Egg eaters? First timers in winter? Bored?

Jenilynchickmom

Chirping
May 12, 2020
72
106
81
Michigan
Hi there! I’m at a loss of what’s happening here:

background:
-6 ladies in a 4x8 coop with 5x20 enclosed run.
-They were born may 2020
-eating 16% layer and daily get scratch with mashed dried shells and oyster bits
-lighting 5am-630 pm

I had an incident about 12 days ago I dropped an egg in the coop. I scooped it up but I know they got a bite or two but no shell. I then got eggs for about a week everyday at least 1-3 (normal amount for me) I’ve gotten one since Sunday and that was today.
I’m not sure if I have eaters or if they are bored with the snow I’ve noticed they’ve been inside a lot. And the weather got down to 15-20 real quick in the last 10 days or so.
I’ve placed my fake eggs back in the nests and I don’t know what else to do. Can they give up in the cold/winter even with 13 hours of light or do I have to get rid of them all and start over!?
 

CluckerFamily

Crossing the Road
Premium Feather Member
5 Years
Feb 14, 2016
5,935
26,779
871
Wisconsin
Chickens will stop laying with the shortened daylight and start laying again when the daylight increases. I thought chickens need more than 14 hours of light to lay regularly.
 

50-45-1

Free Ranging
Premium Feather Member
13 Years
Feb 25, 2008
2,466
7,831
586
Northern Michigan (tip of the little finger area)
My Coop
My Coop
Your girls are only 8 mo old. They will be good layers for you for a few years yet
The cold or hot temperatures will put them off. Other things also like molting, routine changes, broodyness, and preditor scares, to name a few, will also disrupt your egg production in the future. Chickens are not machines with precision output.
Have you found wetness or egg residue in the nest boxes that makes you think you have an egg eater?
Also, not all breads of chickens are equal when it comes to egg production. What breed are your hens?
 

Jenilynchickmom

Chirping
May 12, 2020
72
106
81
Michigan
Your girls are only 8 mo old. They will be good layers for you for a few years yet
The cold or hot temperatures will put them off. Other things also like molting, routine changes, broodyness, and preditor scares, to name a few, will also disrupt your egg production in the future. Chickens are not machines with precision output.
Have you found wetness or egg residue in the nest boxes that makes you think you have an egg eater?
Also, not all breads of chickens are equal when it comes to egg production. What breed are your hens?
I have 1 polish-1 black sexlink-1brahma-1speciled sussex- 1 Wyandotte & 1 isa brown
I understand and am aware they are not an egg factory. As I stated above I had an incident almost two weeks ago where they were able to eat insides before I got the egg away after I dropped it. I’ve had 1-3 eggs still everyday dispute the winter here in Michigan up until 5 days ago which is roughly 4 days after the egg eating day. There’s been no major changes as well as no unwanted visitors to eat them. I’ve been checking my two boxes at 7 am when I leave for work and 4 pm when I return and have seen no wetness.
 

50-45-1

Free Ranging
Premium Feather Member
13 Years
Feb 25, 2008
2,466
7,831
586
Northern Michigan (tip of the little finger area)
My Coop
My Coop
Sorry did not notice you are a Michigander too!
Your black sexlink and isa brown should be dependable layers for you. They are young, and it is cold, and if you are not finding egg mess in the nest boxes or smeared all over somebody's face, it's probably just the weather.
I have about 14 hens ageing from 8 yrs to 7 months and I got one egg today. I do not find that abnormal.
Spring comes and il'e be back to donating all my extra eggs to the pantry because I'm getting a dozen a day.
 

Jenilynchickmom

Chirping
May 12, 2020
72
106
81
Michigan
Sorry did not notice you are a Michigander too!
Your black sexlink and isa brown should be dependable layers for you. They are young, and it is cold, and if you are not finding egg mess in the nest boxes or smeared all over somebody's face, it's probably just the weather.
I have about 14 hens ageing from 8 yrs to 7 months and I got one egg today. I do not find that abnormal.
Spring comes and il'e be back to donating all my extra eggs to the pantry because I'm getting a dozen a day.
Thank you. I’ll try not to worry too much lol. I guess I was thinking with the light they would keep laying like normal. It’s normal then to really slow way down even with light then?
 

Jenilynchickmom

Chirping
May 12, 2020
72
106
81
Michigan
It can happen.
Is your run weather proof?
Staying inside the coop all day can be stressful, which can also affect laying.

nope, as stated above it’s enclosed :) roof and covered mostly with tarps. No snow gets in.
But this morning I think I may have seen slime for the first time. 😭 I’m feeling like all the money I made my husband spend to get chickens and we’ve had so much go wrong in 8 months that I kind of wish I wouldn’t have done it. 😭
 

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