Eggs Numbers Dropping??? Frustration!!!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by sms1225, May 11, 2010.

  1. sms1225

    sms1225 Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 21, 2008
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    I have 46 hens, 1/2 are 2 yrs old and 1/2 are 1 yr old. I raise chickens for my family and for friends that want free range GREAT eggs.

    My egg production went down in winter, but I do keep a light on a timer. In Feb/ March eggs laid were about 24-27 eggs per day. Now I am not even getting 20 eggs per day!! They were molting in March. Nothing new around the farm to stress them.

    Is this the production I should be getting from these chickens at this age? I have RIR's, Wyandottes, and Austrolorps.

    I can't keep my friends in eggs and they are eating so much feed, even though they free range all day. I can't imagine the feed costs for people who don't free range their chickens. I use Purina Layena, which is more expensive but I feel is a good feed.

    Any experience, suggestions, or insight would be very helpful!!!

    Thank You!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
     
  2. Cetawin

    Cetawin Chicken Beader

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    Well 2 things...

    Molting takes a lot out them and they time to recover...it is not unheard of for it to take this long. Also remember that not only does cold affect egg production so does heat. I am not sure where you are but sudden weather changes, flip flopping weather and etc can put them off their production also.

    Second thing, you do realize that the Layena is all vegetable protein? It has no animal protein in it whatsoever, I found that my birds did not lay as well when they were on an "Organic"/all vegetable protein feed so i stopped giving them the Layena. You may want to consider supplementing some more protein sources or changing their feed. You can give them canned salmon once or twice per week, cooked chicken, turkey or beef scraps, scrambled or boiled eggs and cooked green beans. The salmon will add valuable Omega 3s in their diet also which is great for their feathers, especially during and after a molt.

    Good luck with them.
     
    Last edited: May 11, 2010
  3. sms1225

    sms1225 Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 21, 2008
    Southern Indiana
    Cetawin.

    I thought I was using good feed. Plus it is expensive. What type or manufcturer of feed do you use? Do u pasture your chickens as well? Thanks for all your help
     
  4. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    Hens are not machines so egg production goes up and down in response to all sorts of things. And I agree about the vegetarian feed. The feeds I use have animal protein, plus I supplement them with fish and eggs. Chickens are omnivores by nature, not vegetarians.
     
  5. roberto487

    roberto487 Out Of The Brooder

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    May 28, 2009
    I use layena feed and I free range my chickens and they seem to be doing fine in the egg production, although they spend a lot of time at the compost pile chasing after the worms, centipeds, ticks and other insects. My wife also feeds them kitchen scrap like, rice, toast, pancake, old bread and so on.
     
  6. Cetawin

    Cetawin Chicken Beader

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    Mar 20, 2008
    NW Kentucky
    Quote:exactly...they are getting animal proteins from the bugs, the eggs in pancakes etc...


    Quote:It is a good feed...great for ducks and waterfowl but the chickens need meat in essence...animal protein. They are not vegetarians as speckledhen stated and the animal proteins are needed.

    I just moved from Oregon to Kentucky and had to do a feed change. They were on a local 18% layer non-organic layer they are now on Rock N Rooster Booster with oyster shell added. That is a higher protein food (28%) and my egg production has gone up. They free range from about 11 am till 6 pm daily if it is not raining, they catch bugs, eat grit, dust bathe and pick at grasses and such.

    I think if you take your layena and transition them to a animal protein food by mixing the two and gradually taking the layena away you will see they lay better once they are off the layena.

    My ducks are on Southern States All Grain Layer/Breeder Mash (Also available in pellets and crumbles)

    A complete vegetarian formulated chicken layer and breeder feed. Produced from natural ingredients with added vitamins, minerals and other trace nutrients. Contains PrimaLac a direct fed microbial that reduces mortality rate, improves feed efficiency, and boosts the immune system. Nutritionally complete to support the hens natural genetic ability for egg size, egg numbers, feathering body condition and shell quality. Feed free choice to brown and white egg layers and breeders when hens reach 16 weeks of age.

    The chickens are on Rock-N-Rooster Booster Pellets sold at Southern States.

    I add oyster shell for both ducks and chickens plus the ducks get greens daily for the extra niacin they require.

    Research the feed in your area and look for a high protein layer food with animal protein and start transitioning them and give them a couple weeks on it alone and see if it helps.
     
  7. Cowgirlgrace

    Cowgirlgrace Chillin' With My Peeps

    Chickens need a down time to rest and moult. Having lights all winter doesn't let them do that. Let them take a break and go through their moult. When they are done they will reward you with lots of eggs.

    Feeding canned salmon may be a protein source but for 40 some odd chickens I can't even imagine the feed bill!!!
     
  8. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Overrun With Chickens

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    When I first switched to vegetarian feed, I didn't like the way my chicks feathered out, that weren't free ranging. My chickens do ok if they are on vegetarian feed and free range, though. I also give additional foods during molting, including more sunflower seed.

    I would try to give them a nutritional boost. I'd also try not free ranging them for a day or two, just to see how many eggs you get, then. Sometimes free range hens are laying out in the yard. At least if you confine them for a day or two, you will know for sure how many eggs they are laying.
     

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