Egg laying frequency

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Marius Raaths, Sep 30, 2015.

  1. Marius Raaths

    Marius Raaths Out Of The Brooder

    10
    0
    22
    Feb 23, 2015
    Hi folks. I have 150 Hy-Line hens which are a commercial egg laying breed. They are now 7 months old and they are free ranging on a piece of land about 2000sqm. My problem is that I only get about 70 eggs per day no matter what I try. I've changed their laying feed between different brands and also tried adding mixed fowl feed, thought they might have some kind of deficiency. They get on average about 120gr of laying pellets per day per hen which I read is about correct. I might be wrong but I think they should lay a minimum of 6 eggs per week in a free ranging environment. I've spent two days marking the hens as they lay an egg and they appear to be laying one every second day on average. In separate camps next door I have 70 chickens breeding stock of Sussex, Black Australops, Buff Orpingtons, etc all separated per breed. I really want to get the egg production to at least 120-130 eggs per day. Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Monkey Business Premium Member

    29,727
    18,064
    666
    Jan 30, 2015
    Africa - near the equator
    It might sound like a silly question, but do you think some of the hens may be laying in places other than your nest boxes?
    CT
     
  3. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    31,452
    3,536
    538
    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    [​IMG]

    that's my thought also. Free rangers are notorious for finding better places to lay than the box.
     
  4. Marius Raaths

    Marius Raaths Out Of The Brooder

    10
    0
    22
    Feb 23, 2015
    No chance. It's a fenced of camp with very good visibility
     
  5. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Monkey Business Premium Member

    29,727
    18,064
    666
    Jan 30, 2015
    Africa - near the equator
    Maybe try adding some optional oyster shell next to their main feed?
     
  6. Marius Raaths

    Marius Raaths Out Of The Brooder

    10
    0
    22
    Feb 23, 2015
    What is in the oyster shells that might help?
     
  7. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Monkey Business Premium Member

    29,727
    18,064
    666
    Jan 30, 2015
    Africa - near the equator
    Basically a calcium supplement of ground oyster shells. I can't buy it here in Kenya so i use bone meal instead (not as high in calcium, but it has to do) but to be honest, my hens very rarely peck at it - they seem happy enough with layers mash.
     
  8. Marius Raaths

    Marius Raaths Out Of The Brooder

    10
    0
    22
    Feb 23, 2015
    The egg shells are quite hard, harder than the eggs you buy at supermarket. I think more calcium will make it even harder
     
  9. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Monkey Business Premium Member

    29,727
    18,064
    666
    Jan 30, 2015
    Africa - near the equator
    No, don't worry about that as chickens instinctively know if they are lacking in calcium and so will only eat the oyster shell if they feel the need for more calcium (thats why is should be kept separate from their usual feed, so they can eat it if they wish).

    CT
     
  10. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    34,610
    7,840
    596
    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    What does the piece of land look like, what is growing there, can you post a pic?
    That's a lot of area, are you positive they are not laying out there?
    How are they housed at night, any chance to keep them cooped up for a few days without crowding stress becoming a factor?

    What's the protein level of your feed?
    Layer ration could be diluted by the ranging.
    You said you changed the feed, how long did you give it to make a difference?

    Just looked at some of your other posts and see you are in S.A. s you're just coming out of winter?
    Could be they slowed down over winter and will increase production as the days lengthen.
    They are 7 months old now, how old were they when they started laying?
    Do you use any supplemental lighting over the winter?
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by