Hens not laying very well

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by ReddingQuail, Jun 18, 2010.

  1. ReddingQuail

    ReddingQuail New Egg

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    Mar 29, 2010
    Hi we're new chicken owners... thought we could handle a couple of chickens since we've been raising quail for about 3 months. Ha Ha. Anyway I have a question in another category asking if anyone can tell me what kind of chickens I bought! I'll put a photo here too, just in case someone wants to chime in with the answer.

    [​IMG]

    The three hens we bought were supposedly laying before we purchased, and we have gotten a few eggs (4 eggs in 2 weeks!) and feel rather frustrated. We are still in the process of getting some nesting boxes added to the tractor we made, but I have some rectangular boxes (usps shipping boxes... don't tell my post man, I could get arrested for misuse!) that they seem to like to sit in.

    Like I said, we've only gotten 4 eggs (maybe 5) in two weeks, and at first we thought they may not be laying because of a new environment. Then my husband said he read that if you give them something "egg like", like a golf ball, that may encourage them to lay. so we have one in each nesting box. Does not seem to be inspiring them... My son caught them pecking at an egg yesterday morning, and he left them for a few minutes and when he returned there was no evidence of the egg, so it appears that they ate everything including the shell. This makes me wonder if they've been eating other eggs as well and that we just hadn't observed it. If so, how do you get them to stop eating their eggs?!!!!

    We'll be hopefully getting their "real" nesting boxes built this weekend and hung on the end of the tractor, and now I'm wondering if I should design them in a way that the egg rolls out of the box as soon as it's laid. Or if there are better ideas from you more experienced chicken farmers. So far they haven't actually laid any of their eggs in the temporary boxes, but just out in the open floor area of the tractor, on the grass. Again, any input would be appreciated . Would love to see the productivity increase maybe 2 eggs per day which doesn't seem unreasonable.
     
  2. PuppyBantamCochin

    PuppyBantamCochin Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I got 3 new (1-2yo) hens this spring that had a similar problem. One hen laid an egg the first day and then no more eggs. At first, I also thought they were stressed out and needed time to get used to their new home. Well 1wk, then 2wks, and three weeks, and I'm really getting annoyed. Our other three hens we had had for a while, had been laying well until a couple weeks after we got our 3 new hens. They went from their 3eggs a day to 1, then to none at all. That's when I heard that mites/lice can cause problems like lowered egg production. So, I checked them for bugs, and, sure enough, they had lice crawling all over their skin. I was going to treat them with a powder, but I didn't like the idea of dusting chemicals all over the place. Later, I realized that they hadn't been getting enough dusts baths, and so I moved them to a location where there was a lot of nice, dry dirt.
    They started taking dusts baths and within a couple days 5 out of six were laying (the other was just a rather old hen).

    I hope this helps you!


    F.V.
     
  3. Dora'smom

    Dora'smom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You should probably recheck your birds for mites, as dust baths don't necessarily get rid of mites altogether. Age of the birds, or just coming out of a molt could also be a factor. If you got the birds recently, they may stop laying for awhile until they get their bearings, so there are a few reasons they may have stopped laying.
     
  4. Zahboo

    Zahboo Simply Stated

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    How hot is it where you are?
     
  5. technodoll

    technodoll Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I see a rooster in your photo... I doubt you'll see many eggs from him [​IMG]
     
  6. ReddingQuail

    ReddingQuail New Egg

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    Mar 29, 2010
    Temp has been mid 80s - low 90's

    My photo isn't very good, but what looks like a rooster, I don't believe is a rooster. She's the only one I've witnessed actually laying anything!
     
  7. technodoll

    technodoll Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:My bad, sorry! Could you post a bigger, clearer photo of your girls just for fun? They look so pretty :)

    ps: my girls have also slowed down quite a bit the past few weeks and I don't know why, sooo frustrating :-/
     
  8. monita

    monita Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have heard the same from ALOT of people. their hens have either slowed down dramatically or completely stopped laying and it's due to the heat. my hens have almost completely stopped. I might get 4 eggs a week out of 12+ hens. it's been in the high 80s to the high 90s here.
     

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