Very, very low egg production

MaddBaggins

Songster
6 Years
Jan 25, 2013
591
45
113
Tucson AZ
Hey all!
I have 8 hens, less than 2 years old, raised from chicks. Last summer, I averaged 7-8 eggs per day once they started laying. When winter hit, that dropped to about 5 per day. It never picked up again after winter and now, I'm lucky to get 3 eggs a day.

This week, I've gotten 1 egg per day for 8 hens. I have to start buying eggs because 8 hens don't produce. If this keeps up, they're all going to the freezer and I may or may not start over. I was thinking of taking one or two for the grill and see how the others react.

Now, the specifics

They have access to lay crumble and oyster/egg shell calcium all they want.
They get plenty of fruits/veggies/greens/yogurt and have frequent access to the whole yard to scrounge for bugs and grass.
The coop is dry and comfy.
They have no mites or other issues.
Fresh water every day during the hot months.
No diet changes since they were pullets.
All are and have been healthy and active.

Any thoughts?
 

AZChiknGoddess

Songster
5 Years
May 7, 2014
565
123
128
Hey all!
I have 8 hens, less than 2 years old, raised from chicks. Last summer, I averaged 7-8 eggs per day once they started laying. When winter hit, that dropped to about 5 per day. It never picked up again after winter and now, I'm lucky to get 3 eggs a day.

This week, I've gotten 1 egg per day for 8 hens. I have to start buying eggs because 8 hens don't produce. If this keeps up, they're all going to the freezer and I may or may not start over.  I was thinking of taking one or two for the grill and see how the others react.

Now, the specifics

They have access to lay crumble and oyster/egg shell calcium all they want.
They get plenty of fruits/veggies/greens/yogurt and have frequent access to the whole yard to scrounge for bugs and grass.
The coop is dry and comfy.
They have no mites or other issues.
Fresh water every day during the hot months.
No diet changes since they were pullets.
All are and have been healthy and active.

Any thoughts?

Are they moulting? They could have fowl pox, it is going around here in Tucson. Have they been dewormed recently?
 

MaddBaggins

Songster
6 Years
Jan 25, 2013
591
45
113
Tucson AZ
Are they moulting? They could have fowl pox, it is going around here in Tucson. Have they been dewormed recently?
2 are molting now pretty hard right now. Egg production never picked back up after the winter though.

Never dewormed. I do add DE to their food, but not in huge amounts. a small scoop per 5g bucket. They are all fairly large and eat well. Poop is usually well formed, dryish to slightly wet. it looks like all the pics from the top of this link. down to the part where it says maggots. So, poop analysis seems good.
http://chat.allotment-garden.org/index.php?topic=17568.0

Fowl pox? How to check for that?
 
Last edited:

AZChiknGoddess

Songster
5 Years
May 7, 2014
565
123
128
You can check their combs. If they have little black scabs on them, they have pox and would not be laying. Birds do not usually lay during moult either. Do you feed them vegetables or greens? They help with folic acid. What kind of chickens are they?
 

AZKat

Songster
10 Years
Apr 7, 2009
668
20
153
It's pretty normal for laying to be slow in the summer, and it'll slow in the winter if you don't do supplemental light.
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Nov 27, 2012
95,296
126,481
1,807
SW Michigan
My Coop
My Coop
Maybe feed them more protein....either meat scraps or a higher protein feed.

How much space in coop and run?

Do you free range all the time?
They could be laying out in the their range area, lock them in the coop for a few days to a week...or at least until mid to late afternoon, that'll 're-home' them to lay in the coop nests.
 

Ol Grey Mare

One egg shy of a full carton. .....
7 Years
Mar 9, 2014
20,622
15,042
821
Oregon
My Coop
My Coop
What breed(s) are involved here? That will play heavily into the "normal" production expectations.
I would also suggest upping protein in the diet - it sounds like most of the scraps/treats they are provided are low protein items, and combined with a layer ration (which tends to be pretty low to begin with) that can often lead to a low protein intake which does have an impact on production.
 

MaddBaggins

Songster
6 Years
Jan 25, 2013
591
45
113
Tucson AZ
No black scabs on combs.

I do add yogurt and meal worms to their diet for protein. Give them more?

They don't free range when we're not home nor during the middle of the day. Evenings during the week and morning and evening on the weekend. I haven't found any random eggs in the yard. I've been looking.

1 Rhode Island Red
3 Barred Rocks
4 Buff Orpingtons

130 sq/ft run and 40 sq/ft coop
 

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