Egg production for 2yr old NH Reds - Dropped to almost 0

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by jpowers5882, Sep 12, 2013.

  1. jpowers5882

    jpowers5882 Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 28, 2011
    Hi all,

    I've raised my 6 NH reds from chicks and have had a prolific egg production up until the last couple months (July.August).
    I was getting 4 to 6 eggs a day from them and now I'm getting maybe 1 or 2!

    I can't think of anything that I've changed. I don't see any parasites on them, and there's no way for preditors to come in and steel the eggs (that I can see). I'm starting to imagine I have a dishonest neighbor and I don't like thinking like that!.

    Any ideas? Thanks for your help!

    - Jim
     
  2. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    No bird can maintain laying an egg everyday for ever. To me it sounds as if first, age is catching up with them a bit, and second, because of their age, they're likely getting ready to moult. This would be the time.
     
  3. Wyandottes7

    Wyandottes7 Overrun With Chickens

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    Jul 24, 2013
    Are they losing any feathers? This could indicate molting. Chickens often molt each year, though good layers will go eighteen months or longer without molting. When molting, chickens stop laying.

    It is possible that the heat of the summer has disrupted their laying, but I don't think that is too likely. Are they getting enough to drink? Maybe check the waterers, as not enough water will stop hens from laying.

    If it was later in the year (starting in late August), I might suspect that they aren't getting enough lighting. Hens need fourteen hours of light daily to lay prolifically.

    Your hens are two years old. It may be time for them to slow down in egg laying, though I don't think that they would stop so abruptly and completely.
     
  4. chickengeorgeto

    chickengeorgeto Overrun With Chickens

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    I don't know about NHR hens but most hens coming 3 years old are on the down side of life at least as far as egg production is concerned. Furthermore our hens don't lay eggs because we humans ask them to nicely but because egg laying is part of the species reproduction strategy. An older chickens' egg production is naturally less but it also requires more energy and resources for them to grow that new set of feathers during the molt. Also consider that the twin ravages of age and disease is cumulative resulting over time in a decrease in the reproductive success of all species.
     
  5. jpowers5882

    jpowers5882 Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 28, 2011
    Thank you for the input. Yep, was wondering about age. I always wonder if they are happy. So, I'm always out at the coop, making sure they are fed, watered, and have stuff to do. I often let them out of the pen so they can run around on the property. I guess I'll just accept the fact that they are slowing a bit. I'll see what happens when we come into the cooler weather of fall.
     

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