New run and coop, less eggs!

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by inquisitivebird, Nov 9, 2014.

  1. inquisitivebird

    inquisitivebird Out Of The Brooder

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    I used to have my chickens completely free ranging all the time. But they were getting into my garden and this was a huge problem. My garden is on the opposite side of our property to the roosting location. We built this huge run and put a little house on the side. The house has a opening to walk into but no door. The nesting boxes are raised but open, so not that much privacy. The chickens jump on the top of the nesting boxes and then onto the roosts. My problem is that I used to get between 5 and 6 eggs ever single day from my 6 hens. Now that they are in the new run I'm rarely getting six, and getting a range from 2 to 5 eggs a day. I let them out when I get home from work to free range and get some greens and they don't bother my garden. Also, I have one hen that lays her egg on the ground sometimes and the other day another hen moved all the nesting material out onto the floor and layed her egg there under the roosts. I'm thinking it might be that they don't feel there is enough privacy... but would this affect the frequency of eggs being layed? I"m really baffled and disappointed by this. How can I get my chickens to lay like they used to?
     
  2. TaraBellaBirds

    TaraBellaBirds Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It does sound like they are not entirely pleased wiht the new boxes. Is there a problem with putting the bedding on the ground and letting them lay there? Can boxes be moved lower or new ones be built lower?

    I wouldn't think that that would mess with their number so much. I think that they are probably laying less because of the shorter days and cooler nights. Work with them on the boxes and give them time!
     
  3. inquisitivebird

    inquisitivebird Out Of The Brooder

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    Well, I'm in New Zealand and it's Spring here coming into Summer. So I should be getting peak season numbers. Our days are getting longer at the moment.
     
  4. TaraBellaBirds

    TaraBellaBirds Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well, then......[​IMG] How old are they? Breeds?

    How long ago was the move? Stress can cause less egg laying issues, so if this was a recent move that could be it.
     
  5. inquisitivebird

    inquisitivebird Out Of The Brooder

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    This is their first season, They are about 7 months old. I have 4 Easter Eggers. I also have two others that I'm not sure what breed as I'm new to chickens but they were given to us and they didn't know either. One is Brown with a funny tufty head and a floppy comb. The other is all white except for speckled neck and tail, like columbian colouring. Not sure on the ages of those two but they are bigger hens.
     
  6. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    I agree with Tara....if the coop change was fairly recent, that might be your culprit, as chickens are easily stressed by changes. If that's the case, egg production should smooth out in the weeks to come. Keep in mind too that each year you will get less and less eggs, with longer "breaks" in between...And of course some breeds just don't lay well even when new. My Easter Eggers only laid about 5 days per week when young...maybe 5-6 eggs per week in those first few months. Brand new layers crank out a lot of eggs, but then generally settle into a regular egg laying routine within 2-3 months....
     
  7. TaraBellaBirds

    TaraBellaBirds Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Give them a few weeks. You might increase calcium, and make sure their food offers everything they need (layer feed, limit treats and scratch).
     
  8. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    My Coop
    Ditto Dat^^^^
     
  9. inquisitivebird

    inquisitivebird Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks guys, I think I'll wait a bit and see if things get a bit better. Maybe their cycles were in overdrive and now they are settling out into a routine. One hen hasn't laid an egg in 3 days thought...she's the only white layer I have. I guess we'll see.
     

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