I'm new to the chicken thing, needs some experienced advice. We live in Pa. just got 4 hens couple of weeks ago. We were getting 3 eggs a day then 2 now 1. Does egg production go down toward winter? The one hen that was laying a huge egg everyday has stopped or it's getting eaten. i did find an eaten egg in the coop one day. should i not be feeding them egg shells? They are in a coop and run all day, previous owner had them free range. they get commercial layer feed, oyster shell and vegetable scraps.
Thanks for any reply.
The seller may have sold them knowing one is an egg eater. Yes, production DOES go down toward winter, as the daylight hours lessen. They need 12-14 hours of daylight to stay in "egg lay" mode. You can turn a light on and "add" a few artificial light hours in the morning if you like; I prefer to let them have a break over winter, but some folks put lights on them to extend the laying season.
Since you've already found evidence of an egg eater, there are a few things you can do. You can blow out an egg and squirt in some nasty tasting hot mustard. I've heard horseradish mustard works really well. Then, when they peck it open to eat it and find nasty innards, they will stop eating them. You may have to do this a few times before they "get it." I just today read that someone on here blows an egg and puts blue food coloring in the egg so she knows which one is eating eggs. Then, you can cull if you want.
Edited to say: it's okay to feed back their egg shells, but you need to make sure they are dry first (I put them in the microwave for about 15 seconds), then crush them up into small pieces so they no longer resemble an egg. I put mine in a ziploc bag and rollerpin them.
For the egg eater I would try to put some golf balls in there nests..... Worked good for my hen that liked to peck a hole in her egg after she layed it (bad bad hen) Its on the same idea as the blown out egg just not as messy !!!! Have heard of others doing it also and seems to work good, and yes my hens are slowing down also as winter is comming !!!!