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Sudden reduction in production

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by dnx717, Dec 14, 2014.

  1. dnx717

    dnx717 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I live in the Phoenix area. I have a flock (my first ever) of 9 hens (6 different breeds). 8 of the 9 are laying. I've been getting between 6-8 eggs a day and quite suddenly my production fell off the map. We went from 6-8 to one a day yesterday and the day before. We've had two today so far at noon but usually there are more by this time of day. What could be going on? None are broody, none are molting. Btw, our post sunset lighting has not changed.
     
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    Last edited: Dec 14, 2014
  3. dnx717

    dnx717 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Our coop has an open back that faces our bathroom window (ice block style, 4x4) so when our bathroom light is on it shines directly into the coop. We turn the light on around sunset until at least 9 pm. Sun rises a little after 6:30 am here. This has worked until two days ago. I'm wondering about the abrupt disruption in production. I'll check out that link. Thanks for posting!
     
  4. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    Light shining through block windows probably isn't sufficient intensity to impact the pineal gland.

    The light should be bright enough to be able to read a newspaper at roost height.
     
  5. dnx717

    dnx717 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I wondered if it would be bright enough. The funny part is that it was working until 2 days ago. I'll supplement more light this evening and see if it changes anything. Thanks for the reading newspaper reference. Now I know how bright it should be
     
  6. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    When the day length gets short enough, egg production just stops cold turkey. Sorry for the poultry analogy. [​IMG]
     
  7. dnx717

    dnx717 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Haha. Nah, I enjoyed the pun of sorts. And that makes sense bc the days are shorter progressively but it amazed me how egg production fell off as if the earth was flat.
     
  8. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    They're stimulated to lay by longer days and to stop by shorter days so the eggs don't just get fewer and farther between, they just stop.
     
  9. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    I assume that your birds are under a year old because it's your first flock?

    Here's my notes on supplemental lighting, maybe some of them will help you out.

    Sometimes first year layers will lay all winter without supplemental lighting, sometimes they won't.
    Older layers need 14-16 hours of light to lay regularly thru winter. Last winter I used a 40 watt incandescent light(this year I am using a CFL) that comes on early in the morning to provide 14-15 hours of light and they go to roost with the natural sundown. Last year I started the lighting increase a bit late(mid October), the light should be increased slowly, and the pullets didn't start laying until late December. Here's a pretty good article on supplemental lighting. Some folks think that using lighting shortens the years a hen will lay, I don't agree with that theory but I also plan to cull my older hens for soup at about 3 years old.
     
  10. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Overrun With Chickens

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    Or take a good look around for a hidden nest.
     

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