Help....major egg loss daily.

HopMomma

Chirping
Nov 9, 2020
70
92
86
So I've got 20 hens. I usually get 13-18 eggs a day. I brought in 2 roosters a month ago that have taken to the ladies great. No issues. In the last 5 days I've lost egg production drastically. Yesterday was 5 today was 2...2 eggs. Idk what's going on? They are in a coop, with lights on a timer(new addition), food hasn't changed, water supply great. What's going on?
 

HopMomma

Chirping
Nov 9, 2020
70
92
86
Any chance you have an egg thief? Dependent where you live there are likely to be opportunistic predators who might have just discovered their new favorite takeout...
Yah idk. We have weasels in the area but with live traps and no signs yet of them...maybe I guess. That would be alot to get in and take them without being noticed. Maybe I'll set up a camera
 

HopMomma

Chirping
Nov 9, 2020
70
92
86
Questions:

How old are the hens? The older the hen the less egg production they’ll produce.

is it cold where you are? Hens start laying less during fall / winter.

Make sure they’re free of mites / parasites. Some mites / parasites can easily spread around. And some can affect a hens laying process.
They are 10months. Yes it's cold but they went through the cold change a month ago. I adjusted the heat in the coop to make it regular temps 50's-60's for them, added light with a timer last weekend. I dont see any mites. Their poop looks clear of anything strange but I'll dig more.
 

Missmaddymoo008

Chirping
Nov 27, 2020
26
53
54
They are 10months. Yes it's cold but they went through the cold change a month ago. I adjusted the heat in the coop to make it regular temps 50's-60's for them, added light with a timer last weekend. I dont see any mites. Their poop looks clear of anything strange but I'll dig more.
i know it’s a little late but they could be going through their first molt. ( since their less than a year old ) My hens stopped laying for a while when they had their first molt.
 

The Kooky Kiwi

Crowing
Dec 23, 2017
750
2,122
276
New Zealand, Golden Bay
Yah idk. We have weasels in the area but with live traps and no signs yet of them...maybe I guess. That would be alot to get in and take them without being noticed. Maybe I'll set up a camera

You would be surprised what ONE vermin can do with a bit of time unobserved. Our number one thief around here are the weka (a native bird) - One morning I observed ONE bird making repeat trips into my hen house to steal eggs and in the space of 30 minutes it took 8 eggs.

It was a bit of a coincidence.. but several days prior this weka had got itself into my wild cat trap (which is a live catch trap). Weka are protected birds here so I duly released it, but not before putting a coloured leg band on it for easy identification later.

I had also been experiencing egg reduction at the time and I wondered if this weka might be the culprit so I laid a trap. I "doctored" several eggs by injecting them with a whatever I could find at the time that I decided would taste bad - the idea being to dissuade the thief from even wanting to take the eggs.

And it was the leg band gave it away! The same bird.. repeated trips until it stole nearly all the eggs.
 

coupelesschics

Chirping
Aug 30, 2020
66
37
61
Questions:

How old are the hens? The older the hen the less egg production they’ll produce.

is it cold where you are? Hens start laying less during fall / winter.

Make sure they’re free of mites / parasites. Some mites / parasites can easily spread around. And some can affect a hens laying process.
I was going to ask about weather as well.
 

Missmaddymoo008

Chirping
Nov 27, 2020
26
53
54
You would be surprised what ONE vermin can do with a bit of time unobserved. Our number one thief around here are the weka (a native bird) - One morning I observed ONE bird making repeat trips into my hen house to steal eggs and in the space of 30 minutes it took 8 eggs.

It was a bit of a coincidence.. but several days prior this weka had got itself into my wild cat trap (which is a live catch trap). Weka are protected birds here so I duly released it, but not before putting a coloured leg band on it for easy identification later.

I had also been experiencing egg reduction at the time and I wondered if this weka might be the culprit so I laid a trap. I "doctored" several eggs by injecting them with a whatever I could find at the time that I decided would taste bad - the idea being to dissuade the thief from even wanting to take the eggs.

And it was the leg band gave it away! The same bird.. repeated trips until it stole nearly all the eggs.
Oh wow! I had two raccoons who had killed 3 of my hens months ago and stole our eggs for a long time. Long story short = Alarms and cameras work great.
 

The Kooky Kiwi

Crowing
Dec 23, 2017
750
2,122
276
New Zealand, Golden Bay
Oh wow! I had two raccoons who had killed 3 of my hens months ago and stole our eggs for a long time. Long story short = Alarms and cameras work great.
Yikes! Yeah I'm glad we don't have raccoons - but then we have our own version of naughty mischief makers! I don't bother with the camera's - I know who the culprits are now - it's just a matter of finding out HOW they're getting in and add yet another layer of weka proofing!
 

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