Trying to learn how to get around here, needing quick info on NH reds.


In the Brooder
7 Years
Oct 24, 2012
Okay, so I've been poking around BYC on and off for over a year now. I have enjoyed much info I find here, have forwarded links to others leading them here, and now find myself wishing to comment, or ask a question, and therefore have finally joined as a member! :)

I live in GA, and have a flock of 9 chickens, 4 white leghorns, and 5 production reds. We got them as 2 day old chicks for Easter last year, and they began laying in Aug/Sept. We currently get on average 7-9 eggs every day from them. The 4 whites lay most faithfully, and sometimes even give us 5 eggs in one day from the 4 of them. It is rare that we get less than 4 eggs from the whites. We get 4-5 eggs daily from the Reds, with an occasional drop to 3, but they mostly stay around 99 to 100% production. We love it! :)

My Dad lives in Tn and had a flock of 14+? chickens. It is now down to 10 as of this morning. I was trying to research some info for him real fast, but have been online for much longer than I have time for, and need to get off now. I don't have time to keep looking.
Dads first flock of hens was 2 years ago, he got as pullets just a few days old, and were New Hampshire Reds. Then last year, at the same time I got mine, he added more to his flock about 2 weeks older than mine. 2 White Leghorns and 3 dark reds that he's not sure of the breed. They are not NH, but may be production reds. He has trouble with all his red chickens right now, and we're trying to narrow it down.

First, the New Hampshires lost feathers on their backs that didn't seem to be growing back. Dad got rid of his rooster, and their backs healed up, but the feathers have taken a year to grow back, and some of them still have bald spots that haven't fully filled in yet. Then they seemed to stop laying. Recently, they are dying off one by one over periods of time for unknown reasons. One died on Mother's Day, the next on Father's Day and another this morning. (Oct. 24th) The one that died this morning, at least gave us a warning this time. She was not walking yesterday. We removed her from the coop and put her in a Hospital pen to see what we could do for her. She ate food we put within her reach and she drank water. We could find no markings of injury other than that the flock had pecked at her comb when she was sitting on the floor of their pen before we found her. But the injury wasn't deep or appearing to be life threatening. This morning, however, she never opened her eyes. She acted awake, shook her head occasionally, but mostly rested with eyes closed. We kept her comfortable, placed her beak in water, which she shook off, and then left her to rest. When we check on her again, she was dead.

Out of all the hens Dad has, total of 10 now, he is getting from 3-5 eggs a day. 5 of them are the newest ones, being about a year and a half old. Dad is thinking that these are the ones producing the 3-5 eggs a day, and that none of the NH are producing at all anymore. A year ago, he was getting 5-8 eggs a day. That reduced to our current number in March. The 2 white leghorns are almost 100% dependable for daily eggs. So the reds aren't always laying, sometimes getting only 1 out of the 3. We keep trying vaious things to encourage better egg production, but the best we can do is 5, with a very occasional 6 in one day.
We are wondering if the NH's have a shorter life span, and shorter egg laying time frame. We are wondering if the new red hens are also reaching the end of their egg production cycle. Or if there is something that may be causing all this to happen. What more can we do for Dad's chickens? He is going to separate the NH from the rest to see if we EVER get any eggs from them. Then we'll also see if it helps the others to lay more faithfully somehow.
I have read some articles about NH being bred mainly for meat production and that you can expect about 120 eggs per year from them. (Is that just for one year and then they're done?) These NHs seemed to slow their laying after one year of production, and then completely stop laying right around their 2 year old mark.
The Reds Dad has now, have been laying for 1 year, so they also are slowing down after 1 year of production, and we wonder if they will stop laying by next spring?

What should Dad expect?

Now I have to go concentrate on my other responsibilities.... :)

Thanks to any who can offer some advice. I will browse around better later on tonight when I have more time....

Katie Sue
from California, I would try posting here: sorry I can't help you with your problem :(
Hi and :welcome from Ohio. So glad to have you aboard. Sorry to hear of your dad losing his chickens. I don't have an answer for you. Chickens are most productive in their first two yrs and may drop off some after that but they shouldn't just stop laying all together. I have a couple of PR and I hope they don't stop laying. They have been great layers. :thumbsup
Thank you, I have done that. I did change some info in my re-post as I discussed it with Dad and verified a few specific details I didn't know before.... (Like that his newest hens are RIR)
He also helped me pinpoint more dates as he keeps all his information in his computer. :)

So anyway, thanks again. I appreciate it. Going to do a little more looking around here before getting to bed...

Katie Sue

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