Heat Affecting Production?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by bubba1358, Aug 27, 2014.

  1. bubba1358

    bubba1358 In the Brooder

    May 13, 2013
    Middle TN
    I've got 31 chickens (8 young pullets, a roo, and 22 laying hens). They had been laying upwards of 18 eggs a day for a while, but in the last month it has dropped precipitously. It started when I ran out of feed for a few days in the first half of July, which coincided with adding the 8 pullets to the flock, and has continued since then. In the emergency, I fed them whole wheat grains and sunflower seeds. They've been back on feed for a while now. I've done everything i can think of to jump-start laying, including feeding cayenne pepper, extra salt, chili powder, raw milk from my cow, extra high protein rations, electrolytes in the water, extra calcium, and isolating suspected egg eaters.

    Yesterday, I got 4 eggs. It's the most I've gotten in a day for the last week.

    I'm beginning to suspect that the stress of low feed and pecking order caused a hiccup in production. It should have been ironed out by now (5 weeks later), but it has also gotten a LOT hotter recently. I didn't piece that together until yesterday. It was a cool-ish first half of the summer, where temps barely cracked 90. However, it's risen steadily lately, and we had a day with a heat index of 112 this weekend.

    So, can very high heat cause a halt in laying?

    If so, what can I do? Do I just need to wait it out?

    Today, I'm setting up a kiddie pool once it starts warming up, and will put some big blocks of ice in their waterer. They have shade provided by the moavble coop, which is also very well ventilated (hardware cloth floor and opening on the top). Anything else?

    Thanks in advance!
  2. Judy

    Judy Crowing

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    Our not weather slows down egg production every summer. It picks up in spring and fall.
  3. Percheron chick

    Percheron chick Crowing

    Apr 12, 2013
    Boulder, Colorado
    The heat and adding the pullets are probably the main cause for the reduction in laying. Chickens naturally eat less when it's hot so they do not produce as well. Are your breeds heat tolerant?

    My birds like to stand in the water when it gets really hot. Made the kiddy pool accessible and only about 2" deep on one side. Add something like indoor/outdoor carpet on that side so the bottom isn't slick. I would skip the cayenne, salt and chili powder and just stick to layer feed, fresh kitchen and garden scraps including the milk.
  4. bubba1358

    bubba1358 In the Brooder

    May 13, 2013
    Middle TN
    Thanks. I tried those supplements as "tricks" to get them to lay more. Ah, the internet.

    I saw a hen standing in the kiddie pool today. I also dumped some blocks of ice in their waterer. I hope this helps.

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