Spring Drop-off In Egg Production

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by jabowery, May 28, 2012.

  1. jabowery

    jabowery Chirping

    79
    3
    94
    Oct 26, 2010
    My Coop
    I just had a drop off (50%) in egg production, its spring and I have recently installed 16 nesting boxes of this design. My lay-age hens are nearing 2 years old (I didn't start incubating until recently -- I have a batch that should start laying this coming month). However, this drop-off was sudden (over the course of a week or two at most). I know where these hens "hide" their eggs and they aren't there. Even so I've looked thoroughly and not found any new hiding places. I've not changed their diet.
     
  2. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician

    85,822
    119,098
    1,807
    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    Did you keep lights on them throughout the winter in order to 'spur' production? If so, they may simply be taking a break.
     
  3. jabowery

    jabowery Chirping

    79
    3
    94
    Oct 26, 2010
    My Coop
    This has nothing to do with winter. They've been producing this spring.
     
  4. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician

    85,822
    119,098
    1,807
    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    If you forced them to lay throughout the winter by adding lighting, it might very well have something to do with winter. Hens lay in cycles. After a certain period of time they stop laying to regenerate. Pushing them beyond as in battery houses is what hastens their burn out. It's basic chicken husbandry.
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2012
  5. jabowery

    jabowery Chirping

    79
    3
    94
    Oct 26, 2010
    My Coop
    I see. Thanks. I did have a heat lamp (one of those red things) that was on a timer to keep them warm at night. They did produce eggs during the winter but only at about half the rate they did up until October of last year. They kept at it right into the middle of spring and then POOF a real drop off.

    This morning I bought this bale of alfalfa from a farmer and put it next to their house.

    They took to it like crazy at first but later on in the day they're pretty much ignoring it and back out in the field.


    [​IMG]
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: