New and not so good at this......

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by McKenzie Coop, Oct 10, 2013.

  1. McKenzie Coop

    McKenzie Coop Hatching

    Oct 10, 2013
    Hello there.......
    We have had our chickens now for one year. After much research, last October our family built a coop and brought home 20 chickens. These chickens had been "rescued" for lack of a better term, and as we understand were quite neglected prior to being taken in from the gentleman we bought them from. We were informed these chickens were at point of lay and for the first few months were getting 15-18 eggs per day. Over the past year we have lost 6 of our 20 birds. Last Spring an eagle carried a few off and we lost 3-4 for unknown reasons. Our chickens have a spacious coop, are outside in a large fenced area daily and have a light in their coop. They have constant access to food, water, and oyster shells. What I can't make sense of is why for the past 6 months we have been getting terrible egg production (4-6 eggs per day for 14 birds). Any ideas or recommendations would be greatly appreciated.......Thank you:)
  2. BantamFan4Life

    BantamFan4Life LOOK WHAT YOU MADE ME DO.

    Jun 15, 2012
    Welcome to BYC! [​IMG]Happy you joined!
  3. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years.

    Aug 26, 2009
    Out to pasture
    [​IMG] a cover over your run even deer netting will keep hawks away - they don't want to damage their wings. What were symptoms for others you lost? Birds rescued from bad environments may have had internal problems that weren't readily noticed. Have your chickens been wormed, checked/treated for mites etc? Either parasite unchecked can lead to death .
    1 person likes this.
  4. LBejaran

    LBejaran Songster

    Apr 14, 2013
    Deep South Texas

    It might be a good idea to give your chickens a couple tablespoons of apple cider vinegar in their water (make sure it's a plastic container) and a tablespoon of cayenne pepper. A.C.V is great for keeping the water clean and helps make your birds' feathers very shiny and healthy. There are internal benefits, as well. I'm pretty sure others can explain it better than I can, however. I use cayenne pepper in my flock's water as a natural dewormer. It helps remove all the gunk that might be negatively affecting them. Using probiotics also tends to help, I've found.

    If your hens are healthy and their production is down, I would give them a bit of a break. For breeds that produce loads of eggs, you'll find that you can burn them out really early on. Using a light, while it will keep your hens laying eggs even when there isn't as much sunlight, can burn your hens out fast. So long as they are getting their 12-14 hours of sunlight, you should be fine. Having a light on might not be necessary. (I'm not sure if you only have it on during the day or if you use it at night as well, it wasn't specified. I just thought I'd cover that)

    Ultimately, finding out if your hens are healthy is the most important thing right now. I wish you luck. It seems like you are doing a pretty good job right now, though. A few minor things can be done to help get them to optimum health, just in case there is something wrong.
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2013
    1 person likes this.
  5. McKenzie Coop

    McKenzie Coop Hatching

    Oct 10, 2013
    Thank you for the responses! We have definitely learned our lessons with the eagles and the chickens are now much more protected when out roaming. When the few died that we didn't know the cause of, we just found them dead either in the coop or run - they didn't appear sick or weak - just seemed to die one day? We did have mites a month or so ago - we treated with DE and seem to be doing okay now. Will definitely try the cayenne and apple cide
    r vinegar.
  6. sumi

    sumi Égalité

    Jun 28, 2011
    Rep of Ireland
  7. Toast n Jelly

    Toast n Jelly Songster

    Jan 29, 2007

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