Why has my chickens egg production slowed down so much

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Bigg Red, Sep 7, 2010.

  1. Bigg Red

    Bigg Red Out Of The Brooder

    Oct 8, 2009
    Alright now I am starting get frustrated! I have 26 chickens, some RIR, buffs, sexlinks, Americanas, etc. 16 or so of the birds are about 2 yrs old and the rest are under 6 months and my egg production sucks.

    A little history, I have always had about the same number of birds (some times more) and have never had hugh numbers of eggs. I think I had 15 a day tops and that may only have happened 3 or 4 times. At the begining of this summer I was getting approx 12 to 14 eggs a day and then that dropped to about 10 eggs a day at the end of summer. Now for the past 2 days I have only recieved 6 eggs and am not sure why. Now I know weather can play a part but I live in Washington State and even when it heats up it doesn't really heat up like other states so there has not been any major changes there. None appear to be sick, there maybe one that shows signs of molting but other then that they appear to be happy and healthy.

    Now I did butcher 6 Roosters about 2 weeks ago and took another 2 to the auction last week. Could this be the problem? I know this can cause stress, but even two weeks later, really? The butchering was done away from and out of sight of the other chickens (if that matters). I do have a dog that has killed a few in the past (2 months ago) but it appears we have cured that problem. He still does go out there with us but the birds appear calm for the most part.

    My chickens are free range. There are 12 layign boxes in the coupe and 3 outside. I feed them layer crumble, veggies, fruits and other healthy table scraps. (trying to answer all questions about my birds before they are asked). Any ideas?
  2. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    As I understand it, somewhere around 1 1/2 to 2 years they will molt and stop til they get their feathers back, then resume laying, but not as many. The younger ones could be in a partial molt. At your latitude, the decreasing number of daylight hours should be a factor, too. Mine seem to be in a partial molt: I'm seeing quite an increase in the number of feathers on the ground, though I don't see their absence on the chickens. Haven't lost a bird, so I guess some are molting, at least.

    Maybe your younger ones are not all laying yet, or at least not regularly. Hopefully that will help as they get cranked up.

    You didn't mention parasites. Maybe you need to check for lice/mites, dust a bit (there are always a few present, they say, from wild birds) and think about worming.
  3. Ohhhdear

    Ohhhdear Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 15, 2010
    West Michigan
    Quote:Ddawn, I wasn't sure you could or should worm laying hens. What do you use, or what do you suggest I ask for at the feed mill? Dosage? In their water supply? Do you wait until they're moulting and not laying at all?

    Last edited: Sep 7, 2010
  4. briteday

    briteday Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 16, 2008
    Northern NV
    Parasites are not a huge problem where I live. But when I do worm, I do it when the girls are laying the least during the shortest days of the year in Dec. I use 10% suspension of fenbendazole, it is sold in a lot of feed stores as goat wormer. It basically breaks down to 1ml of liquid wormer to 1 liter of water for 5 days. I keep some 2 liter soda bottles around and mix up a batch a few times during the day, small flock twice per day would be fine. Fenbendazole tends to fall out of solution with the water. So you should go out and shake it up or make up a new batch, I do it each time I check for eggs.

    The withdrawal I use is to discard eggs once they have started drinking the de-wormer, and discard them for 14 days after the last dose.

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