New chickens not laying as they should.

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

  1. DanielB

    DanielB Out Of The Brooder

    10
    0
    22
    Sep 10, 2011
    First let me say I have been a chicken owner for about a week and a half. So I'm learning. We got 8 golden comet hens 5 or 6 months old and already laying. The first day we got 6 eggs. The next day 8 eggs. Then 4 then 3 daily with a 4th now and then. So what the heck am I doing wrong?

    A little info about the chickens and setup:

    First let me say they have a cough. They had it from day one. I got some vetRX and have been putting drops in their water and spraying a mixture of water and VetRX on them (under wings and such). It seems to have helped some but they still cough some but otherwise seem fine.

    I know their feed changed they were fed feed from southern states. I don't have a southern states close so I changed them to big M 16% layer feed. They were basically free range before I bought them. Now they stay in the run most of the time. We let them out some in the evenings for an hour or so.

    The days are getting shorter so I thought that may be the issue. So I added a 60W light to the coop and one in the run. It gets dark at about 7:30 now and I have the light turn on at 4:30AM.

    The coop/run is the garden coop plan from thegardencoop.com.

    We clean their water daily and they have food at all times with grit and oyster shells also offered in separate containers.

    I'm in North Carolina.

    I don't know if I just need to give them more time to adjust or do I need to change something?
     
  2. chicmom

    chicmom Dances with Chickens

    8,613
    163
    316
    Feb 24, 2009
    Strasburg Ohio
    I think it's probably the daylight hours shrinking. That always happens here in Ohio too. And it might be their cough as well. See if you can find a medicine called Denegard. It's a liquid that you put in their drinking water. (Mainly advertised for swine, but it works great on poultry too.) For treatment, I believe its 16ccs per gallon of water. It does make the water bitter, so I put some sugar in the water to offset that bitter taste. You don't have to throw away eggs when you use this.

    Take care, and it does sound like you're doing a good job.

    Sharon
     
  3. flowergirl60

    flowergirl60 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 13, 2011
    Austin Tx
    I think it is the shorter days as well. Mine use to lay everyday and now I'm getting eggs every other day.
     
  4. Endur50

    Endur50 Out Of The Brooder

    49
    0
    32
    Mar 27, 2011
    North Carolina
    It could possibly the stress from the move. You probably got eggs the first couple of days because those were the ones already large and forming "in the pipes" so to speak. Perhaps The stress of the move is catching up with their system and slowing down egg production. They also are probably having to adjust to being in a run, after being free range. My hens (who are mostly free range) get them selves all wrung up with they have to stay in the run for one reason or another. If you want to hear the LOUDEST most angry hens ever, come by my place on days I leave them in. [​IMG] I also live in N.C. and my hens haven't slowed down any yet with the season change. It sounds like they have a great set up and you're doing everything right.
     
  5. DanielB

    DanielB Out Of The Brooder

    10
    0
    22
    Sep 10, 2011
    I just wanted to post an update. I got some Denegard and kept them on it for a little over a week. They didn't like it so I added sugar as chicmom suggested then they were ok with it. That basically solved the sneezing. I still see them sneeze from time to time but not nearly as much. There were two that seemed to be the worst. But I put a game camera in the coop and found the two that were sneezing the worst were also the two still laying go figure.

    When I started them on the Denegard we were still getting 3 or 4 eggs a day. About a week after I stopped they went down to just 2 or 3 eggs then to just 2 every day. I noticed they didn't seem to be eating very much of their feed. I know the feed they were on before was from southern states so we decided to make a trip to southern states. We got the 21% breeder crumbles. What we had been feeding them was 16% layer feed from a store just 2 miles away. Southern states is about a 45 min ride. The chickens just loved it. All 8 of them ate till their craw was completely full of feed.

    So at that point we were basically getting two eggs a day. Two days after we switched the feed we started getting 4 a day. We got 4 a day for about a week then we started getting 5 then a few days later 6 then today a full nest of 8. I'm a little worried about keeping them on 21% feed all winter but I think I'll just let the kids give them some scratch to help lower the total protein they get.

    Now a new problem. What the heck are we going to do with all these eggs [​IMG] I like this problem.

    Thank you chicmom, flowergirl60 and Endur50 for your help.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by