Major egg slow-down. Could it be the feed?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by gale65, Feb 1, 2012.

  1. gale65

    gale65 Chillin' With My Peeps

    A few weeks ago dh went to get layer feed and they were all out. So he got multi flock which is pellets (we usually feed crumble) plus he got some oyster shell. A week or so later we got the layer feed but not wanting to waste the pellets, he started to alternate. So he would fill the feeder one time with multi flock pellets (30# feeder) and the next time with layer crumbles. Coincidentally we've had quite a slow-down in egg production in the past week or two. Related?

    In case it matters our pullets are about 9 mos old and we've never given supplemental light. Out of 11 pullets we've mostly gotten 7-9 eggs with an occasional ten-egg day. If we got 7 eggs one day it was usually 8 or 9 the next and if we happened to get only 5 or 6, there would be at least 8 but usually 9 eggs the next couple of days (and the day before). Now it's usually 5-6 eggs every day. I give a little scratch some days (maybe a cup or so for all 12 chickens) and also kitchen scraps. That has not changed ever since before they started laying.
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2012
  2. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    Quite possibly the change in feed may be the cause. Chickens do not like stress/change of any sort. Rather than dropping off, egg production should be increasing along with the increasing daylength.
     
  3. Spangled

    Spangled Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have had the same thing happen here ... five pullets just up and stop laying right around 2 weeks ago and one continues like clockwork and another sporadically.

    I'm looking at a few things that could have caused it. We switched alfalfa out of the feed and put in grass. I moved a hen out of the group (maybe they miss her, especially her sister). That frigid cold snap that lasted about 4 or 5 days where the temps got down below zero (here). Or the rooster issue (see below).

    Usually, two weeks after a move or major upheaval in their lives they get back to an even keel because their egg apparatus usually takes about two weeks to start back up again after it shuts down. At least that's been my experience.

    However, in the meantime, trying to figure out what is going on is frustrating because until they start laying again, I'm not sure what the problem is and whether I've fixed it or not.

    It does sound like your little darlings had an adjustment issue with their feed. They were probably eating less feed because it was so different in shape. If after a month, back to normal, you could look at it being something else. Maybe you got a new dog that they can see? Maybe your also have a rooster and he's more rambunctious since it's mating season? Sometimes, the feed company will change the feed recipe. You can save the tags and compare each time you buy. When I was buying that's what I did and it explained why I was getting different shells suddenly.

    So anyway, I guess you and I are waiting together. If it goes on much longer here, I'm going to ... do something ... not sure what. [​IMG] Though, truthfully, I guess I've started feeding more protein. About 2 ounces of meat every other day. No luck yet. I am puzzled.

    I went to go see your coop photos. That rooster bell of yours on the side of your coop is perfect. What a find!
     
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2012
  4. gale65

    gale65 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Thanks. No new dog and no freezing weather here. I guess the only possibilities are the roo (he is very mate-y these days) and the feed. I'm betting on the feed.
     

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