where are my eggs! I need HELP

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by jackiedon, Jul 17, 2007.

  1. jackiedon

    jackiedon Songster

    Jun 4, 2007
    Central Arkansas
    I might have post this earlier but I'm having brain fog lately so I'm not sure.

    Okay my egg production is going down from 6 aday to 2 a day. I don't know if they have quit laying them or they are just good hiders. I told hubby that I wasn't going to let them out to free range for the next couple of days to see if they are laying.

    I'm running out of fresh eggs!

    I found these wooden boxes at the flea market. I think they are wine boxes but the wood is very thick. I thought about buying a couple $5 each and sit them up in a place that is outside where they free range but is covered where it won't get wet if we keep getting these rains. But how would I get them to use them if they are outside?

    They also had a shelf made with these boxes. The boxes were stacked and nailed together where one is open on one side and the next box was open on the other side. There were about 10 boxes altogether and it was $30. I thought it was cool looking.

    Some of the chickens had specific nest made and we had tremendous rains last week and everything washed away.

    So what do I do?

  2. justusnak

    justusnak Flock Mistress

    Feb 28, 2007
    South Eastern Indiana
    I would keep them in lockdown untill they start laying in the nest boxes again. This should only take a few days for them to be reminded. As long as they have a fenced yard to get out of the henhouse....they will be fine...a little upset with you...but fine. Also....have you checked for snakes???
  3. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Crowing

    May 7, 2007
    Forks, Virginia
    How old are your hens? It really isn't uncommon for laying hens to go through a cycle of not laying and then start again as mysteriously as they stopped. Old farmers call it 'being off the nest'.

    I would encourage locking them in a few days and seeing what the egg production is. If it returns to normal I would be checking for an egg thief - snake - makes me shiver to think of it.
  4. Corey NC

    Corey NC Songster

    Mar 28, 2007
    North Carolina
    Also check for any lice or mites, they can really take a toll on egg production.
  5. jackiedon

    jackiedon Songster

    Jun 4, 2007
    Central Arkansas
    Well I kept them locked up today and no eggs. Boy were they mad!!! They would hollar at me when I would walk by. I'm going to try it again tomorrow.

    MissPrissy, I'm not sure how old they are but not real old.

    We haven't seen any snakes I would think the goats would keep them away but I'm not sure.


  6. SandraChick

    SandraChick Songster

    ANy stressors lately?

    TOO much heat?

    Not enough protein in their diet?

    Mites/Lice effecting them?

    All can reduce egg laying.

    A trick to get them to lay anywhere is to put in a fake egg. They like to lay where other eggs are. Good fake egg is a golf ball. Or...just leave a real egg there to give them the idea.

    Now- if you didn't get eggs in lock down...then I'd say they're not hiding them.

    Check them over well, make sure they're not skinny (check the keel), check them for mites (best time is in the dark with a headlamp), and make sure they have calcium around.

    If you're in the heat wave...give them cold water throughout the day.

  7. jackiedon

    jackiedon Songster

    Jun 4, 2007
    Central Arkansas
    The 2 banties are laying while locked up, when they lay I let them out. The 2 white leghorn took an extra day to lay but only one laid.

    They are fatter sense they have been free range and they have not been eating very much layers pellets. So it might be they are not getting the nutrients they need.

    They were much happier with me today after I let them out to free range!!!

  8. SandraChick

    SandraChick Songster

    oh no- free range is MUCH better. They just don't need as much feed when they free range.

    Free ranging allows them to balance their own diet- which by the way- they do quite well.

    I would make sure there is oyster shell out free choice--theyll vary how much they need based on their free range diet...but if bug populations get low, you'll see they up their calcium intake.

    Oh- have you noticed a change in their comb and wattle color? They should be blood red if they're laying, Pink if they're not, and if they're pale they probably have a protein shortage. A few meat treats would probably do them some good either way-- I give mine all my dinner leftovers!

    Wishing you some fresh eggs!

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