Science Experiment, Please help out! (:

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by brookethebug, Jan 9, 2011.

  1. brookethebug

    brookethebug New Egg

    Jan 9, 2011
    Hey everyone, my name is Brooke.:) I'm doing a science experiment with my backyard chickens and I would like a little outside help.:)
    So heres the deal, I have 4 golden comets, and 4 rhode island reds, and they began to lay eggs around 4 months old. (end of last June) all through July and August we got 7-8 eggs a day, during September, our egg production dropped down to 3-4 a day. We also have a garden, and we were constantly giving our chickens scrap vegetables from it during the months of July and August. Around September our garden began to die, so we didn't give our chickens as many scraps.

    So, making the connection between the diet and the egg production I did three trials of an experiment where I fed the chickens the same amount of mixed vegetables everyday for a week and recorded the amount of eggs. the next week, i did the same amount of mixed fruits and the same time everyday for a week, and recorded it. and the last week, I fed them nothing except their normal chicken feed.

    I was wondering if anyone has conducted an experiment simiular to mine, or if you have any information you'd like to share with me in general. :) thanks a ton!

    It'd be great if you could email me as well, :)
    [email protected]
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2011
  2. pimachickens

    pimachickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 16, 2010
    I have never conducted an experiment relating food to egg production, but I do know that decreased daylight hours affect egg laying. It seem that a lot of people have lowered production this time of year. Perhaps that is all it is. Good luck on your experiment, though. It will be interesting to see if there is a relationship.
  3. FireTigeris

    FireTigeris Tyger! Tyger! burning bright

    Sorry, the way you are doing this experiment has too many variables.

    Unless this is for extra credit at school you will need to follow a better method.

    Your current method does not take into consideration things like:

    hours sunlight total (length of day)
    hours light total (like a cloudy day but no sun)
    barometric pressure

    It would be better to run one test for three weeks using a different hen each week.

    Also you have no control group where you do not change feed.

    Hens A week one diet #1
    Hens B week one diet #2
    Hens C week one diet #3
    Hens D Control week one

    Hens B week two diet #1
    Hens C week two diet #2
    Hens D week two diet #3
    Hens A Control week two

    Hens C week one diet #1
    Hens D week one diet #2
    Hens B week one diet #3
    Hens A Control week one

    Have one of each breed in each group. Record eggs per each diet.
  4. Yay Chicks!

    Yay Chicks! Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 15, 2010
    Forest Grove, OR
    Hi Brooke,
    Welcome to BYC! While Pimachicken might be right about the decreasing daylight, your experiment is interesting and I hope that you will share your results. Do you supplement your birds with extra light this time of year, or are you allowing them to experience the natural process of less light?
  5. brookethebug

    brookethebug New Egg

    Jan 9, 2011
    I am currently giving them 12 hours of light, so the light hasn't changed. but yes, I will share my results. :)
  6. FireTigeris

    FireTigeris Tyger! Tyger! burning bright

    Watch out for those other variables, and let us know your data and results.
  7. TK421

    TK421 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 24, 2010
    Central TX

    What a great idea! You're off to a great start. I am VERY glad to hear that you control for light, but you need to make sure that you control for (or address) the other variables:

    Breed: Constant variable: so no likely effect, but if you can document which breed is laying, it might give you more information. However, is it possible that your RIR respond differently than your Comets?
    Light: constant variable
    Temperature/time of year: How big of a deal is this? Not too likely in Aug/Sep, but maybe you can find an article about temperature and egg production

    After you take the weekly average, see if you can detect a change in egg production WITH A DELAY. I know that sometimes when my chickens kick over their food for a day or two, my egg production seems to decline a day or two AFTER that. It might be possible that a change in diet taks a day or two to affect the rate at which an egg is produced internally.

    Sounds like a fun project. Good luck!
  8. Tala

    Tala Flock Mistress

    Quote:Yes I agree, seems like it takes more than a few days to show the effects of a change in feed.
    Also any unusual stress can affect them for a while. After a dog attack my girls didn't lay much for almost 2 weeks!
  9. mrkep

    mrkep Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 10, 2010
    Richwood , Ohio
    Hey Brooke,
    We also fed our chooks from the garden until winter , then DW brings the veggie scraps from the restaurant . She had 4 days off at Christmas and we ran out of the veggies. After the second day with no veggies, we went from 12 eggs/day to 5. Now that they are back on regular veggies, we are back to 12/day. We have been keeping a lite on a timer in the coop so they have 14 hrs a day .
    Good job with your project,
  10. brookethebug

    brookethebug New Egg

    Jan 9, 2011

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