I should be getting more eggs!!

AltonaAcres

Crowing
Jan 13, 2019
3,276
5,725
436
I was wondering if anyone has thoughts regarding my low number of eggs lately. My flock currently consists of a RIR hen (3 years old), a Leghorn hen (3 years old), an easter egger pullet (hatched this past spring), an Orpington/Ameraucana cross hen (2 years old), a Whiting tru green pullet (hatched this past spring), a Whiting tru blue pullet (hatched this past spring), a Silver penciled rock pullet (hatched this past spring), a white polish pullet (hatched this past spring), a Naked neck mix hen (1 year old), two roosters (they don't count obviously), an easter egger mix hen (2 years old), and 7 naked neck crosses (too young to lay eggs), a Light brahma pullet (hatched this past spring), an Appenzellar Spitzhuaben hen (3 years old). We just butchered 20+ heavy-breed heritage cockerels and a couple of turkeys. I am only getting one egg a day though, and it's a different color every day, so none of my birds are laying consistently. I am afraid something is wrong, bc of my bird's inconsistent and low egg production rates. We feed them a barley based whole grain feed which we ferment. It is formulated for chickens, and is high in protein. Our chickens also get spent grains and black soldier fly larva every few days. They free-range so get plenty of greens and bugs. There is a mite infestation in the coops, so I treated the coops and bedding with Diatemacious earth, but I haven't seen any mites on my chickens when I look through their feathers. There are 8 coops in my chicken area, but only two are being used currently, one rooster sleeps in each coop. The roosters are both very mellow guys, and seldom chase/mount the hens. It has been pretty warm here lately, in the upper 60's and 70's, and it drops down to the lower 50's at night. Most of my flock is molting, but the younger hens are not. Only 2 of the younger hens have started laying which is odd because they are almost 6 months old. My hens usually start laying before then if I remember right. Should I be concerned? Is there something I should change? I have been looking for hidden nests of eggs most days, but can't seem to find any. Thanks!!
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Nov 27, 2012
98,001
134,875
1,807
SW Michigan
My Coop
My Coop
Most of my flock is molting, but the younger hens are not. Only 2 of the younger hens have started laying which is odd because they are almost 6 months old.
Well, there's your answer. Check the pullets(only 4 near laying age, if I counted correctly?) for physical signs of laying:
https://www.backyardchickens.com/articles/who-is-laying-and-who-is-not-butt-check.73309/

Mites(DE won't do diddly) have you checked birds at night, well after dark?

Free range....
Might need to:
Free range birds sometimes need to be 'trained'(or re-trained) to lay in the coop nests, especially new layers. Leaving them locked in the coop for a week or so can help 'home' them to lay in the coop nests. Fake eggs/golf balls in the nests can help 'show' them were to lay. They can be confined to coop and maybe run 24/7 for a few days to a week, provided you have adequate space and ventilation, or confine them at least until mid to late afternoon. You help them create a new habit and they will usually stick with it. ..at least for a good while, then repeat as necessary.
 

slordaz

hatchaholic
5 Years
Apr 15, 2015
3,456
6,393
602
Idaho
Many things could be going on to cause the decrease, Molting, Breeds on the pullets as some do not lay until 8-9 months old( always good to do your research) internal/external parasites, nutritional deficiency, hidden nests.

would help if we knew where you were.
 

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