How to Encourage Egg Laying?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by MEH0806, Mar 12, 2018.

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  1. MEH0806

    MEH0806 In the Brooder

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    Hi all,

    We have 15 hens, and we've been receiving 2-3 eggs per day. This has gone on for a month or so now... 7 of our hens are relatively young still (hatched in Sept. 2017), while 8 of them are 1 1/2 - 2 years old.

    They have a comfortable coop, safe run, regular water changes, protein supplement, oyster shells, grit, pellet layer food and crumble food options. We have scratch, but have limited it as we read that too much corn in the diet may harm egg production. They receive lots of table scraps, and bedding is refreshed often.... Nesting boxes are ample, roosting bars available...

    It's been weird weather here in Maine though - 70 degree days in February, followed by two snow storms between this week and last.

    Is it just the crazy weather throwing them off? Are we expecting too much too soon? Hoping to start seeing more than 2-3 eggs per day with that many hens... any thoughts or suggestions?

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Free Ranging

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    I have a few September, October pullets that have yet to lay.
    The good news is that we are well after the winter solstice so more eggs are likely imminent.
    Have you checked the space between pelvic bones to determine which pullets/hens are about to lay and which aren't?
    If all things are in place to promote overall health and ovulation, productive breeds will lay this time of year.
    You didn't say hat breeds you have. If you have productive breeds they will lay soon, if breeds that don't lay well, you may have a longer wait.
    Optimal nutrition will come from chicken feed, not scratch.
    What is the protein supplement and how much are you adding?

    ETA
    The bottom line is, except for a rare individual, if the birds are of productive breeds, are healthy, have optimal nutrition, of prime laying age, not stressed and in a period of increasing day length, they will ovulate - no encouragement necessary.
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2018
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  3. Lunafarmchickens

    Lunafarmchickens Chirping

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    What breed are you're hens?
     
  4. MEH0806

    MEH0806 In the Brooder

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    It's a variety - we have silkies, polish, rhode island red, ameraucana, welsummer...

    I we get a blue/green one pretty regularly, white, and brown. So, I know that at least one of each breed is laying, but it seems there should be more.... The silkies I expect to lay fewer though.
     
  5. Lunafarmchickens

    Lunafarmchickens Chirping

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    Sep 12, 2017
    Hm
    Hm, maybe they are just late bloomers.
     
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  6. MEH0806

    MEH0806 In the Brooder

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    It's a protein powder that is added to their water - my husband usually does the addition of that, so unfortunately I'm not sure - but he followed the directions on the container....

    I suppose I should have a little bit lower expectations for the silkie hens as I know they aren't known for being excellent layers (but we also have polish, ameraucana, rhode island red, and a few others). I'll hold out for more eggs as it gets more spring-like around here... Good to know that some of yours from the same time have not yet begun either. Could just be a matter of time.

    We inspect them frequently - they appear healthy but will research the pelvic bones point in more depth. thanks!
     
  7. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Free Ranging

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    RIRs are excellent layers, welsummers are slow maturing, Ameraucanas are pretty good, some lines of Polish are productive, some lines are poor layers. If you're not getting any tiny white eggs, the white ones are from the Polish unless there are other breeds you didn't list. If the brown eggs aren't vey dark, they're from the RIR and not the Welsummer.
    Is the protein powder made for chickens?
    Temperature has very little to do with egg production. It is more tied to whether day vs. night is increasing or decreasing. It just happens to be cold when days are short.
    There should be 2 or more finger widths between the pointy pelvic bones. If less than that, laying is not imminent.
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2018
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  8. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

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    Spartan22 likes this.
  9. I am with aart, protein supplements or powders are not a proper diet for a laying hen.
     
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  10. Spartan22

    Spartan22 Crowing

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    I assumed you have plenty of room for them right? I will lay off on treats for the meantime and stay with quality layer feed and or high protein feed such as flock raiser.

    I don’t think it’s the crazy weather unless your set up is affected by weather much(getting wet, shaky windy coop, crowded when raining or snowing) We’d been having crazy weather here too, one day higher 50s then drop to teens and snow, now that we’d been having longer daylights my production climbed up to 24-26/day out of 30 from having 7-12/day for couple of months. My hens ages 11 months old to 4 years olds. One great thing I’ve noticed, availability of clean liquid water daily affected them. I got two coops one has a water heater and one doesn’t and the one w/ water heater produce more eggs than the one w/ solid ice waterer when I come home from work (both get fresh water daily). Hope someone here will get you some great insight on what’s best for them. If your priorities on chicken keeping are egg production, consider of having more great layer breeds to add for your next batch of chicks.
     

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