I need to safely DEcrease egg production, temporarily

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by TheMatador, Jan 4, 2010.

  1. TheMatador

    TheMatador In the Brooder

    Jul 20, 2009
    Upstate, NY
    So I need to safely DEcrease egg production, temporarily.

    My wife is due to lay her own egg in about 2 weeks and I will be not around/around minimally to collect eggs and such. We don't have anyone close by who can tend to the flock for us so my plan is to load them up on food and water and let them simmer indoors for the few days necessary, I don't want eggs to freeze and possibly be eaten though.

    Is it possible to negatively impact egg production through feed? Is it as simple as reducing protein and replacing it with carbs (swap out pellets for scratch)? Thing is, we're in upstate NY and its good and cold right now. Is there anyway to safely reduce egg output without starving my girls?

  2. ghulst

    ghulst Songster

    Aug 31, 2008
    Zeeland Michigan
    Put on scrach or just corn may slow them down. It sure wouldn't hurt them.
  3. popcornpuppy

    popcornpuppy Songster

    Jun 19, 2009
    Holland, Massachusetts
    you could try reducing the amount of light they get. Chickens need up to 14 hours of daylight to lay eggs.If you have lights in the coop, just don't turn them on. If you don't have a lighted coop, try covering the windows to block out light. If your coop doesn't have windows or artificial light, then I don't know what to tell you.

    edited for spelling
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2010
  4. TheMatador

    TheMatador In the Brooder

    Jul 20, 2009
    Upstate, NY
    No lights.

    I could cover the windows....but that just seems kind of mean. Cold, no visits from daddy and no sunlight? I'm a sissy chicken owner. I just couldn't do it. (and it might drop the temperature in the coop)

    I'll just put them on all scratch grains starting in a week or so and see if that impacts anything. Thanks for the ideas!
  5. MissJenny

    MissJenny Songster

    May 11, 2009
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    First of all -- Congratulations on the new baby. Is the hospital very far from your home? Or is it near enough that you can drive back and forth each day? You'd be amazed how little the dad is needed those first few days in the hospital -- it's when the mom comes home that she can use a hand.

    Your chickens overall health might be better off if their feed and routine remain as normal as possible. Load them up on feed if you think you'll be gone an entire day... have you seen those self-filling feeders made from PVC pipe?

    Make sure they have fresh water in a non-freezing container. And if their eggs go uncollected for a day, well, won't they simply freeze?

    I think covering windows and changing feed will likely result in reduced egg production -- but it seems like a lot of trauma and bother for you and the hens just for a couple of days.

    That's my opinion, for what it's worth... but again, congratulations on the baby!

  6. TheMatador

    TheMatador In the Brooder

    Jul 20, 2009
    Upstate, NY
    Thanks MissJenny! We're pretty excited.

    I use a 5 gal waterer and a 30lbs feeder. Enough food and water for at least 3-4 days. I was just worried about uncollected eggs and board chickens lying around in the same space. Don't want to create any egg eaters. rather than screwing around with diet and lights I should probably hang up some suet feeders and other such things to keep them entertained.

    And I'll probably find the opportunity to slip home and check in on the kids. Thanks again!
  7. Fudgie

    Fudgie Hatching Queen - Got Fudge?

    I would be more concerned about them becoming broody! BUT THEN AGAIN!!! WOOO HOOOO....let em hatch them!!! [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
  8. Cindiloohoo

    Cindiloohoo Quiet as a Church Mouse

    Dec 19, 2009
    Southwest TN
    Hang them a few cabbage heads for entertainment while you're away. Maybe that will discourage eating eggs until you can get back and collect them. A combination of above mentioned things to slow laying and some good clean entertainment, may solve your problem. Good luck! Congrats on the new baby!! [​IMG]
  9. waterpossum

    waterpossum In the Brooder

    Oct 30, 2009
    i wouldn/t change a thing! make sure they have plenty of food and water and if the eggs freeze they freeze. thaw them out and cook and give them back to the chickens. i haven/t had chickens become egg eaters because i left an egg in the box. i don/t think a couple of days is going to start them doing that. you could end up messing them up for a longer period of time by changing things up too much.

  10. HeatherFeather

    HeatherFeather Songster

    Feb 16, 2009
    Severn Bridge, ON

    Lots of eggs and protein=good breastmilk!!!

    We're in Ontario and we just went for 4 days twice in a row with only one day home in between for the holidays. We did the cabbage thing, and it totally worked. You could hang a whole string of them...and suet is good too, but doesn't last too long...anything on a string really...bird seed bells...ect. I also dumped a whole 2g bucket of scratch on the floor and mixed it up with all the bedding so that they had something extra to dig for. I'm sure that with the size of your feeder and waterer, you'll be fine just like us.

    Yep, the eggs were frozen when we got home, but nobody seemed to have eaten them. Only one was allover the place, and it was frozen like that. Most of them were just hairline crack with a bit oozing out. We collected them up, thawed them, put them in the fridge and are now feeding them to the dog each day [​IMG]

    Any that were frozen and not cracked, we just put in the fridge and we're eating them like normal...the whites are a little thick in places, but all seems well [​IMG]

    I don't think you have much to worry about. Maybe you're just 'nesting' [​IMG]

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