Low egg production?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by forestrymom, Sep 26, 2011.

  1. forestrymom

    forestrymom Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 11, 2010
    I bought three 8 month old pullets, one 2 yo hen, and one hen I don't know the age of (she was the mother hen to 5 chicks that I purchased, and she came free with them). At most this summer I got 4 eggs a day, but that was very inconsistent. I am now getting 1 or 2 eggs a day, sometimes 3. I just started getting eggs from the chicks (3 small eggs in 4 days, and there are 5 chicks, one of which might be a roo). Anyway, this seems like pretty low production. I live in Montana and our days are getting shorter, but they still have daylight from 7 am to 8 pm, or so. They don't act sick, are free ranging.

    The three pullets I got (I guess they're not pullets anymore!) did have feathers missing form their backs (actually, pretty good sized bare spots), from what I thought was pecking during the transport here. It has not gotten any better, and hasn't gotten any worse. I do have a rooster, but he doesn't seem to bother them much. We are going into winter and wondering what to do about it, and/or if there is something underlying we're missing.

    Oh, and I have 4 BOs, one white hen who lays brown eggs but I'm not sure her breed, and the chicks are misc. x-breeds.
     
  2. ChicKat

    ChicKat Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    Hi Forestrymom---

    Two things for you to check on are parasites, and their feed.

    If your feed gives them all the nutrition they need to produce eggs, then make sure there are no parasites causing them problems.

    good luck!
     
  3. forestrymom

    forestrymom Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 11, 2010
    What do I need to check for parasites? They have a layer pellet. I throw some table scraps out every night, but they clean it up in less than 10 minutes, and they don't get scratch.
     
  4. Arielle

    Arielle Chicken Obsessed

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    Feb 19, 2011
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    Perhaps it's decreasing day length. I'm kinda new at all this but I noticed a decrease in eggs this week, and our day runs 6am-7pm, about the same number of hours youare experiencing.

    Sorry I didn't get the age of the 5 pullets; if you are just now getting the tiny eggs aka pullet eggs, then they are just starting to lay and 3 is a good start. THe others are close behind unless one is a roo.[​IMG]

    THe count of 4 eggs as the max from the 5 hens of laying age is pretty reasonable. You didn't mention their breed. Egg layers vary from 3-5 eggs per week on average, depending on the breed. One day I will have a boat load of eggs and the next a half a boat load, the next day almost a boat load. I have a variety of breeds that lay at different rates.

    Your hens sound normal to me. [​IMG]
     
  5. ChicKat

    ChicKat Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    Where I live in South Texas, I think we have every kind of bug, insect pest that was invented.

    It is very common for chickens to have internal parasites. Round worms are quite common. There is a product called Wazine that can be added to the drinking water, and that will eradicate some of the worms with no danger to the chickens from a toxic build up. Then subsequently there are other products that are used to eliminate any larvae from the worms that were there. So worming chickens is a two-step process the first time, usually. After that some people have a regular worming schedule. The internal parasites can rob your chickens of nutrition.

    I don't have a lot of expertise in the worming department....and there are folks on this forum that have tremendous expertise. You could search in that search box in the upper right corner and get loads of information on the choices of products used for woming. have access to products used on a cattle ranch---and at a minimum, I will use a full spectrum womer now on a regular basis, to keep the parasite population away from my chickens.

    Unfortunately, there is a period of egg discard, or withdrawal from the worming -- but if your production is low, then to get better production in future, it would be a good investment.

    IThis may or may not be what is causing your low production, but it is something that you should consider as you get to the bottom of the issue.

    External parasites can also plague chickens, that could be tied to the feather loss, so you may want to check what people on this forum have to say about mites. If you think either of these could be affecting your chickens--- or you need to ask people on this forum the best ways that they have found to diagnose parasites--you sure came to the right place.

    For the round worms I found shortly afer getting my chickens, I did see a live worm in one of the chickens poop--- and got a poop sample to take to our vet (the following day we were going there for other animals and the vet made a slide and checked fecal egg count just as a courtsey--he doesn't do chickens as a general rule). The other worms my chickens had, I diagnosed myself, and when I treated for that type of worm the indications that I saw did disappear. --- Sounds icky -- but it is worth it. For example we give our dogs a heart-worm, internal parasite pill once a month and don't even think about it.

    Hope this is more help than just a giant gross-out. Good luck with what you find out.
     
  6. ChicKat

    ChicKat Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    I'm glad Arielle brought up the daylight issue.

    Good insights. I guess you are far enough north too, that you wouldn't have the insects to the degree that we do.
     
  7. forestrymom

    forestrymom Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 11, 2010
    Well, I checked and they do haave something creepy crawly on them. [​IMG] Very small, I'm thinking mites. Now what? Post in the pests and predators?
     

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