Only half as many eggs as there are POL chooks to lay them! And it's summer.

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by RicknRach, Jan 17, 2015.

  1. RicknRach

    RicknRach New Egg

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    Jan 16, 2015
    Hi there,
    I'm hoping someone will have some idea why I have only 3 eggs a day from 6 year-old light sussex hens. All of them can lay, my children assure me of that, and there have been odd days where we get an egg from everyone. But those days are few and far between. The girls have about 1/8 acre to free-range on, which is well pastured at the moment after lots of rain. It's summer here in Australia, so they're getting long days with plenty of light (and heat!).

    They get all our household scraps to eat, which is mostly fruit/veg peel, plus all their shells back (crushed up).
    They also get about 1kg a day of a grain mix, though we've run out atm so are feeding them left over chick starter mix. I'm wondering if their protein intake is lacking?

    They have three layer boxes in a well ventilated shed to share, and I've noticed whenever one goes broody that the others almost all want to stop laying.

    I tried adding a liquid mineral supplement to their water which I think helped, but laying seems to have dropped off again now.

    Our goal is to have more chickens and way more eggs so we can not only have enough, but have enough to share. WE also want more chooks for meat. But it seems like a waste of time getting more chooks until we an sort out why our existing chooks are not laying well.

    Shalom, Racheal
     
  2. chickengeorgeto

    chickengeorgeto Overrun With Chickens

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    Dec 25, 2012
    I would recommend you feed a good complete laying pellet or maybe a laying crumble and less of the scratch grains. While chickens love fruit and vegetable peelings the protein % is low.

    A kilo of scratch grains is 2.2 US pounds and a standard size hen needs 4 to 5 ounces of good chicken feed a day to lay well. 2.2 US pounds is over 35 US ounces and when divided by 6 chickens it is almost 20% too much food in just scratch grains not considering the chick crumbles, scraps, etc.. Fat hens are poor layers. and there is little reason for your hens to eat enough high protein food to produce protein rich eggs for you. This is especially true with the empty calories they are getting in their diet now.

    A light Sussex hen is a dual purpose breed and as such they are neither great at producing eggs or great at quickly growing fat roasting chickens, but they are some where in between. 6 Light Sussex hens should lay 4.25 eggs per day using the upper limit of their ability of 260 eggs per year per hen. So I estimate that you are missing out on only 1.25 eggs per day. Switching to a different hen breed and/or adding more Light Sussex hens to your flock may prove to be the best answer.
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2015
  3. RicknRach

    RicknRach New Egg

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    Jan 16, 2015
    Thanks so much for your help. I will get a good laying pellet and some more birds :)
     

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