I realize this question has been asked hundreds of times, but the sticky thread didn't help. Why are

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by BinaryChicken, Oct 28, 2013.

  1. BinaryChicken

    BinaryChicken Chillin' With My Peeps

    O.K., so, recently I got 18 new ready to lay pullets from a reputable hatchery, one that we have gotten good pullets and chicks from for 7 years. After the first week, I was getting about 12-14 eggs a day, fairly good for new pullets. About 1 1/2 weeks later, I'm only getting 5 eggs a day, and this has been going on for the last 2-3 weeks. They have plenty water and feed, their house and coop are quite large, the house is decently clean, and they have no mites or lice. For the last month or so however, there has been a little bit of a rat infestation in the shed behind it, but I am catching a lot of rats, so there cannot be too many more. The rats could be stealing a couple eggs, but not 10. The hens seem quite healthy and are in with 1 rooster. Could the rats be stressing the hens out? Or could they have spread some disease? I have never had any drops of laying like this before, though we always get our new hens around this time. The feed and water are also quite clean, and they are getting layer ration.
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2013
  2. foxystag

    foxystag Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 20, 2013
    Long Beach, Mississippi
    Could it also be that the days are getting shorter and colder?
  3. ChirpyChicks1

    ChirpyChicks1 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 22, 2013
    They need about 14hrs of daylight to lay. I have six chickens but have only been getting four or sometimes fire eggs a day. So that have something to do with it considering your location.Good luck, I hope you get more advice.
  4. ronott1

    ronott1 Daily Digest Guru Premium Member Project Manager

    Getting pullets to lay in the winter if the breed is not a winter laying breed is age related. If the current batch of pullets is even a couple of weeks older they may not keep laying through the low light conditions without supplemental light.

    Yes, the rats could be stressing them out too.

    Add supplemental light--set up a timer with light bright enough for them to see their food--add the light in the morning and evening to give the 12 to 14 hours of light. Egg production will go up in a couple of weeks usually.
    1 person likes this.
  5. BinaryChicken

    BinaryChicken Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sorry, forgot to add to all my other info, these breeds lay great in the winter, and they have a good light for 13 1/2 hours. Have any more information on chickens getting stressed?
  6. ronott1

    ronott1 Daily Digest Guru Premium Member Project Manager

    Sorry to have not gotten back to you sooner.

    Once you get rid of the rats, they will get back to laying for you--5 days or so usually.

    I have been fighting rats for several months now. It is bad right now because they were forced off of the fields by harvesting. I have a coop with a roof that raises up. The light is on until 9pm. One night last week I heard the hens giving their startled noise so I went out and found them all looking at the ground squacking. There must have been a rat that went by. I am keeping the roof closed now so that they do not get startled again.

    Keep us posted on the laying problem.
  7. BinaryChicken

    BinaryChicken Chillin' With My Peeps

    Okay, sorry for the long delay, busy week. Okay, so they are still not laying any better, but I am still catching rats. Are there diseases?
  8. ronott1

    ronott1 Daily Digest Guru Premium Member Project Manager

    Check for parasites, mites and lice.

    Try feeding them some hot peppers or sprinkle some cayenne pepper into their feed.

    Do they have dirty vents or any symptoms of being sick? Could the have coccidosis?
  9. BinaryChicken

    BinaryChicken Chillin' With My Peeps

    They do not have mites or lice, but they all seem healthy enough except maybe 1. What would the hot pepper do?
  10. ronott1

    ronott1 Daily Digest Guru Premium Member Project Manager

    I would treat them with Corid, 20% powder, 1.5 tsp per gallon for 5 days and the 1/2 tsp per gallon for another 5 days. It is safe and cheap and you can eat the eggs they lay.

    Cayenne and hot peppers are supposed to make them lay more or stat laying eggs.

    Last edited: Nov 5, 2013

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