Frustrating with egg laying regularity - time to cull the flock?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by lhousesoccer, Feb 13, 2013.

  1. lhousesoccer

    lhousesoccer Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 26, 2010
    So, I have a mixed flock of 15 hens. Brahmas, Orpingtons, Wyandotts, Australops, Leghorns, Barred Rocks and Auracanas. They range in age from almost 3 years old (about half will turn 3 this May) to 2 years old to almost 1 year old (Auracanas (3 of them) and brown leghorn (1) of them). I replace a few chickens that I've lost to predators or other reasons usually every year, but I've always had 12-15 chickens at a time.

    I write down the number of eggs I collect each day on the calendar, and for the last 2 months, I'm getting 1-2 eggs per day on average, some days zero eggs. I'm averaging I guess about 4 or 5 eggs a week lately, which I think is ridiculous from 15 hens. The only regular hen seems to be my new leghorn. She's the only white layer, and I get a white egg nearly every day.

    The last couple winters, I noticed a decline in egg production due to photoperiod, cold temps etc., but it was never like this. Are my chickens too old and need replacing? I'm not sure that's the case, since I have 3 Auracanas under 1 year old, and I haven't seen a blue egg in the coop for over 2 months.

    At the same time, they are eating just a ton of food still, but not giving anything back, and it's starting to get to me! Any tips, other than "be patient" [​IMG]. I'm tired of feeding them, and not getting eggs back! Do I need to start trying to figure out who's laying and who's not and culling?
     
  2. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    It may very well be time to consider culling some of the oldest hens. Since the daylength is rapidly increasing, I would be tempted to wait a bit and see if they resume laying. Add a half dozen pullets this season and remove six or so of the oldest hens next autumn.
     
  3. missnu01

    missnu01 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Have you tried deworming or delousing them. Because infestations of either can cause a drop in egg production. I have 3 laying hens, and they are on a schedule that I get 2 eggs most days, every once in awhile I get 3 eggs. But I also have one leghorn hen that is a power house. I might get an x-large, or small brown egg, but I always have an x-large white egg. I am ordering more leghorns this spring. I also have a Buff Orpington, that gives me my x-large brown eggs, she just started laying in earnest this past week though....and I get small brown eggs from a slightly larger than bantam sized barnyard mix. I was getting about 4 eggs a week and then all of a sudden I am getting around 9 or 10 a week. I am looking forward to 9 or 10 a day...or more...Lol. We eat a whole lot of eggs. Especially if we have a whole lot of eggs...I have a son getting ready to make the change, and it seems his protein needs are higher...he asked for eggs for dessert last night... and he had a late night eggs the night before that. Lol. I also have late night egg cravings, so I can't fault him that. We are a family of 5, so we use 10 eggs in a sitting most times...and still end up with someone asking if there are any extra eggs...
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2013

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