Heat and egg laying

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by tofumama, Aug 2, 2010.

  1. tofumama

    tofumama Chillin' With My Peeps

    OK, I am sure I am not the only one...

    My chickens, 7 of whom were active egg layers all but gave up their duties at the onset of the rediculous heat-wave-that-would-not-end. I understand that they won't lay in the heat, though my one EE layed all through the heat and is still going strong. We went from 6-7 eggs a day, to maybe 2? Once in a while we will get 3. The heat wave has passed and the temps have been much nicer. So...what can I do to encourage them to start again?

    The stats: I have 2 silkies, 4 cochins and 1 EE whom are just shy of a year old(along with 6 'babies' who have not reached egg-laying age yet, they are about 16 weeks, give or take) They are free range, are not sick, get good organic food as well as lots of water, fruits and veggies, maybe some cooked rice and barley on occasion, no scratch or seeds unless they find them on their own...I am just as a loss. Should I keep them penned up? They have an enclosed run attatched to their house that we use in the winter, but let them loose in the yard the rest of the time. They are not stressed that I am aware of, and appear to me to be healthy, bug free, etc. I love having them around as pets, don't get me wrong, but was REALLY enjoying being able to feed my family(and the neighbors) with fresh eggs...
     
  2. gallusdomesticus

    gallusdomesticus Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 14, 2008
    Lynn Haven, FL
    The heat definitely affects egg production. When it's hot, the birds eat less and have less protein available for egg production. Additionally high temperatures cause them to pant which drives off carbon dioxide which changes their blood chemistry Ph and decreases their ability to extract calcium carbonate to build strong egg shells so the eggs you do get are often thinner than with more moderate temperatures. Also, if you give them lots of fruit and vegetables, you're hampering their ability to lay eggs. Fruit and starchy food like corn are high in sugar content and will add weight to your bird without giving it proper nuitrition for laying eggs. I would only give 'treats' in small amounts...they should not make up a significant portion of their diet.
    Here's a good pamplet from the Florida Agricultural Extension Service on egg production you might find handy.

    Bring on Autumn!

    http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/pdffiles/ps/ps02900.pdf
     
  3. atimme

    atimme Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 3, 2010
    Chicago
    Give them time to bounce back, once they turn the egg equipment off it may take a while with good conditions to start up again... [​IMG]
     

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