Egg Production Slowing Down

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by ChickenCrazy4ever, Dec 18, 2011.

  1. ChickenCrazy4ever

    ChickenCrazy4ever Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Recently my hens' egg production is slowing down drastically.

    I have 12 plymouth rocks and I used to get about ten eggs a day. Now I'm lucky if I get half that much.

    I have a 95 watt light set up to go from 1 AM to 8 AM. The sun rises around 7:30 and sets around 5:30 which is almost 16 hours of light.

    As far as I know they aren't egg-eaters so what is the problem?
     
  2. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    How old are the birds? A first year pullet lays pretty heavy for up to a year, then they moult, take some time off, and re-boot. This usually happens their second fall and winter.
     
  3. ChickenCrazy4ever

    ChickenCrazy4ever Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I got them this past february so they are about 10 months old.
     
  4. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    The Plymouth Rock is not a Leghorn or a commercial hybrid. Yes, they are good, solid layers, unless you are overlooking something about their dietary necessities or if they have parasites or such, you'll just have to allow them a month or two of rest. A Plymouth Rock lays 250 eggs per year. That means there will be over three months, of total days, (115), that they do not lay. If they've been laying heavy since late July, they're likely just needing a break.

    So, if you feeding well, and don't believe there is a parasite issue, external or internal, then I recommend dialing the light back to just 12 or 13 hours daylight and allow them the rest their bodies need. For sure, come spring, they'll naturally pick it up again. Best regards.
     
  5. al6517

    al6517 Real Men can Cook

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    It's winter........... they always slow down, it's a natural thing. I prefer to give them a break when they slow down as oppossed to giving them more light to keep their laying up, because I don't get freaked out when they don't produce eggs every day, I prefer not to burn them out. If your birds are hatchery stock they will burn out and slow way down after 2 years anyway, but you can extend that a little by letting them rest through the winter, you will still get eggs just not as many.
     
  6. ChickenCrazy4ever

    ChickenCrazy4ever Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Fred's hens- How would I know they have parasites?
     
  7. al6517

    al6517 Real Men can Cook

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    I think the slower more calm approach will suit you, as opposed to jumping to all sorts of wild conclusions as to what may be wrong. Chances are as stated before they are taking a break.
     

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