No more eggs?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by 19marvinn, Jan 6, 2016.

  1. 19marvinn

    19marvinn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have 6 layers. 5 of which have been laying for about 1 month. The remainders have started within the past week. Over the weeks I have been getting a consistent 5 eggs a day. (sometimes 4) On Sunday I hit my peak amount of eggs in one day, 6. Now I was really eggcited about getting a half dozen a day and couldn't wait to start giving away my eggs. On Monday after work I went down to the coop expecting my usual 5/6 eggs. I got 2. I dismissed it as they just had a slow day. Now Tuesday I got another 2 eggs. I again was disappointed. Today I only got a single egg which I couldn't even harvest because it was cracked. I have no idea what have stopped my chickens from laying. They are not molting nor are they acting strange. The only thing I can think of is the weather has been getting in the single digits early morning. Can this cause such a drastic decrease in egg production?

    Thanks for any Help!
    Molly
     
  2. sbrandewie

    sbrandewie New Egg

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    Absolutely its the weather. Some of our hens cease completely in the winter. On average we will get about four per day from our 15 hens. I've heard that you can increase their production by adding a light during the winter to mimic longer daylight hours. We haven't tried this, but it might be worth a shot.
     
  3. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Could be the cold snap...but not likely.

    Do they free range?
    What all are you feeding?
    Any evidence of egg eating....mess in nest bedding or anywhere else?
     
  4. 19marvinn

    19marvinn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I only free range when I'm home so it couldn't be that.
    I feed them regular old Dumor layer pellets.
    And today, I almost cried... I always check around for signs of an egg eater and today I found a wet spot in the box and little pieces of the shell. How can I find out which one ate it and why!
     
  5. 19marvinn

    19marvinn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Update: I just went down to the coop and found my speckled sussex eating a little piece of the shell i didnt pick up. also i found yolk splatters on the wall
     
  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Free rangers may be laying somewhere in range area...doesn't matter if you're home or not.
    They've only been laying for a month, do they always lay in the coop nests?
    Free range birds sometimes need to be 'trained'(or re-trained) to lay in the coop nests, especially new layers. Leaving them locked in the coop for 3-4 days can help 'home' them to lay in the coop nests. They can be confined to coop 24/7 for a few days to a week, or confine them at least until mid to late afternoon. You help them create a new habit and they will usually stick with it. ..at least for a good while, then repeat as necessary.

    Egg eating can often be a shortage of protein and/or calcium.
    Fake egg in the nest can help...or roll away nests.
    Roll a fake egg onto the ground/floor amongst all the birds, see who goes at it the fastest hardest, might be your culprit

    Layer feed is often minimal protein (~16%) for producing egg.......and if you offer other foods, that is diluted.
    I like to feed a 'flock raiser' 20% protein crumble to all ages and genders, as non-layers(chicks, males and molting birds) do not need the extra calcium that is in layer feed and chicks and molters can use the extra protein. Makes life much simpler to store and distribute one type of chow that everyone can eat. I do grind up the crumbles (in the blender) for the chicks for the first week or so.

    The higher protein crumble also offsets the 8% protein scratch grains and other kitchen/garden scraps I like to offer. I adjust the amounts of other feeds to get the protein levels desired with varying situations.

    Calcium should be available at all times for the layers, I use oyster shell mixed with rinsed, dried, crushed chicken egg shells in a separate container.

    Animal protein (mealworms, a little cheese - beware the salt content, meat scraps) is provided during molting and if I see any feather eating.
     
  7. Clinton 78

    Clinton 78 Out Of The Brooder

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    I had the same problem I read on here that sometimes is lack of calcium and some times it's boredom. So I got better feed and a flock block from TSC to keep them intertained. U can also get the fack eggs there to in brown and white. The only way I broke them was I cooked some eggs for breakfast. I kept the shells and put red pepper flakes on the inside with a funnel. And shaked it up. The I sat them down in the nest and every hen ran over and tarted to eat it. It took a min to get to the inside where the pepper was. But u know it as soon as they get some. And they left it alone. The next day I did it again but this time to get my point across I filled the inside with Texas Pete sauce. And sat them on the ground and poured it all over the outside too. The waited for me to leave the pen and as soon as I closed the door they all ran over and started again. But they stopped but 2 of them tried it again and pecked some more. Then they began to run around the pen and was draging there Beeks thru the mud trying to get it off. After that no more egg eating that was a month ago. I Get 3 or 4 eggs a day now.
     
  8. 19marvinn

    19marvinn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Update:

    I have confirmed my problem is an egg eater. I had my daughter go check for eggs at 10 am. She brought back 4. When I came home from work, I found 1 completely eaten egg. The evidence was a wet spot in the box and 1 half eaten egg. Im really upset becasue the half eaten egg was blue :( I put golfballs in all my nest boxes but I want something thats a surefire plan to stop my chickens(s) from eating the egg. I know of 1 definite culprit as of now. Any help is MUCH appreciated!

    Thanks
    Molly
     
  9. junebuggena

    junebuggena Chicken Obsessed

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    Increase the amount of protein they are getting (switch to a feed with at least 18% protein), make sure that all layers have access to plenty of calcium, leave dummy eggs in the boxes, and promptly collect any eggs as soon as they are laid.
    Then hope and pray that you caught it before it becomes a habit.
     
  10. 19marvinn

    19marvinn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have available oyster shell. My feed is only 16% protein so I'll have to switch to something else. Any recommendations? Also, I filled easter eggs with Brown mustard, hot sauce, and cayenne pepper so if they try anything sketchy, they're in for a "treat"
     

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