Egg Numbers Dropping-Help!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by mylilchix, Sep 2, 2009.

  1. mylilchix

    mylilchix Chillin' With My Peeps

    For weeks I've been getting b/n 8-10 eggs from my older layers and banties. My 3 ameraucana started laying in July. Our egg numbers had been great. For the past week i've been getting 4 eggs a day and mainly from my bantams.

    I'm wondering why I'm getting a production drop from the big girls. I haven't gotten eggs from my ameraucana in days. The rest of the group which is 1 y/o RIR, BA, EE, faverolle, cochins, and brahma. Of this group only my EE seems to give me eggs at the moment. We have had some changes in the coop and run in the past few weeks. We got rid of our roo, enlarged the run, and added in some younger birds who were ready to go into the coop. I've checked for mites, nothing. I've checked poo, all normal. My big girls had had their backs rubbed bare by the roo, and since he's gone I've noticed feather growth on most of the older birds. The weather has been more unpredictable; hot one day, cold and rainy the next. The sun is going down sooner. So I don't know why the drop in production. Especially the ameraucana who've only been laying a little over a month. Any ideas? I'm getting frustrated!!

    Thanks, Sonja
     
  2. TammyTX

    TammyTX Overrun With Chickens

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    Sounds familiar....one week I was getting 29 eggs a day, then barely 12. My birds started laying in June.

    I think it's the shorter days. Everyone has been saying an early fall/winter and I think the birds are sensing it too.

    What I have done is put a light with a timer in the coop. Just a 40 or 60 watt bulb in the heat lamp thingy. The timer comes on about 7pm'ish and goes off at 10pm'ish. It's still daylight when the timer comes on but it is lengthening their days by staying on until 10p. I haven't had any problems with them staying out later because of the light.

    I am up to about 20 eggs again and it's only been 3/4 days with the light.
     
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2009
  3. Akane

    Akane Overrun With Chickens

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    They could be getting ready to molt before winter. They could be slightly stressed by the changes and will lay normally within a week. The daylight might be lessening enough to affect them. The changing temperatures could add some stress. It's hard to say. Lots of things can make chickens lay less and I've found enough things will line up to drop production at least once during the year. Most of the time you just have to wait it out. So long as they look healthy and are getting plenty of the proper food and clean water they will lay again. If you really want to keep them laying well farther into the year it's probably getting about time to start considering having lights come on earlier in the morning. Morning works better for adding light than evening because if you keep the coop bright into the evening they'll remain active and not get on the roosts. Then when the lights go out they'll be stuck on the floor of the coop in the dark. Chickens can't see in the dark and will at least have trouble finding the roosts if there isn't any light. Sometimes they can flat out panic and injure themselves if the lights suddenly flip off.
     
  4. TammyTX

    TammyTX Overrun With Chickens

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    I think her chickens are too young to molt if they just started laying in July.
     
  5. twentynine

    twentynine Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Getting into shorter days, fall is coming.
     
  6. Akane

    Akane Overrun With Chickens

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    Timeline of a chicken:
    http://www.freewebs.com/professorchicken/timelineofachicken.htm
    Averages of course and opinions on when you should do things like deworm but first molt is listed at 6months or about 1 month after they start laying.
    This site lists a moult at 20-22weeks http://www.dpi.qld.gov.au/cps/rde/dpi/hs.xsl/27_2709_ENA_HTML.htm

    Entirely
    possible. Not every molt has to be a full one either. They may not lose tons of feathers but still lay a bit less for awhile to put energy into replacing a few especially before the weather changes.
     
  7. pbjmaker

    pbjmaker Overrun With Chickens

    May 9, 2008
    Central Iowa
    My EE has been going through a molt and she hasn't laid in 3-4 weeks. I miss her green eggs [​IMG] She looked all ragedy and felt like a porcupine for a while. She is starting to look better and act interested in life again lately. Hopefully she will lay again soon. My cuckoo maran is laying less also. The banties seem to be doing ok though.
     
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2009

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