Help! My hens have cut production by 2/3 - Are they on Strike?

remadl700

Songster
10 Years
Nov 18, 2009
186
3
111
oregon
I have 12 hens. 1 RR, 2 Silverlaced Wyandotte's, 2 EE, 3 JG's, 2 Buff's, 2 Wyan x's. They have gone from laying about 10 a day to 3-4.

Everything has been normal. No food changes except adding some cracked wheat and corn as treats but thats been going on for at least 2 months before this change. I know they slow down a little this time of year but last year at this time it was not nearly this dramatic of a drop in production.
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Should I be looking for something that is a tell tale sign there is something wrong? I have walked the area around the coop and the droppings look normal, food consumption is about right as well as water.

Could it be the length of day and overall temp change?

Thanks in advance.
 

sgtmom52

Birds & Bees
12 Years
Jun 1, 2007
5,805
253
328
Northern York County ~ Pennsylvania
Could be the time of year or they could be beginning to molt. My 2 & 3 year olds are molting now and went from from about 6 per day from 9 hens down to 1 every other day. Last year it took them 3 months to get back on line after the molt.
 

Chick CJ

Songster
10 Years
Dec 27, 2009
454
40
181
They are probably going through a molt. I am experiencing the same thing. I had been finding a lot of feathers in and around the coop, but it was hard to actually tell just by looking at the girls. If they didn't go through a molt last year or if they only went through a "little" one then they are probably going through a real one this year. Take heart though, I understand the eggs get even bigger after a molt! By the way, I am down from 8 eggs a day to 0-3!! Bummer! I actually had to buy eggs the other day, but first I had to borrow one from my neighbor as I was in the middle of making some pumpkin pies and discovered I was short one egg. She thought that was so funny!!
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vnploveschickens

Songster
11 Years
Feb 12, 2009
1,037
3
186
Sonoma County, Northern Calif
I've got 9 layers but getting only 2-3 eggs per day.

Most of them are molting. We are only getting about 11 hours of daylight these days too.
And 1 orpington decided to go broody too (although she is not sitting on any eggs).
It is such a dramatic drop in egg production. Hopefully I won't have to go get store-bought eggs for the winter ;-(
 

remadl700

Songster
10 Years
Nov 18, 2009
186
3
111
oregon
Quote:
YEA...whats with the getting broody stuff with no eggs! The X we have is now the ENFORCER of the Laying boxes. You go to get the 2 or 3 eggs a couple boxes down and she is like a pit bull. Maybe I should put her on a leash in front of our house with a sign "BEWARE THE BROODY HEN"
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vnploveschickens

Songster
11 Years
Feb 12, 2009
1,037
3
186
Sonoma County, Northern Calif
Quote:
YEA...whats with the getting broody stuff with no eggs! The X we have is now the ENFORCER of the Laying boxes. You go to get the 2 or 3 eggs a couple boxes down and she is like a pit bull. Maybe I should put her on a leash in front of our house with a sign "BEWARE THE BROODY HEN"
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dandelionheart

Songster
9 Years
Sep 15, 2010
382
2
113
Lafayette, Indiana
We've also had a drop and I suspect that they may be molting... I've only had chickens for a little bit, but feathers are everywhere and it doesn't seem to be related to pecking. Yesterday no eggs at all... one egg today. We do have a light in there a couple of hours before sunrise and past sunset - didn't make a difference... but then if molting is the cause it wouldn't. I just want more eggs so that I can share them! And they seem happy and well adjusted, healthy - so that isn't the issue. Only four of them are layers (we are waiting on the EEs).
 

MANNA-PRO

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