Flock laying every other day?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by bethanyrae, Aug 28, 2010.

  1. bethanyrae

    bethanyrae Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Today I collected 2 eggs. Yesterday it was a dozen. It keeps happening like this. What gives? Should I be scouting the yard for eggs?
     
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    You can always check the yard but I don't think that will solve the problem, if it is a problem. If they start to lay somewhere else, they will usually go back to that nest every time, not splitting between the coop and a hidden nest. I can get some pretty big swings on a regular basis with nothing wrong. Not all hens lay every day and they don't all follow the same pattern. There may be nothing wrong.

    At one time I had a snake that would visit during the daytime every 2 or 3 days, eat eggs, then go off to digest them. I did not realize there was a problem until I saw the snake in the coop, then 4 eggs disappeared from under a broody. Three days later, her last 2 eggs disappeared. It would not have to be a snake. It could be some other egg eating predator that comes on an irregular pattern. Just because most predators are worse at night does not mean they won't come out during the day. You'll not always see evidence either. Often the hens will clean up any broken shells laying around even if the hens do not normally eat whole eggs.

    I would not totally discount the possibility of it being a human.

    A pattern like that does not suggest disease or molting, although I guess either one is possible.

    I seem to have days with less production when I upset the coop. This sometimes happens when I do something that upsets their regular routine. Mine normally free range. If I leave them locked in the coop and run for a while in the morning and catch them to tag them, inspect them, or whatever, I'll often get a slow day. Usually that day is OK since the egg has already started its journey through their internal egg laying factory, but often the next day is a slow day. If they are stressed, it can affect egg laying.

    It may be that you just have a flock that lays irregularly and that there is nothing really wrong. You may have something going on. This can be a tough one. Good luck!
     
  3. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

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    My Coop
    Do they look thin? My hens were looking really thin and laying sporadically. I decided to worm them, and now they're laying really well. They are starting to put some weight back on too.
     
  4. bethanyrae

    bethanyrae Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 5, 2009
    mid-Michigan
    Oh my!!! There have been eggs disappearing from under my broody, too, the last week or two. She went from 12 down to 7 in two jumps. I was blaming her! She's inside now, hatching...4 out, 3 to go.
    What do you do??? It seems to happen during the day, as we always collect in the afternoon and evening. The birds, large fowl and bantams are all fine. Is it likely a snake, then? We don't get huge ones in Michigan. I don't think....
     

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