Egg Issues

cg21

In the Brooder
5 Years
Aug 31, 2014
17
0
22
Alright I have 7 ameraucana hens. They were laying roughly 1-4 eggs a day. When I first got them 7mos ago. I got them at right around 1 year old. Now I am lucky to get one egg a day.... and more often than not the egg has been pecked.

Will someone help me or explain what is going on before I have chicken noodle soup.
 

Huntered

In the Brooder
6 Years
Sep 8, 2013
42
2
24
Berks Co,Pa
It`s probably the lack of day light,chickens need 10-12 hours of light to lay eggs. You could add a few hours of light in the morning by putting a light on a timer.Thats what I would try.
 

rebrascora

Free Ranging
5 Years
Feb 14, 2014
7,127
8,757
556
Consett Co.Durham. UK
They are most likely going through moult, during which time they will slow down or stop laying. This is normal for a hen in her second autumn/winter and will happen every year from now on. Feather loss can be quite major and very noticeable with half bald chickens running around or very light with just small patches of feathers or underfluff being lost.
They also need more protein in their diet to help replace their feathers, so that might explain the eggs getting pecked but that can also become a habit that is hard to prevent once they acquire a taste for it. It could also be as a result of thin shelled eggs. I have a hen that persistently lays thin shelled eggs and sometimes her eggs get broken and eaten but thankfully my girls have never developed a habit of breaking them and eating them deliberately.

Egg production should pick up as the days start to get longer. Some birds will start to lay again as soon as they have finished moulting and some wait until spring. Most will be somewhere in between. I've been getting just one egg a day and sometimes none for 5-6 weeks now (out of a flock of 17 laying birds) but a couple of girls are just coming back into lay now and I have 5 pullets that should be just starting to lay very soon.
 

Happy Chooks

Free Ranging
Premium Feather Member
11 Years
Jul 9, 2009
40,417
3,557
626
Northern CA
My Coop
My Coop
They are most likely going through moult, during which time they will slow down or stop laying. This is normal for a hen in her second autumn/winter and will happen every year from now on. Feather loss can be quite major and very noticeable with half bald chickens running around or very light with just small patches of feathers or underfluff being lost.
They also need more protein in their diet to help replace their feathers, so that might explain the eggs getting pecked but that can also become a habit that is hard to prevent once they acquire a taste for it. It could also be as a result of thin shelled eggs. I have a hen that persistently lays thin shelled eggs and sometimes her eggs get broken and eaten but thankfully my girls have never developed a habit of breaking them and eating them deliberately.

Egg production should pick up as the days start to get longer. Some birds will start to lay again as soon as they have finished moulting and some wait until spring. Most will be somewhere in between. I've been getting just one egg a day and sometimes none for 5-6 weeks now (out of a flock of 17 laying birds) but a couple of girls are just coming back into lay now and I have 5 pullets that should be just starting to lay very soon.

Agreed.

To add to this, once they have replaced their feathers, they need to get their body weight back up before they can resume laying. Molting birds can lose an extreme amount of weight. Once their body weight is back up to a healthy area, then they will resume laying.

On the plus side, generally speaking, the eggs can get larger after their first adult molt.
 

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