Egg Production Decrease - Looking for Answers.

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

  1. Hlone

    Hlone Hatching

    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 Songster

    Apr 21, 2010
    San Juan, Puerto Rico
    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 Songster

    Aug 18, 2009
    Do you free range? Could they be hiding them?
  4. Hlone

    Hlone Hatching

    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' Songster

    Feb 8, 2009
    Yucaipa, CA
    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 Songster

    May 22, 2007
    Greeneville, Tn
    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 Hatching

    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 Free Ranging Premium Member 8 Years

    Mar 15, 2010
    On the MN prairie.
    When my egg production went down, it was from RATS getting into the coop and eating them.
  9. Tamrajh

    Tamrajh Songster

    Apr 3, 2010
    West Haven
    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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