How can I help my hens lay more?

agold23

Songster
May 25, 2021
154
381
111
2 weeks ago my rooster, one of my pullets and my poor 10 week old chick were taken by a fox. 3 weeks ago my cockerel was taken by a fox too. This left us 2 laying hens. For obvious reasons now they’re kept in the 8x12 coop and 8x8 run and free range when my dog and I are home, for a few hours almost every afternoon. I noticed a decrease in their laying since they they’ve started being confined. They used to both lay everyday ever since they started laying at the beginning of July, but now they’re each down to maybe 4-6 eggs a week. They’re both healthy and good birds who stick together and near us, it’s just very unfortunate that they’re not able to explore with the flock like they’re used to.

How can I help them lay better? Is this an emotional thing like from losing the flock that they’ll get through or is it due to the lack of exercise/diet variety compared to free ranging, like a ‘depression’ from not being able to wander like they’re used to? They’re both 7/8 months old, one is an ameracauna mix and the other is a lavender orpington. They’re on layer pellets and we give them scraps and scratch every other day.
 

agold23

Songster
May 25, 2021
154
381
111
I would guess it's a combination of stress, shortening day light period, and a possible molt.
I didn’t even think of the daylight- yes that’d make sense. No sign of molting yet with them yet, and with whatever is bothering them I know they’ll bounce back soon!
 

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