Huge drop in egg production. any ideas?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by stevin, Oct 3, 2011.

  1. stevin

    stevin Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 11, 2009
    Dartmouth, Ma
    Last winter I was collecting 18-20 eggs per day from 25 hens with supplemental lighting. This spring without supp lighting I was collecting 14-18 eggs per day. This summer i was collecting 6-8 till now, I sold 10 hens a month ago and have been collecting only 2-4 eggs per day from 15 hens.

    Not sure if it's egg eating, every once in a while I may find an egg with yolk on its shell. Not sure if it's egg stealing, there has been no signs of an animal coming in to steal eggs.

    about a month or so ago there were a few hens that were molting because there were feathers everywhere, outside in the run & in the coop. but now I haven’t seen much molting happening nor have I had a hen go broody in a couple of months.
    All the hens are 2 yrs old or younger. I have a RIR’s, Light Sussex, EE’s & Pearl White Leghorns. Even my 3 EE’s were consistently giving me 2-3 eggs a day and my 5 Leghorns were giving me 4-5 eggs a day. For the past couple of months I’m lucky to get 1 egg from the EE’s and been getting 2 from the Leghorns.
    Any ideas as to what could be causing a huge decrease in egg laying?
     
  2. Yay Chicks!

    Yay Chicks! Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 15, 2010
    Forest Grove, OR
    Sounds like quite a mystery! [​IMG]

    I know that it can take a bit after molting even if it looks like they are done, so that might account for a little bit. Not sure about your summer drop. Did you have unusually high heat back there?

    Do they all act and appear healthy? Any mites, lice or worms?

    Of course, this time of year they will slow down...

    Sorry, I'm not much help...
     
  3. kidcody

    kidcody Overrun With Chickens

    Another factor is stress. Doesn't sound like your girls are stressed out? Do you have a rooster? Sometimes roosters can stress hens. Very strange why they are not laying eggs for you! sorry not more helpful!
     
  4. stevin

    stevin Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 11, 2009
    Dartmouth, Ma
    we did have a heat wave for 2 weeks back in july with temps that averaged in the mid - high 90's and with one friday that reached 103, lost 3 birds that day.
    they all appear to be healthy. their appetite is still strong. no signs of lice or mites. have not treated them for worms since last fall, they are due.

    i do have 2 roosters in there with the (15) hens and (10) 5-month old pullets. One of the roosters i'm trying to sell right now....

    i dunno....this is very discouraging...
     
  5. Yay Chicks!

    Yay Chicks! Chillin' With My Peeps

    3,787
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    Apr 15, 2010
    Forest Grove, OR
    You mentioned finding yolk on one egg. Are you able to collect eggs right away, or are you gone during the day? Any place they might be hiding them?
     
  6. stevin

    stevin Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 11, 2009
    Dartmouth, Ma
    yeah, every once in a while i'll find some evidence of egg yolk on a egg or eggs in the nest box. i've never found pieces of egg shells, just egg yolk. a few time i found who the culprits were because their faces & beaks were stained yellow but i have sold those hens since then.
    the only time i can collect the eggs often is on the weekends. for example, yesterday i must have visited the coop 20 times to make sure that i wasn't missing out on anything like either egg eating or egg stealing. i've looked all over the coop and have found so hidden nests and nothing outside in the run. i haven't let my bird out to free range in several weeks because of the hawks that i have spotted flying around.
     

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