egg production NOT consistent!!!!

gtaus

Crowing
Mar 29, 2019
1,572
5,209
377
Northern Minnesota
My Coop
My Coop
I have 8 hens 9 months old and its a cold winter up in northern Minnesota and I've only been getting 1-2 eggs a day from all 8 hens! and in the summer all 8 hens started laying VERY LATE! my eggs aren't so happy right now mm mm lol
I also live in northern Minnesota. I have 10 hens, 7 months old, and usually get between 6-8 eggs per day. For the wife and me, that's more than we need. I don't use any lights to lengthen the day, and encourage more egg laying, because I get enough eggs as is.

I have 10 different breeds in my small backyard flock of 10 hens. And I can not say for sure which of my brown egg layers is always laying eggs. What breed(s) of chickens are in your flock? I selected a number of breeds that were noted to lay eggs in winter. But not all breeds are as good as others.

What are you feeding them? Do they get enough? My chickens are eating their feed like crazy - about 1.5 times more than summer consumption. But I read that is to be expected. I have feed in a hanging feeder 24/7 for my girls and never let it run out. Fresh water is available in a 3 gallon metal fount sitting on top of a metal base heater. Food and water is always basic to good health.

Stress on the chickens can cause problems with egg production. Is your coop draft free and well ventilated? Is your coop big enough for chickens in winter in Minnesota? My girls have no desire to go outside most days with all the snow on the ground, and spend almost all their time in the coop. I anticipated this and built my coop almost twice the recommended size for my 10 hens. I think that helps keep the stress down as the girls don't feel cramped in a small coop.

December 22 will be the shortest daylight hours of our year, and after that the daylight hours start to get longer. So maybe we are almost through the least productive time for egg laying - at least in terms of hours of light per day. However, I usually see our coldest days in January and February, so it will be interesting to see if egg production increases or decreases during that period.

Hope you can get your egg production back on track. Best wishes.
 
when the weather turns cold chickens will expend there energy to staying warm instead of egg laying.
daylight hours also plays a part.
when hens are molting they stop laying.
are you sure you do not have an egg eater?
folks get chickens believing, X amount chickens = X amount of eggs, like they are Machines on a production line.
hens need down time, breed, age, heath, feed, lifestyle all play a part in how many eggs she will lay.
 

Duckfarmer1

Crowing
Jul 23, 2019
1,385
3,438
281
Kane,Pa
I also live in northern Minnesota. I have 10 hens, 7 months old, and usually get between 6-8 eggs per day. For the wife and me, that's more than we need. I don't use any lights to lengthen the day, and encourage more egg laying, because I get enough eggs as is.

I have 10 different breeds in my small backyard flock of 10 hens. And I can not say for sure which of my brown egg layers is always laying eggs. What breed(s) of chickens are in your flock? I selected a number of breeds that were noted to lay eggs in winter. But not all breeds are as good as others.

What are you feeding them? Do they get enough? My chickens are eating their feed like crazy - about 1.5 times more than summer consumption. But I read that is to be expected. I have feed in a hanging feeder 24/7 for my girls and never let it run out. Fresh water is available in a 3 gallon metal fount sitting on top of a metal base heater. Food and water is always basic to good health.

Stress on the chickens can cause problems with egg production. Is your coop draft free and well ventilated? Is your coop big enough for chickens in winter in Minnesota? My girls have no desire to go outside most days with all the snow on the ground, and spend almost all their time in the coop. I anticipated this and built my coop almost twice the recommended size for my 10 hens. I think that helps keep the stress down as the girls don't feel cramped in a small coop.

December 22 will be the shortest daylight hours of our year, and after that the daylight hours start to get longer. So maybe we are almost through the least productive time for egg laying - at least in terms of hours of light per day. However, I usually see our coldest days in January and February, so it will be interesting to see if egg production increases or decreases during that period.

Hope you can get your egg production back on track. Best wishes.
Excellent post!
 

Acre4Me

Crowing
Nov 12, 2017
3,237
6,733
497
Western Ohio
I have 8 hens 9 months old and its a cold winter up in northern Minnesota and I've only been getting 1-2 eggs a day from all 8 hens! and in the summer all 8 hens started laying VERY LATE! my eggs aren't so happy right now mm mm lol
Tell us what breeds you have, and what you are feeding. What is their water situation like. What is their coop and run like: size, style, and position (windy/snowy or protected, etc)?

light has a big impact in laying...the chickens need more light than they are getting naturally right now, so some keepers add light on a timer to provide approx 14 hours of light per day. Or, you can wait it out and let them naturally begin to lay again next spring.

Your birds are pullets and often will still lay through winter, but not always. Breed plays a role, light plays a role. We had pullets last winter, but it was so dreary and overcast that despite adding light in their coop (in late Oct 2018), some just stopped laying in February I think bc it was really heavily overcast for days on end. Our light is on for a few hours in the morning, we have it turn off after the sun has fully risen. Also, we have heritage breeds which are not production type. This year we have approx 20 pullets, most are laying, but not all of the April hatch are laying yet. The older ones are molting, so they are not laying right now.
 

Duckfarmer1

Crowing
Jul 23, 2019
1,385
3,438
281
Kane,Pa
when the weather turns cold chickens will expend there energy to staying warm instead of egg laying.
daylight hours also plays a part.
when hens are molting they stop laying.
are you sure you do not have an egg eater?
folks get chickens believing, X amount chickens = X amount of eggs, like they are Machines on a production line.
hens need down time, breed, age, heath, feed, lifestyle all play a part in how many eggs she will lay.
If you do have an egg eater, like I did, put some ceramic eggs, or even oval rocks in the nest boxes. I opted for the rocks because I couldn’t believe that it was an egg eating issue. I thought I had a hen producing Shellless eggs. Anyways...since putting the rocks in...my eggs are back up..no yolks in the nests. But, as mentioned above the light factor is huge. @aart has a pretty good article (that is supposed to be highlighted as a link). So hopefully he’ll see this. But it is sooo great about explaining the benefits of supplemental lighting..why it works, how it effects the chickens hormones...and how to actually add the light in increments per day. But, it also important to realize that is good to give birds the necessary break they need from working so hard laying eggs. I was dead set on putting up lights. After weighing all the factors, I finally decided not to, and give them a break...HOWEVER...I am still getting 6-8 eggs a day from 12 chickens. So, it’s probably a good idea for you to track down @aart for that article.
 

cmom

Hilltop Farm
Nov 18, 2007
21,649
11,422
641
Florida
My Coop
My Coop
I have golf balls in my nest boxes. Our weather is quite different. I have had the same problem with my pullets. For around a month I was getting quite a few eggs then it was like someone turned off a light switch and 0 eggs from that coop. The temperature also dropped off. We had a warmer than usual October into the first of November then we have been having mostly below average temperatures since. I did switch everyone over to higher protein because they were molting and feathers are primarily protein and the birds began to lay like crazy. I don't know why they stopped abruptly. My Leghorns are my greatest layers and consistent. I do have night lights in all of the coops.
 

Duckfarmer1

Crowing
Jul 23, 2019
1,385
3,438
281
Kane,Pa
I have golf balls in my nest boxes. Our weather is quite different. I have had the same problem with my pullets. For around a month I was getting quite a few eggs then it was like someone turned off a light switch and 0 eggs from that coop. The temperature also dropped off. We had a warmer than usual October into the first of November then we have been having mostly below average temperatures since. I did switch everyone over to higher protein because they were molting and feathers are primarily protein and the birds began to lay like crazy. I don't know why they stopped abruptly. My Leghorns are my greatest layers and consistent. I do have night lights in all of the coops.
Ok. Well that sounds good. All I can say is some time on here they say to lay off the higher protein layer in the winter. But. That is a personal choice. I have been giving 18%due to the cold temperatures. And I know they eat more. I suppose on here some will say one. Some will say other. If you can get @Eggcessive. @sourland snd there’s another lady with a peacock. It’s like catasporty. I always forget. But they are experts
 
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