Egg production dropped even with supplemental lighting-why?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by tweetzone86, Jan 2, 2019.

  1. tweetzone86

    tweetzone86 Songster

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    Hello all!

    I've been regularly getting from 10-12 eggs per day from my flock of 12 RIR pullets (hatched May 8). The last three weeks, despite NO CHANGES in the 14 hours of supplemental lighting, feed, water, etc, their production has dropped.

    Before, I was getting anywhere from 76-81 eggs per week. Now, I'm only getting about 65 or so. Since I sell the extra eggs to pay for their feed, and (due to having to order online in winter as my local stores don't sell the herbicide-free straw I use for bedding so I can compost it except in spring and summer) their bedding, I need every egg I can get. I can't have more than 12 (technically not supposed to have more than 10, but TSC sent me 12 pullets and all 12 survived so the extra two are "pets") so adding more birds isn't an option right now.

    Any ideas why the egg count would drop even when nothing else has changed? I'd hate to drop my recurring order down a dozen, but I may have to if this keeps up.
     
    Mimi’s 13 likes this.
  2. WindingRoad

    WindingRoad Songster

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    Could it be they are tired of the unnatural lighting. Chickens need to rest some. Winter is the ideal time.
     
  3. FnWeirdo

    FnWeirdo Songster

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    hmmm bad weather lately making nest box cold? something changed in coop or run? new feed? does the box have privacy? i had to put curtains on my nest box because the other chickens were stressing out girls laying.

    just some random guess ideas
     
  4. tweetzone86

    tweetzone86 Songster

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    My husband told me if I had chickens I wasn't allowed to buy eggs from the store again (it was the only way I could convince him to tolerate the chicks I may or may not have bought without telling him...), and I need them to pay for their feed (I have surgery in 2 weeks). So the light will stay. I was just curious as to why it would go down when nothing else has changed.
     
  5. WindingRoad

    WindingRoad Songster

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    I'm thinking the light will make some more not want to lay. IMHO and ya know anyone who has an opinion better be H.
     
  6. tweetzone86

    tweetzone86 Songster

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    I made nest boxes by cutting out the front short end of a rubbermaid tote. The lids are still on, it's sufficiently dark in there, I have 4 boxes and they were laying in them at the previous rate. It's been more rainy and we've had snow a couple of times and they refuse to go out in the snow to their run so perhaps they're just annoyed with each other being in the smaller coop area (5 sq feet per bird in coop, 140 sq feet in run)? With surgery in two weeks, I can't put a roof over the run, and someone warned me against putting a tarp (because of the rain- didn't want it collapsing) over it in the meantime.

    Feed is the same- Purina Flock Raiser with oyster shell mixed in. 20% protein. Occasional scratch (mostly used to get them back in their coop) and occasional kitchen scraps.

    As I said, literally nothing has changed, except a couple of snow days. Could that cause it? Since they refuse to go into the run if there's snow in there?
     
  7. tweetzone86

    tweetzone86 Songster

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    Jul 23, 2018
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    The nest boxes are dark though?
     
  8. WindingRoad

    WindingRoad Songster

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    Do they stay in the nest boxes 24/7
     
  9. tweetzone86

    tweetzone86 Songster

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    No, just when laying. The light isn't on all the time- just 14 hours per day. They have 10 hours per day darkness so they can sleep. The light comes on at 2 am and turns off at sunset, which right now is about 4 here.
     
  10. WindingRoad

    WindingRoad Songster

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    What ever my chickens are laying less without electricity. My bill is high enough with the electric water heater. $58 for December and all that natural darkness. Chicken slow laying this time of year. it's WINTER.
     

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