Hen laying too many eggs!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by chuckachucka, Mar 23, 2017.

  1. chuckachucka

    chuckachucka Songster

    Mar 22, 2016
    Birmingham, England, UK.
    I have an aseel hen, fourteen months old, which is a breed known for poor egg laying but going broody a lot. Well she started laying at five months and only laid fifteen eggs before deciding to sit on them. Fast forward five months and the chickens were fully 'weaned' and she started laying again. This was mid December. I don't supplement lighting and feed them layer pellets as well as a few treats, mostly fruit and veg, and they get a couple of hours a day to free range and the rest of the day is spent in a covered run.
    Now it is spring and she has not stopped laying. For a long time she was laying around five eggs a week in a 3 or 2 on, 1 off pattern. However the warmer weather seems to have sped things up and this week she has laid for the past five days in a row. I believe she laid a shell-less egg yesterday less than 24 hours after the previous days egg (I found a big shredded membrane mess in the coop where she usually lays and have hears shell less eggs can be due to overproduction). The egg shells are not good quality either, very pale and with tiny calcium bumps on the ends. They are large eggs for her size.
    I have two other hens who are also laying quite a lot but their eggs are so far smaller, browner, and smoother. I'm worried about the first hen getting worn out. Is there anything I can do to slow down how many eggs she produces, or should I just leave her to it? What could be the cause of so many eggs and should I be worried?

  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Free Ranging

    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    Hard to say but the shell quality is a problem. That would indicate she may be losing bone quality.
    Are you providing a large particle calcium source like crushed oyster shell in a separate container?

    When problems occur, I usually recommend going back to basics. Feeding only a complete layer feed if birds are laying or a grower feed if they aren't, with no treats. Those complete feeds are based on the best knowledge from over 100 years of research. Adding anything else will throw off the balance.
    1 person likes this.
  3. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Ditto Dat^^^

    Amount of eggs probably is just because it is spring, tis the season!!
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2017
  4. chuckachucka

    chuckachucka Songster

    Mar 22, 2016
    Birmingham, England, UK.
    Thanks for the replies. Update: The oldest hen has just gone broody which solves the egg laying problem as she has stopped laying. I'm letting her sit for a while to give her a break. However, now my other two hens who are seven months old are having similar troubles. Today one of them was straining to lay for a while and then she laid one normal egg followed immediately by a shell-less egg. Both of the hens' eggs are getting increasingly pale and have a small amount of bumps on the ends. So I suppose my issue is twofold. What could be causing the pale/bumpy eggs and also why are they laying so many eggs for their breed? The breed is supposed to be very poor egg layers (on par with silkies) and I've heard about hens getting problems from the strain of producing too many eggs for a long time.
    If I started giving them less layer feed or food with less calcium or protein would this be helpful at all?
    I know this sounds like a non-problem as most chicken owners like more eggs but I'm concerned these hens are producing too many for their bodies.
  5. yellowherb

    yellowherb Songster

    Mar 22, 2015
    Maybe they are in high gear getting ready to brood a big clutch? I think that mother nature would tell them to step up egg laying to get as many eggs under them to brood as possible. Just a idea..

  6. junebuggena

    junebuggena Crowing

    Apr 17, 2015
    Long Beach, WA
    Shell problems are actually pretty common for younger pullets that have only recently started laying. It can take a few months for all parts of the egg producing system to start working together consistently. Feed should be available all day long. Treats and extras should be limited to no more than 10% of the overall intake.

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