Hen's not laying

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by DeahDalton, Oct 26, 2015.

  1. DeahDalton

    DeahDalton New Egg

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    Aug 14, 2015
    We have 10 hens and 1 Rooster, 4 hens we raised from chicks and now they are around 30 weeks old. The other 6 hens we purchased from a local farmer who was getting rid of some of his older stock. We have had the new girls for about 6 weeks and we were getting 2-4 eggs a day for a good 2-3 weeks. The hens we raised started laying a few here and there and we were up to 4-6 eggs a day. For about 3 weeks now we are only getting 2-3 eggs a day. We know the older girls aren't going to lay everyday and we know some may not lay at all, its hard to tell who's laying and who's not. Any ideas on what's going on or thoughts on how to help us get some more production?
    We do let them out of their coop almost everyday and we have checked for hiding places.
     
  2. Free Spirit

    Free Spirit The Chiarian

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    Are any in molt (losing feathers)? Is it the daylight hours getting shorter (don't know where you are located)? Egg production decreases when the daylight hours get shorter or when they are molting.
     
  3. DeahDalton

    DeahDalton New Egg

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    Aug 14, 2015
    No signs of molting, the hens we bought from the local farmer barely had any to begin with due to too many roosters, they are coming back in nice a full. We live in North East Texas, we were aware that production would slow some during the fall/winter months but it just seems like it was a little soon and out of 10 hens and 4 being new layers we should get more than 2-3 eggs a day. did know if there was any tricks out there to help them out or if we needs to add something to their diet etc.
     
  4. Free Spirit

    Free Spirit The Chiarian

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    It's better for the hens to have a break when the daylight gets shorter. It's more natural for them and better for their health... but yes there is a way you can bring production back up. You would need to add a light to the coop for a few extra hours in the morning to lengthen the number of hours of light. It can be any light - a regular light bulb will work at 25 to 40 watts - even a strand of Christmas lights. Just so the natural light and supplemental light combined equal to about 14 hours.

    Whatever you choose to do I recommend doing some research and reading about the pro's and con's.

    Good luck
     
  5. KarennFallon

    KarennFallon Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 19, 2015
    A question on feeding my chickens during the winter. Until Sept this year I haven't had chickens for almost 30 yrs and then in a Northern area. I live in Fallon NV now and I consider our winters to be fairly mild, very little snow, coldest months Dec-Feb. I've been checking out the ventilation info, but wondered about changes in diet. I've had two turkeys on gamebird food to fatten for butcher and 3-4 wks ago got 5 hens to put in the freezer, but they started putting out 3-4 eggs a day, so they get to stay, Now, while they too are eating the gamebird food with some scratch added in, grit of course, does that change now that I'm not fattening them for the freezer? What about over the winter? I need to buy more food, but need to know if I need to make a change.
     
  6. Free Spirit

    Free Spirit The Chiarian

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    You don't need to mix the scratch in with the feed. It's not that nutritious and adds a lot of fat. Scratch is generally used to encourage chickens to scratch around and find their own bugs, seeds, and grit from the ground. So just toss a handful onto the ground each day for them and let them forage for it.

    If you're going to keep the chickens for the eggs then you need to switch to layer pellets. It contains added nutrients designed for laying hens. You should (need to if they are laying) supply oyster shells free choice in a separate dish. Egg laying depletes the calcium in chickens because they use up their stores to create the shell of the eggs. The layer pellets contain the needed calcium and the oyster shells are a supplement if they need more. The chickens will eat it on their own if they need it.

    Keep supplying grit. It helps to digest the corn, grasses and other items they eat for a healthy digestive system. Grit should be supplied free choice also. They will take what they need.

    This should be all they need for the winter.
     
  7. KarennFallon

    KarennFallon Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 19, 2015
    Thanks Free Spirit, I'll get those layer pellets and oyster shell tomorrow.
     
  8. Spartan22

    Spartan22 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    (2x free spirit) Yep layer pellets will help, with oyster shell supplement if needed. Supplemental low wattage light early in the morning to simulate 12-14 hours of daylight will also help. I normally take off the supplement light by December/January to give my hens some break till spring. But I still get some eggs around 50% of regular production during those time.
     

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