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Low Egg Production

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by 08562njpaul, Feb 10, 2017.

  1. 08562njpaul

    08562njpaul New Egg

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    Feb 10, 2017
    Wrightstown NJ 08562
    Hey - New to this site - love it so far but i have a problem...

    Started this past summer. 15 birds, all egg layers. Before this summer i would get 6 to 8 eggs a day. All of a sudden production dropped to one egg a day. Same food same water same coop.

    I started to disinfect my water font, I got a probotic for chickens, I thought the water source was bas as there was some slime in the font and it was funky smelling.

    Summer turned to fall, still super low production. I have always had a few aggressive hens, tail feathers missing off some of the more submissive birds etc. So i built another coop, put the submissive birds in it separate from the main flock. Egg production remained low. Then i noticed more birds in the main flock were starting to loose feathers. So i culled the three most aggressive hens. Put everyone back together. No more feather distress, everyone seems happy.

    Still low production.

    A house burned down a few towns over, i inherited five adult egg layers. Was told they were good producers. Got them the day after christmas (the house burned christmas eve, sad). They have layer five eggs to date.

    Im obviously doing something wrong....The main flock has a nice sized coop with a 8ft x 16 foot run. I notice sparrows inside eating their food so i know I'm feeding them, i saw a rat out there so i got rid of it, I'm trying here bit I'm tired of feeding 16 birds and getting ONE egg a day! I can but ORGANIC eggs cheaper!

    Help or I'm going to just give up...

    I fed them organic feed until november, at $30 a bag i was going broke. Switched to all natural Nutrena? from tractor supply at significantly less. I give a scoop of Grit and a scoop or calcium once a week or so scattered.

    Help PLEASE!
     
  2. tlzimmerman

    tlzimmerman Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 28, 2017
    Gove, Kansas
    Just going to toss out some ideas to discuss.

    Worms.....have they been wormed or are there signs of worms in their poop?

    Light, have you added light in the winter months to keep them laying?

    Food, how much food per hen are they eating per day?

    I assume reading what you wrote that they are confined all day? No place they could be stashing eggs except in the nest box? If they free range....are you missing a nest somewhere they are all laying?
     
  3. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Welcome to BYC!
    Thanks for adding your location!

    First, how old are these birds?
    They usually molt at around 18 months, some may molt younger.
    My 10 month olds molted this winter.

    Most birds, especially those over a year, will not lay during the short winter days.
    They need bright light 12-14 hours a day to stimulate hormones to release eggs.
    Unless you use supplemental lighting, and sometimes even if you do,
    you will not get many (if any) eggs over winter.

    Feed:
    Protein levels should be looked at, on tag sewn into the bottom of your feed bag.
    Balanced out with any other 'treats' or foods you are giving them.

    Crowding stress.
    How big is your coop, in feet by feet?
    Your run is a bit small for 15-20 birds...depending on what it is like.
    Pics of both coop and run would help.
    Adding birds also causes stress..and those new birds could have brought pests or disease with them.

    Your lack of eggs could be any one or more of the above....or other reasons too.
    Oh, and, 'growing' eggs will never be cheaper than buying them at the store.
    Most folks here are looking to get their food from more pleasant conditions for the animals.
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2017
  4. 08562njpaul

    08562njpaul New Egg

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    Feb 10, 2017
    Wrightstown NJ 08562
    The fivenew ones are in a second d coop all by themselves. There are ten in a 16 x 8 outside enclosure, the coupe itself is 4x4 with two roosting perches and 4 layer boxes.

    The smaller coop is too.small for the five that are in it but it's just for.the winter.as I had to take these birds or they would have perished.

    I don't think the have worms, I've looked at the poop but haven't seen anything g like that.

    I know the eggs will never be as cheap as what I can buy but $75 a month for a dozen eggs is a bit extreme!!!
     
  5. 08562njpaul

    08562njpaul New Egg

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    Feb 10, 2017
    Wrightstown NJ 08562
    Birds range in age from less than one year to three yrs.old.

    I was feeding then the egg.layer all natural from tractor supply but they stopped.laying before that, LAST SPRING. I've gone month and mi that with little or.no egg.production. I recently switched to an all natural non GMO feed from a local farmer, he has over 300 birds and it's only $15 for 50# bag...

    I'm giving them grit and calcium supplements on the side as well.

    I'm ready to just call them.all in the spring if I can't get them to produce better, I've spent a lot of $$$ for nothing in return. I figure close.to a grand in feed for maybe ten dozen eggs! Kill me
     
  6. snow5164

    snow5164 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 16, 2015
    Canada
    Hello,
    You said a scoop of grit and calcium once a month? Calcium should always be available to them , and a handful of grit everyday is like play time for them .
    I'm sure the foods ok but are they getting enough?15 hours of light a day is needed .

    Mine just finished molting, loosing feathers and laying every third day or less .
    An inexpensive way to boost their health and save on wasted feed is to ferment but ,
    If you soak their seed in water (an hour or overnight),with a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar or white vinegar I also add a tb of oil .

    They will love it, and I also sprinkle de on top ,never had worms yet[​IMG],

    It's not you, new hens often take weeks to adjust to a new home , feathers fall out in winter ,

    Good luck,
    Spring is coming..... I think
     
  7. 08562njpaul

    08562njpaul New Egg

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    Feb 10, 2017
    Wrightstown NJ 08562
    It's not the light, the have been doing this low.production all.last.summer! Days don't get.longer.than that! Calcium and grit once a week to every other week, I give em a lot...
     
  8. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    32,674
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    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Crowding stress and low nutrition is why they are not laying.
    Rats may be eating a good portion of the feed you buy.
     
    1 person likes this.
  9. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Chicken Obsessed

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    CENTRAL MAINE
    How old are your birds? What was their hatch date, or month/year? Your birds, all of them are crowded. Crowded birds, as you know are prone to stress behaviors, disease, and it will assuredly affect their laying. Minimum recommendation for space in coop is 4 s.f./bird, and 10 s.f./bird in the run. Do the birds in the smaller coop share the run with the birds in the 4 x 4 coop? An other question: How old is your feed? You will need to look at the Julian date on the bag tag to find out when it was milled. And, I'm sure it's been asked, how much feed are you giving them. You've mentioned rats and sparrows. If you've seen one rat, you most likely have a dozen or more. It's possible that your birds are not getting all of the feed you are putting out for them. You might consider switching to fermented feed. It will improve the bird's gut health, their feed utilization, and even add some vitamins to their feed from the probiotic action. It will prevent feed waste, and also make it not as easy for rats and sparrows to take the feed. I'd not leave any feed out at night. I also suggest that you set up some rat traps in an protected area, and you might even want to trap the sparrows also, as unpalatable as that latter option sounds. Most of your feed is being wasted either to varmints, or spilled on the ground. I have 16 birds in my flock, and my birds go through less than 2 bags/month. (That's using fermented feed.)
     
    1 person likes this.

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