Egg laying: Need Advice

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by mullers3acers, Jul 27, 2008.

  1. mullers3acers

    mullers3acers Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 9, 2007
    la porte, In
    Could I get more information on how to make my girls to produce more eggs. I sell them to folks pretty much first come first served. But we have had a lot of customers and I am having to tell folks that the hens are having a hard time keeping up with their demands. We have 75 layers and 25 that are due to start laying in Sept. Though we are only getting anywhere from two to three dozen a day. So any help would be appreciated. [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2008
  2. Jenlyn9483

    Jenlyn9483 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 27, 2008
    Jacksonville, FL
    How old are your layers? After 2 yrs hens slack off on laying and don't lay as many eggs..For example if you have a hen that lays an egg every single day for the first two yrs..after that she may only lay one every other day.
     
  3. Windy Ridge

    Windy Ridge Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 3, 2007
    Appalachia
    They may also be hiding their eggs somewhere if they are still young... or they may be eating them (!). You should definitely be getting more eggs than two dozen with 75 layers, presuming they're a good laying breed... ?

    Are they on layer mash or pellets? Some people make the mistake of feeding too much scratch, which has little nutritional value.

    An infestation of mites, lice worms or another parasite can also reduce laying. Parasites are often spread by wild birds and can be prevalent at this time of year. Some types can be difficult to notice!
     
  4. mullers3acers

    mullers3acers Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 9, 2007
    la porte, In
    It is very possible that they lay in our woods because they are free ranged for most of the afternoon. Also there are quite a few that are about 2 yrs old. They are feed laying mash daily but each of us when we feed them have our own ideas of how much to give them. About the mites they do like to take dust baths but I've yet to see one. Keep the info coming it will give me things to look out for.
     
  5. Windy Ridge

    Windy Ridge Chillin' With My Peeps

    546
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    Oct 3, 2007
    Appalachia
    They might be laying in the woods, certainly, then. We have a girl who likes to lay under the pokeweed for some reason. Even when a storm blew it down, she still went to the same little divot in the ground and laid for a few days. Stubborn girl! [​IMG]

    In general, you should give them as much feed as they will eat, free choice, all the time. In other words, it is not recommended to restrict the feed of a laying flock. Especially in large laying flocks, those lower on the pecking order may not get as much to eat as they need to produce eggs.

    You might look in the woods to see if you can find some hidden nests, and try giving them feed free choice for a few weeks to see if laying resumes at normal levels.

    I free range my chickens, too, and I don't have to restrict their feed to encourage foraging. They love to forage and range on their own. However, what I provide in laying mash assures that they will have enough energy to lay eggs; the foraging helps them to balance and supplement that nutrition.

    You may not see mites unless you look very closely--the feathers around the vents of birds infected with mites may be "dirty" looking, usually easier to spot in birds with little fluff and birds with light colored fluff--and you most certainly would not see worms. It's just something to think about. Signs of infestation can be pale combs... however if your whole flock is infested, I think it can be difficult to notice the paleness because everyone's combs are more or less the same shade, so it looks "normal." [​IMG]

    It could be any one of those things, or a combination, but your birds are lucky they have someone like you concerned about taking care of them!
     

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