sooooooooo frustrated...

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by slackwater, Jan 20, 2011.

  1. slackwater

    slackwater Chillin' With My Peeps

    771
    8
    141
    Feb 1, 2010
    SoMD
    I have 40+ laying age hens (6mos-18mos)...and have gotten 3 eggs (or fewer) per day since October. I KNOW that the light is shorter - but shouldn't that mean LESS laying, not NO laying?

    I have tried keeping them in the coop all day to rule out random egg-laying places. No change.

    I have tried using wooden eggs to distract any potential egg eaters. There is never any sign of eggs being eaten (unless it looked like they were accidentally broken & cleaned up).

    I have tried leaving the light on in the coop for a few extra hours each day. Maybe I didn't do this for long enough...

    I *know* that chickens need a break - but, 4mos, for 40 chickens? They're getting awfully expensive, and I'm having to BUY eggs! I WAS giving them Layena (for the past 3mos or so), but recently dropped them back to a all stock feed to supplement their free-ranging, b/c I simply cannot afford to feed them at the tune of $100/month AND buy eggs for my family to eat.

    Am I missing something? Will things pick up now that the days are getting longer?

    I've considered catching each hen and keeping her in a cage w/in the coop for a few days. I'd give her a real egg (to help rule out whether she is an egg-eater) and see if she is laying AT ALL. I know this might change my pecking order, but...I'm desperate.
     
  2. rearrolled

    rearrolled Chillin' With My Peeps

    292
    0
    109
    Jan 12, 2011
    Aussie
    some chooks eat the egg shels
     
  3. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    Some (a minority of) people get lucky with no extra lighting. But if scientifically/physiologically chickens' bodies need at least 14 hours of light, and you're NOT supplementing, then it is what it is... Seems like with that many birds, and the eggs you're getting, it would definitely be worth supplementing. Keep in mind that a lot has to do with molting issues...most appear to have recovered from that??? Are their combs/wattles nice and red???
     
  4. slackwater

    slackwater Chillin' With My Peeps

    771
    8
    141
    Feb 1, 2010
    SoMD
    All but two hens are fully recovered from molting (they started in Sept/Oct - and I expected the laying to drop off then). They are fat & happy and most have nice red combs (a few are a bit pale - but they are my 18mos-ish hens & it took them longer to molt).

    I know that some hens are very adept at cleaning up eggs. That being said - I have nice, clean bedding in the nest boxes. I would expect to see SOME sign of egg-eating - for example, gooey bedding (they can't keep the goo together while eating it!). Nothing. Nest boxes aren't even really disturbed.

    And, to add- I have de-wormed them w/Wazine & de-coccidia-d ([​IMG]) them w/Sulmet. So I think I've treated for internal stuffs.
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2011

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by