i try a different feed, should i be worried about illness, should i isolate them to see who is laying and who isn't? Is this kind of thing normal?

  2. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    If it's hot where you are, that would slow them down considerably.
  3. chickfan

    chickfan Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 12, 2009
    Leander, TX
    We went from about 9 per day, to about 2-3. The reason presented itself....chicken snakes. We found 2, within about a 4 day period. Got rid of them, and the egg production is improving. Of course we will always have snakes, I guess. We just need to watch for them. I gather eggs as soon as I see them, rather than letting them stay in the nests for awhile.
    I know other things cause less egg production, but snakes is one thing to consider.
  4. cybercat

    cybercat Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 22, 2007
    Greeneville, Tn
    Do you free range then? As soon as weather cleared up here my chickens started laying outdoors. I was getting a dozen a day now down to six a day. Luckily my dog helps find the outside nest for us so that will pick back up again. You can read that story on their blog.

    Another though are they in moult? Are there combs bright red like a firetruck? If they are pale then they might be moulting.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by