Sudden drop off in eggs - should I be worried????

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by keeko, Nov 9, 2010.

  1. keeko

    keeko Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 22, 2009
    Asheville, NC
    I have 3 Ameraucanas that lay green/blue eggs, and they were very heavily producing a few weeks ago (almost more than my brown egg layers), but all three have suddenly stopped. A few weeks back, I was getting almost one per day from each of them (and all my eggs were practically green!), and now, they've stopped laying entirely!! Now all my eggs are brown.

    What's going on?? I know the days have shortened, and I expected some drop-off in egg production, by why has it been such a dramatic stop in laying? I can only assume it's purely coincidence that they happen to be green egg layers, since the difference is very obvious to me (I also keep an egg journal, noting who lays what, when).

    Should I be worried, or is this normal behavior for the season? No one appears ill; they are bright-eyed, eating, roosting, not puffed up, and poop is normal. Any ideas????
     
  2. LeezyBeezy

    LeezyBeezy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 13, 2010
    Lancaster PA
    My older hens stopped laying about 7-10 days before they stated to molt. Maybe yours are getting ready to? It's the right time of year.
     
  3. keeko

    keeko Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 22, 2009
    Asheville, NC
    Sorry, I should have mentioned; they're only 9 months old, and we've only been getting eggs for a few months. They just started! Maybe that's why I'm confused by this change in behavior (they were all laying regularly for a while before the days got shorter and we don't put a light in the coop).

    It's just odd to me that it's suddenly *just* the Ameraucanas...
     
  4. HandyHen

    HandyHen Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 15, 2009
    Smyrna, GA
    I have 3 Ameraucanas - 9 mos old - as well. Two have been laying for the past couple months and one still has not started. Production has really slowed in the last month. I'm worried about the one of the Ameraucanas, Eleanor, because her eggs have randomly been dropped at night with soft shells. Have you had any problems like that? They get a Manna Pro mix with some organic seed of my own along with oyster shell and grit. Plus a breakfast of fresh greens, blueberries, maybe some yogurt or oatmeal in the mornings. I also have a Barred Rock, who is going through a nasty moult and has not laid in about 2 months, a RIR who is just slightly losing feathers and still laying about 2 eggs a week, and then a Buff Orpington who is a work horse with an egg almost every day, but no signs of moulting.

    So, with what you've mentioned about your hens, it makes me wonder whether the breed is prone to this type of laying schedule. Anyone else have any suggestions??
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2010
  5. keeko

    keeko Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 22, 2009
    Asheville, NC
    Handy Hen, it sounds like we have very similar flocks! I have a hen named Eleanor too (!) but she's a Black Aussie. I also have one BR and one BO (who's been my egg-laying machine lately as well.) I absolutely do find soft eggs laid in the night (or very early morning when they're still roosting). We find them in the droppings boards, 2 the last two mornings. But they are not green or blue, so I know those aren't from my Ameraucanas. We've been getting soft shelled "poop board eggs" as we call them for the last 4 months- basically on and off since they all started laying. I figured it's normal since they're still so young...

    I took a closer look at my two Ameraucanas, and they seem to have balding on their heads - could this be the first signs of an early molt??? They're only 9 months, and I thought they couldn't molt until their first fall as adults?

    That would seem to add up with their egg-laying hiatus...
     

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