Egg Production Decrease - Looking for Answers.

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Hlone, May 11, 2010.

  1. Hlone

    Hlone New Egg

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    May 11, 2010
    I have a young flock of 20 layers that started laying last July / August. The Chickens are now 15 months old.

    I was getting around 13 - 18 a day last summer / fall and then this winter got 7 - 9 a day.

    My egg production was going back up to about 12 - 14 a day and in the past month has dropped to 6 - 8 a day.

    They have access clean water and all The Layer food they would like. I also have a feeder for Grit and Oyster Shell.

    They look and act the same as normal and don't seem to have any diseases that I can tell from their appearance of from their droppings.

    The only thing I had noticed that was different from this year to last was the actions of a Male Duck I had with them. This spring he was picking on them and even trying to mate with a few. He didn't act this way last year or during the winter. I just got rid of him thinking that this may be the cause of my egg prodution decrease but have no way of knowing if he is the cause [​IMG]

    Any input or advice for me to look into? The flock has not molted yet.

    I am located in Central Illinois.
     
  2. AccioSarah

    AccioSarah Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Chickens need a minimum of 14-15 hours of light to produce an egg. I'm in Wisconsin and our weather has been cloudy and sunless for quite a while. Perhaps this has something to do with it?
     
    Last edited: May 12, 2010
  3. SuziQ991

    SuziQ991 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Do you free range? Could they be hiding them?
     
  4. Hlone

    Hlone New Egg

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    May 11, 2010
    The Chickens have a Pen they roam in during the day, but rarely do they lay an egg out there. They are 99% nesting box layers [​IMG]

    Thanks for the idea!!
     
  5. Renee'

    Renee' Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have had this happen twice. My situation is a little different that yours though. My chickens free range all day.

    First time: Hidden nest behind the wood pile.
    Second time: Crows were stealing the eggs right out of the nest in the coop.

    I don't know where you live but if it's recently become hot, that may reduce egg production.

    Good luck! It took me a while to find the nest behind the wood pile and a while to catch the crow on video!
     
  6. cybercat

    cybercat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Chickens do not need 14 to 15 hours of sunlight to lay. Thats a myth. They will lay with just 8 to 10 hours as long as they have enough protien. Protien for steady layers of the heaveir body breeds should be 18% or better.

    I am guessing yours are going into molt and just not showing it real heavy. Mine are moulting and most you can not tell it except by face and comb color. A hen laying will be bright red a non laying hen will be pale red or pink. You do not mention what breeds you have if they are pure or sex links.
     
  7. Hlone

    Hlone New Egg

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    May 11, 2010
    We are getting the sonlight infrom 6 am to 8 pm right now.

    I suspect that they might be thinking about going into a molt. What age to hens have their first molt? Mine are 15 months old this week.
     
  8. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Flock Master Premium Member

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    On the MN prairie.
    When my egg production went down, it was from RATS getting into the coop and eating them.
     
  9. Tamrajh

    Tamrajh Chillin' With My Peeps

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    SKUNK! We went from 6/6 to 2/19 and couldn't figure out what was wrong. At first I thought it was because we added the new girls but there was no arguing and turf wars so that didn't make sense. I knew the new girls were moulting so I still only expected to get a little over 6 a day but not down to two.
    Last week I got home from work just after dark and went out to gather eggs but when I opened the nesting box lid and went to put my hand under the chicken I noticed it looked a little odd, even in the dark. Then I realized it was black and white, not brown and white (again, mine are moulting). I dropped the lid.
    Since getting rid of stinky I've gathered 5, 6, and 9 eggs. Much better.
    My thoughts are, if everything else is the same, you have a predator, you just have to figure out what kind of predator you have.
     

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