I'm new - is this normal?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by mrandmrsnjt1106, Oct 22, 2012.

  1. mrandmrsnjt1106

    mrandmrsnjt1106 New Egg

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    Oct 22, 2012
    Hi everybody! I've been reading here & there when we've had a question come up about our girls (8 RIR/Delaware mixes) but didn't join until today, so this is my first post :eek:)

    I'm checking in to see if what we are experiencing in terms of egg-laying is normal or if there's anything we should investigate further.

    We got our girls at 3 days old this spring & they were around 20 weeks the 2nd week of September. We gradually switched them from grower feed to layer feed (we use Countryside Organics soy-free feed) but didn't get any eggs until about 23-24 weeks. We started out with about 2 eggs a day, then went up to 6 a day, and did get as many as 9 just once, but the consistent amount was 6. Now we are back down to 2 a day.

    I know that the days getting shorter means less eggs, but I guess I'm wondering if that means they sometimes don't lay at all? And since we only ever got 6 eggs consistently, does that mean we have 2 non-layers? Or are they just taking turns? :eek:)

    Our girls have a nice big fenced-in yard and a coop with wheels my hubby built them (though we haven't needed to move it since he put up the fencing for their yard) & they have lots of space to peck and eat bugs. Two of them can jump/fly high enough to get out so they pretty much free-range our yard & the neighbor's, but we're going to have to find a way to keep them from doing that because 1) our retriever puppy is getting bigger & more interested in catching one and 2) our neighbors don't appreciate chicken poop on their sidewalk.

    They seem quite happy & healthy with beautiful feather color and their combs & wattles are a nice, red color.

    We sometimes give them treats in the form of veggie/fruit cuttings or things we weren't able to eat fast enough but haven't yet gone bad (i.e. wilty spinach, etc). When we weren't getting very many eggs this summer, we cut back on the treats based on something I read here & that seemed to help. But we aren't giving them any oyster shell, DE, or anything else. Should we be?

    I appreciate any ideas/advice y'all might have. We're just muddling through, enjoying them, but wishing we didn't have to buy eggs from unknown far-away chickens since we have some right here in our backyard. Hoping to add more chicks in the spring to help increase the # of eggs we get, but want to be sure we're doing everything we can for our girls now.

    Thank you in advance!
    Melissa
     
  2. maidenwolfx80

    maidenwolfx80 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes the days growing shorter will mean less eggs, but there are many hens who will lay in winter just not as regularly. They lay an egg approxomately every 25 hours so it wont be the exact same time every day and once it comes around to being evening time when the 25 hours rolls around the hen will not lay until the next day the eggs laid before that happens is her clutch.
    You can give plenty of treats, the produce is good for them, I have read that too much fruit will slow down a hen in production but I do not know if that is true, I give mine treats daily. If you are not using a layer feed then yes supply oyster shell. I put oyster shell out anyway.DE is mainly to keep odor down and it is said to rid the area and hen of parasites. I do not know for sure as I do not use it.
     
  3. Den in Penn

    Den in Penn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Have you checked for hidden nests? New pullets do drop some in production, but not this soon, usually its latter in the winter. My six new layers gave me two yesterday and today it looks like they all laid. If the drop is steady look for those hidden nests.
     
  4. mrandmrsnjt1106

    mrandmrsnjt1106 New Egg

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    Oct 22, 2012
    Ok, so hubby fixed the yard a couple of weeks ago so none of the girls can get out so hidden nests, if there were any, wouldn't be an issue in our larger yard. He's checked their yard & hasn't seen any there either. And this week we've gotten 1 or 0 eggs each day!!! I am at a loss & feeling really discouraged!
     

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