Should I be concerned ???

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by tri-5-ron, Jul 18, 2011.

  1. tri-5-ron

    tri-5-ron Songster

    Feb 6, 2010
    Orange County
    Hi Everyone,
    Lately my egg production has drastically dropped, and I'm wondering if there is reason for concern.

    We have 8 hens total, 1- BO, 1- RIR, 2- PBR, 1- AUS, 1- Partridge BR, and 2- EE's.

    The Partridge, and 1 PBR are both 9 months old, the rest of them are 17 months old.

    Prior to the BO, (and now the Partridge), going broody,... we were consistently getting 6 to 7 eggs per day, and maybe one day a week we would get 8 eggs in a day.
    When the BO went broody (4 MONTHS AGO !), naturally she stopped laying, so we were down to 5 - 6 eggs per day, with an occaisional 7 egg day.
    (btw,.... our BO has FINALLY stopped brooding for about a week now, and I'm not sure if she has started to lay yet again)

    Now, the Partridge Rock has been broody, for about 2 weeks.

    About 4 weeks ago, the summer temps finally came to town,
    and we went from mid to high 70's,... to mid 80's - low 90's.
    Maybe this has something to do with it,... I don't know.

    The coop is inside the large caged run, well ventilated, well shaded, dry and comfortable, cleaned every 3 or 4 days, (I have poop boards under the roosts), water/food (lay pellets) are available 24/7, and the flock free ranges the backyard almost daily.

    All of them appear to be healthy, eating well, acting normally, and diet has not changed.

    No other "secret" laying nests have been found anywhere around the yard/patio,...
    I've looked at any and all possible places,...

    (and the egg numbers don't go up any, if they are not allowed to free range for a few days either).

    At about the same time we started to get temps in the 85 - 95 range,...
    we dropped to only 2 - 3 eggs per day,... with nearly Zero EE eggs being laid for at least 2 weeks... and over the past 4 weeks, we have only received MAYBE, 4 or 5 EE eggs total.
    (also worthy of note here, is that 2 of these EE eggs, have been soft/thin shelled, laid at night,... up on the roost,... and broken on the poop board 3 inches below the roost, due to thin/soft shells)

    so as it stand now,...

    I have 1 Partridge Rock broody,...
    The BO broke brood 7 or 8 days ago,...

    ...and am still only getting 2 or 3 brown eggs per day,... (for about a month now).

    Almost no EE eggs at all.
    (although we DID get 1 good, EE egg yesterday,.... and it was the first one in about a week).

    and here's the VERY WORST PART OF ALL...........................

    We actually had to GO BUY EGGS for this weekend Breakfast !!!
    OHHhhhhh,....The TRAGEDY OF IT ALL !!!

    Does anyone have any ideas as to why the girls have apparently gone on strike ???

    Do I need to re-negotiate their work contract ???

    Should I offer them some sort of Health Benefits or Retirement Package ???

    Should I maybe offer them a fun filled family outing to the Beach ?, the Movies, Disneyland ?,...
    (or,.... the FRYING PAN ???)

    What do you all think ???

  2. ThinkingChickens

    ThinkingChickens Songster

    Feb 18, 2011
    There are people with a lot more experience than I, but have you made sure to offer fresh cool water every day? Are you cutting back on snacks? Hmm, are you sure there's no secret nest? I just found one and was shocked. It was in the oddest place.
  3. greenSearcher

    greenSearcher Songster

    Aug 22, 2010
    17 months old, so my first question is... noticing any increase in feather loss? It is a bit early in the season, but the first molt can occur around 18 months, particularly if they didn't molt last fall. Sometimes it seems like they had a pillow fight one night and quit laying and boom it is MOLT TIME, other times, it comes on slow like. Also, if you have changed the social dynamics such as switching the hens around, adding or selling a couple can cause a reduction in laying. With the heat, to help prevent soft shells, be sure there is plenty of calcium, as when they pant they exhale it in their breath. My girls eat oystershell, not nibble at it in the summer, but we are hot, hot from June to Sept. How frequently do you check eggs? DH does that here, and he goes out about every 2 hours, otherwise we see a drop in the eggs "layed". I suspect I would have a problem w/ egg eaters if we left the eggs in the nest boxes for more than an hour or so.
  4. tri-5-ron

    tri-5-ron Songster

    Feb 6, 2010
    Orange County
    No evidence or a "pillow fight",
    Constant supply of fresh cool water in the shade,
    No "secret laying locations".

    anybody else have any ideas ?
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2011
  5. tri-5-ron

    tri-5-ron Songster

    Feb 6, 2010
    Orange County
    OK,... It figures,....

    I wait 4 weeks to see if the egg production stays low, before coming on here to ask my dumb questions,....

    Then, what do I find this morning ???

    6,... yes six,.... you heard that right,... S I X E G G S !.... Including 2 EE eggs !!! Woo-Hoo !! we're back in the "Tall Cotton " Now !!!

    That is the first time in MANY Weeks, that I've got a decent mornings egg count, out of my 8 hens.
    One of the EE eggs is slightly odd shaped, (it looks sort of like a Fat Green Torpedo),.... but I dont care,... I'm just happy the girls are doing ok. (and are keeping my breakfast coming too).

    It looks like Goldie,.. the "Tenaciously - Perpetually - Broody - Buff Orpington, with a severe case of "Chicken PMS"....,(who just broke a 4 MONTH brood),...
    lost her pillow fight, and has dropped golden feathers all over the place.
    The funny thing about that is, to look at her,... you wouldn't really notice any missing feathers.
    She still looks just as Buff, and full of Fluff, as she always does. (maybe today, she will lose alot more, and not look so full ???)

    Anyway,... that answers why the egg count is down by one,... and with "Zippy" the Partridge Rock, also apparently being broody now,...
    that answers the other missing piece of my breakfast.

    ok Ok OK,..... it's just ONE day,.... I realize that,....

    It may not happen again today,.......

    but a man can hope can't he ???????

    Would it be considered bad manners, ???,
    for me to follow all the hens around today,???,
    with my hands cupped together, and chanting,...

    "please give,..... Please Give,.... GIMME MY EGGS NOW !!!!!" (just wondering)

  6. Robin'sBrood

    Robin'sBrood Flock Mistress

    May 8, 2008
    North Carolina
    My perfectly healthy EE is 2 years old and she doesn't lay many eggs at all. She goes on her winter hiatus and then lays for a while in the spring, then apparently goes on a summer hiatus too. I guess we'll see what happens during the fall. I wonder if it's a breed thing.... [​IMG]
  7. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

    Nov 18, 2007
    My Coop
    If it's hot there like it is here, it's probably the heat. I have heard others that raise chickens say their production is off some too. Mine is down a little. I do have sprinklers that I turn on during the hottest part of the day and the birds seem to enjoy it. They also have wading pools that I put cool water in daily and shade. I also wet down the shaded areas too. I have noticed my boys are on strike too (I think because of the heat). I cracked open some eggs and most weren't fertile.

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