laying slowed to almost nothing!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by trunkman, May 22, 2010.

  1. trunkman

    trunkman Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 26, 2009
    Rock Hill SC
    I have 5 white rocks that were laying 20 to 30 eggs a week on average. In March I purchased 7 chicks from tractor supply, then 3 weeks later I purchase 8 more chicks. Since the first batch my hens production dropped by half, then when I bought the other 8 production dropped to 6 to 10 eggs a week!! I'm very frustrated and thinking of putting the adult hens in freezer camp, am I making a mistake or should I give them more time to get adjusted, my patients is running very thin. [​IMG]
     
  2. rancher hicks

    rancher hicks Chicken Obsessed

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    Feb 28, 2009
    Syracuse, NY
    When did you introduce the new hens to the old? If you bought the new ones in march and have recently introduced them you may need to give them some time to adjust. Adjustment shouldn't take two months I would think. You may want to look to other causes, worms, feed, or mites. Unless of course you have addressed these already. I believe that worms and mites are not necessarily due to poor management but natural to chicken keeping. Not dealing with them is poor management.
     
  3. Tamrajh

    Tamrajh Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 3, 2010
    West Haven
    Also, check around the coop to make sure nothing is tunneling in. We didn't realize it but for quite a while we were supporting the habit of a skunk or two (not sure if there's a second one out there yet or not). Oddly enough, the appearance of the skunk coincided with the addition of new girls to the flock so I thought it was stress of the addition when the egg production went to near zero.
     
  4. trunkman

    trunkman Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 26, 2009
    Rock Hill SC
    how does one deal with worms or mites? I want to try anything before freezer camp!! Oh, I did check for mites and they checked out clean!
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2010
  5. rancher hicks

    rancher hicks Chicken Obsessed

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    As far as I know DE food grade can be used for both. You don't say how old the white rocks are.
     
  6. trunkman

    trunkman Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 26, 2009
    Rock Hill SC
    the white rocks are about a year to a year and a half old, I bought them from craigslist and think they are older than the seller told me they are, but that doesn't explain the decreased egg laying, the decrease was way to fast.
     
  7. rancher hicks

    rancher hicks Chicken Obsessed

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    DE can be sprinkled on the feed to take care of worms and Dusted on the birds, in the nest boxes and thoughtout the coop to address mites. These can be done as a preventative measure as well.
     
  8. trunkman

    trunkman Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 26, 2009
    Rock Hill SC
    On april 10 my white rocks had layed 24 eggs for the week, that was the day I introduced the new chicks. I kept track their egg laying and expected them to slow for a few weeks and kept track. On the 17th their laying had dropped to 17 for the week and on the 24th it dropped to 12 for the week and on may 1 the egg laying dropped to 9 for the week, on the 8th of May, down to 8 for the week, then I intoduced 8 more chicks, this week they are down to 6 eggs for the week. I'm thinking it's the new chicks that are effecting the hens, and they are very aggressive towards the new ones. I know it's kind of a no brainer, but I think I'm looking for a bit of expert advice or reassurance. [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2010
  9. feathersnuggles

    feathersnuggles Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 4, 2009
    Seattle
    Any new situation can temporarily stop the oviduct from producing eggs. For us, chicken eggs are food. For the hen's body, her eggs are all about baby chicks, and she has to feel it's safe enough for them. Anything unsettling, newcomers, predator attack, extra loud noises, new housing, and any other stresses will stop the eggs coming down the pike until that hen feels comfortable again. Give them some time to readjust to the new social situation with the newcomers. Chickens are VERY social animals. I'm not surprised egg-laying stopped when new chickens came into the picture. There's a whole new pecking order that's needed, for one thing, before the hens feel reassured that all is well, once again. When that happens, I think you'll see them go back to laying, as before.
     
  10. fishermans wife

    fishermans wife Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 2, 2009
    Ventura County
    Interesting post - I was going to ask the same question. I have 6 one year old hens - 2 went broody - so they quit laying, the other 4 continued to lay almost every day ... until the chicks hatched. Now I am lucky to get 1 maybe 2 eggs a day. I looked around to see if they were hiding them, or eating them, and have not found any evidence of either. I too think it is the adjustment of the 4 new fuzzy butts with 2 very protective mommy hens in their life right now.
     

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