Seriously, from Twelve to THREE eggs?!?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by newchicksnducks, Aug 31, 2010.

  1. I've been averaging 10 eggs or so a day for several months - often 12 or 13 from 13 layers. But in the last month I had one bird unexpectedly die (unknown what was the cause, other than it had been very hot and humid, even though birds were provided with shade, water, etc) and bird that went blind and refused to eat was put down in the last week. For the past 3 weeks or so my girls have only been giving be 3-5 eggs a day. What gives? Is it the heat? Change in dynamics and heirarchy system? My two EE's have not laid an egg for the past 2 weeks! There was a SLIGHT increase in dark feathers (probably from my Jersey who came out of being broody and I think had a small molt) but no other signs of molting. The hens are last year's hatches, about 15-17 months old.

    They have been on Layena, and I offer them a very little bit of scratch and about 1+cups of sunflower seeds scattered in the run in the AM as they exit the coop. They get leftover lunch from my daycare children, often vegs and fruit peelings (apples,etc). Besides the loss of the two hens, nothing else has really changed. They eat well, free range well in the evenings, look healthy.... [​IMG]
  2. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Free Ranging Premium Member 8 Years

    Mar 15, 2010
    On the MN prairie.
    Heat can do it. Is there any way that rats could be getting into your coop? That happened to me one winter. They started out laying well, the feed was disappearing, and everything looked good. Then I was getting less and less eggs, even though they (I thought) were eating more and more feed. In the spring when I cleaned out the coop, there were holes in the floor with rats poking their heads up to see what was going on! Needless to say, my coop is now elevated so the vermin have nowhere to hide! It took lots of rat bait and about a month before I didn't see them anymore.
  3. 9 Feathers Farm

    9 Feathers Farm In the Brooder

    Aug 30, 2010
    St Johns, MI
    Chickens are sensitive to heat and stress, the weather and the changing of pecking order can contribute to the decrease in eggs. It sounds like it is around time for them to molt so that could be a factor as well. Make sure you check them for lice and mites, these pest will cause a decrease in eggs as well.
  4. bobbij - Thanks, but the coop is fairly new and pretty secure. Feed consumption has not increased (ie feeding others!) I also have a wonderful mouser (cat) that lives outside, she keeps the rodent population under control. [​IMG]

    9 feathers - I can se no mites, but have dusted w/poultry dust as more of a preventative and lack of any other cause. I guess I'll chalk it up to heat and pecking order for now...hope things get back to normal soon! [​IMG]

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