I've tried everything I can think of, but still no eggs

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by teafreak35, Nov 9, 2012.

  1. teafreak35

    teafreak35 Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 9, 2012
    I purchased a small flock of about 1 1/2 years ago...3 Cinnamon Queens, a Black Star and a New Hampshire Red. When they started laying, they layed well. I had five hens and was getting, sometimes, 8 eggs a day. They layed like this for about a year. This spring, however, they slowed down to the point that, now, I'm getting only 2 eggs a day. I've had a rooster the whole time, but have kept him separated. I introduced him to the flock by during the spring and that's when production started to fall. I thought they'd get used to him, but it's been 6 months now and still no improvement in production. I'm pretty sure it's not a molt since the decline has gone on so long. I keep them supplied with lots of clean water and I feed them a mix of chicken laying pellets and game bird laying pellets (20% protein). I also throw in a handful of wild bird feed every now and then as a little dessert. Every few days, I let them out of the pen to free range.

    They all appear to be healthy and there doesn't seem to be any real stress. I think I'm feeding them well and keeping them watered. The only thing I can think could be the problem is the rooster. He is pretty aggressive.

    Does anyone have any ideas? I really need these girls to lay...we've had to start buying eggs again. :(
     
  2. mom'sfolly

    mom'sfolly Overrun With Chickens

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    Feb 15, 2007
    Austin area, Texas
    I suspect you have a couple of things going on:

    Winter: Chickens egg laying is day length triggered. All hens will reduce laying in the wintertime, many will stop completely.
    Rooster: You probably have too much rooster for your small flock. The recommended ration is about 10 hens to a rooster. I've never noticed hens lay more with a rooster; but the opposite can be true if the hens are overstressed by the rooster.
    Expectation: most hens will lay one egg a day, and extremely good hen will lay 300 eggs/year. I think you have a distorted view of how much they will really lay.
    Age: as chickens age, they produce fewer eggs. This is a natural part of aging. My flock is getting older, and with 10 hens, this winter I'm only getting about 2 eggs a day.
     
  3. teafreak35

    teafreak35 Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 9, 2012
    Thanks for the feedback. Based on your points, I think I'm going to separate the rooster from my girls and see if they improve once they've been apart for a few days or so. I don't expect for them to lay as heavily as when they first started...just hoping that they'll supply enough to keep up with our needs. I've recently purchased 5 more Americana hens that I have in a separate pen until they get a little older. I know when they start laying, we'll have plenty of eggs. At that point, I may try to reintroduce the rooster to my flock.
     
  4. teafreak35

    teafreak35 Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 9, 2012
    As an update to this thread, it turns out that one of my Americauna "hens" was actually a rooster. However, I guess b/c he grew up under the scrutiny of my established hens, he's not nearly as aggressive. This season began with 8 eggs a day from 10 hens (more than happy about that). And...almost all of the eggs were fertilized (he's active). A skunk got in and killed one of our hens a few weeks ago and production immediately dropped! Now we're getting about 4 eggs a day on a good day. I think they're still recovering from the trauma. I've also noticed bugs flying around them so last week i dusted them all with Sevin. I'm also thinking about worming them (have never done that before)...if anyone has an idea on what type of wormer I should use, I'd love some feedback.

    Lesson learned...chickens are wonderful, but extremely picky pets. If everything is just right, they'll spoil you, but if even one thing is wrong, they'll leave your scratching your head.
     

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