Every year the egg laying drops off

David175

Hatching
5 Years
Apr 19, 2014
1
0
7
I've got a small flock (8 right now, but fluctuates as high as 30) of chickens. Every year I've noticed the same behavior. As the days get longer, egg laying jumps up. Earlier this spring, with 9 girls out there, I've had as many as 8 eggs in a day. Then, egg laying drops off. The coop gets the same (or more) light as the season progresses, feed is the same, water is the same, the size of the outdoor run is the same, but every year around this time it drops off. I've gone from an average of maybe 5 eggs per day down to an average of maybe 2. Previous years have seen similar drop offs.

I'm feeding the same feed I always use, Agway Hearty Hen Layer Pellets. They have free access to good water, I keep a feeder stocked with ground oyster shell and another full of grit. I'm using pine shavings as bedding and in the nest boxes. The hens have free access to the outside run during all daylight hours and the run is at least 300 square feet, and I expand it up to about 700 during the warmer, less hawk prone months.

One last thing, my hens range in age from 6 years to 3 years. I know that the production drops off when they pass three years, but it is really the seasonal drop off I'm curious about.

Any help would certainly be appreciated. If it is just the way it is, thats fine. If I'm doing something wrong, I'd love to know what it is so I can fix it.
 

1muttsfan

Free Ranging
9 Years
Mar 26, 2011
21,047
6,914
657
Upper Peninsula Michigan
You don't say what breeds of chickens you have, but it is not uncommon for laying to fluctuate through the year. Only the super production breeds and hybrids will lay daily daily for long periods of time. For example, a red or black sex link or production Leghorn may lay 300+ eggs a year, where most heritage breeds are going to be closer to 180-250. Chickens lay best in the spring when the days are getting longer, which allows chicks plenty of time to grow up before winter sets in. We have selectively bred birds to lay longer, but some breed still only lay during very limited breeding seasons (such as Egyptian Faomis).
 

chickencopper

Chirping
5 Years
Apr 18, 2014
104
5
60
GA Chicken Rancher
Could be the up and down temps this time of year. Here in GA we are 70s day for early spring, then 50s day for mid April, then back to 70s. Year after year, I see the same. lots of eggs, few, lots, few...then once the temps stabilize, the eggs do also.
 

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