Egg layers

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Larry in Hawaii, Dec 1, 2015.

  1. Larry in Hawaii

    Larry in Hawaii Out Of The Brooder

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    Not sure if this is the proper place to post this, but I have a question about our layers. We have 26 hens (four older that have stopped laying) that are all the same age...two different breeds, black rocks & white leghorns. They started laying a few months ago and it's fun to watch the eggs become larger as time goes on. But the problem we seem to have is they only lay 10 - 14 eggs a day. From 22 layers, I would think some days there would be many more.

    Nothing has changed since they started laying, they have plenty of room to sleep and play (not free ranged) and I feed the same food. So why not more daily eggs?

    Thank you in advance

    Larry
     
  2. junebuggena

    junebuggena Chicken Obsessed

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    How old are they? At this time of year there are two reasons for production to slow down or stop. The first is molting. While they are molting they are putting all of their energy into growing new feathers. Some girls resume laying once they finish molting, others won't start up again until spring is on the way. The second reason is the shorter days. Less daylight equals fewer eggs. Again, once the days start getting longer, production will pick back up.
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2015
  3. pa2chitown

    pa2chitown Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Stress can keep them from laying more often. Niw that days are shorter they wont lay as often without artificial light. Some causes of stress:
    - diet, are they getting the right nutrition?
    - fresh water
    - overcrowding
    - some of the above will cause more tension and more "fighting", which is more stress.

    I have a hen that started laying oct 1st and has layed almost every day since she started. I added a blue light when the daylight hours started getting shorter...

    Good luck
     
  4. Larry in Hawaii

    Larry in Hawaii Out Of The Brooder

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    The girls are about 10 months old, they have plenty of room to roam, protected sides and above the run, they sure seem healthy. These girls are a bit spoiled I guess. I visit them several times a day to check for eggs (someone tried to be an egg eater, so I check often) and have a good talk with them....my wife just shakes her head. I know these are supposed to be great layers, but I thought by now they would all be laying... maybe not everyday or so, but I have only one time gotten more than a dozen eggs from 20 hens all the same age....purchased from Murray McMurray as 3 day old chicks all females (and we know how that works out). They don't look like molting season has started and here in Hawaii, winter time has about 1 hour less of daylight. They have always gone to bed about the same time every night and up a dawn.

    Perhaps I have some girls that just are not ready to lay eggs or some that have gone on strike. I have received a notice demanding anything from them as yet, but I will be on the lookout for something.
     
  5. junebuggena

    junebuggena Chicken Obsessed

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    Are they getting enough protein? One of the main reasons they will start eating eggs is because they are lacking protein. Layer feed is on the low side for protein, and if they get treats or scratch grains everyday, it may upset the balance of needed nutrients.
     
  6. Larry in Hawaii

    Larry in Hawaii Out Of The Brooder

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    Perhaps not enough protein in their diets could be the problem. What is they best way to provide it to them?
     
  7. junebuggena

    junebuggena Chicken Obsessed

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    Cut back the treats to no more than 10% of their daily diet. Switching to a feed with a higher protein content, like a grower or flock raiser, might be a good idea. You'll need to provide crushed oyster shell for the layer's calcium needs.
     
  8. pa2chitown

    pa2chitown Chillin' With My Peeps

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    One thing to eliminate is molting. Maybe they don't like your sense of humor? Just kidding! :)

    Maybe they are crowding when it comes time to lay? Do you have enough boxes to lay? Are they all trying for the same sites? Was one eating at a whole egg or maybe the egg broke and is a sign that they are squabbling over laying site(s)?

    What will you do with all the eggs, if they start cranking?

    Good luck!
     
  9. Den in Penn

    Den in Penn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Do they free range? If so, look for hidden nests.
     
  10. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Ditto Dat^^^....or coop them up.

    Free range birds sometimes need to be 'trained'(or re-trained) to lay in the coop nests, especially new layers. Leaving them locked in the coop for 2-3 days can help 'home' them to lay in the coop nests. They can be confined to coop 24/7 for a few days to a week, or confine them at least until mid to late afternoon. You help them create a new habit and they will usually stick with it. ..at least for a good while, then repeat as necessary.
     

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