Hens only laying 1 egg a week!.......

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by monarchcmj, Jun 30, 2011.

  1. monarchcmj

    monarchcmj Out Of The Brooder

    24
    0
    32
    Mar 28, 2009
    NH
    A friend of mine has 7 hens that are just two years old. For the last few months she has gotten *very* few eggs and the hens used to be great layers! Now, it's down to about one egg a week [​IMG] The hens are healthy, well cared for, and nothing is visibly wrong. They're not molting, are eating fine, etc. She has treated them with food grade DE, gives them oyster shell, she does everything right.
    What else can cause egg production to just drop off? Could it be some sort of infection that isn't causing any symptoms? Brainstorm with me-- I've helped her brainstorm, but we haven't come up with anything yet......
     
  2. mccabe

    mccabe Out Of The Brooder

    32
    0
    21
    Apr 26, 2011
    aloha monarchcmj, Boy, a tough one. Any chance of a predator? Rat in the coop? New dog or cat that is harassing them every day? They drop production when stressed. Loud construction near by? Kid teasing or torturing or chasing them? Did she change nesting boxes? Are they more exposed now so they have no privacy? Did she move the coop so that it gets too much sun and is hot hot? Is she making sure there is plenty of fresh water? If there is only one water source a dominant hen may be hogging the goods. Could the feed be contaminated, fermented, moldy? If none of this, I am stumped. But definitely look for outside sources, either human, noise, environmental. What about mites? Or worms? Are they walking funny? Could they have scaly leg mites? Some mites stay in the coop and only crawl onto the birds at night. Has she checked for coop infestation (done in the dead of night)? If nothing else, she might try straight protein: adding a bit of hamburger or slivers of fish or fowl with the feed.

    Something, SOMETHING has changed and she may have to spend a few days watching them ALL day to figure it out. Maybe even watching from a sheltered place so she is not noticed. She needs to become a detective for a short time.

    One last possibility. Did she raise these hens herself? Or did she buy them from someone who said they were a certain age? Their legs will indicate younger or older. Maybe someone lied to her. I don't want to think this, but not everyone is honest. Good luck. j mccabe
     
  3. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble

    23,342
    1,231
    448
    Nov 27, 2008
    Jacksonville, Florida
    There are any number of things that can cause egg production slowdown; hot temps, age, molt, lice/mites,worms, CRD, change in feed, change in living conditions....just a few off the top of my head.
     
  4. monarchcmj

    monarchcmj Out Of The Brooder

    24
    0
    32
    Mar 28, 2009
    NH
    Thanks for the replies!

    She has raised these hens since they were day old chicks.
    They eat an organic chicken feed and have since she bought them- always the same feed.
    She lives in a wooded area, so predators are a possibility, but nothing has been seen.
    They have been dusted with DE or mites, etc.
    No dogs or cats around, no kids to bother them, either.
    Nothing "jumps out" as to the cause, but it must be something!
    I'll pass this info along to her.
    Thanks again!
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by