Why so few eggs?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by redhd077, Aug 15, 2011.

  1. redhd077

    redhd077 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 11, 2011
    south eastern, ID
    Hey yall. I have a question. I have a flock of 22 chickens, and about the last month my eggs when from 6-7 eggs down to 3 or 4. I can't figure it out. Here is some info on my little flock.

    We have 5 white leg horn hens (alittle over a year old), 2 golden sex link hens (not sure how old they are), 1 black austrolop hen ( alittle over a year), 3 barrock hens ( a little over a year). We also have a golden sex link rooster and a barrock rooster.



    Then we have 3 rhode island red hens and one rooster that are about 17 weeks old. We also have 5 mixed breeds that are almost 14 weeks old.

    We feed a mix of scrach grain and layer. They are free range durning the day. They weather here is about 70-80 sometimes hotter, but it hasn't been over that for quite a few weeks. I usally don't let them out to free range until about noon....when they should be done laying. I have found a few "secret nests" in the past, but can seem to locate on lately.


    ANy help or advice is welcomed! Thanks
     
  2. Jeffross1968

    Jeffross1968 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 14, 2011
    Smoky Mountains
    I'd keep them in from free ranging for 2 days and see what you get. Have you seen an increase in feathers laying around? Time for the fall molt, and they typically slow way down or stop during molt. How much scratch do they get every day? If it's a good percentage, I'd lay off the scratch for a while and see what happens. Scratch, from what I've read, does not have the necessary protein content. Then again, either does grass but whatever. Those are a few ideas on what could be going on...
     
  3. Bravo

    Bravo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 24, 2009
    CA
    The weather, ranging and diet may be causing your decrease in egg production.

    Usually in the summer when it is really hot, production goes down. Also, I have found when they have room to roam, suddenly foraging and dust-bathing are all paramount to egg laying LOL. My girls turn into a bunch of free loaders when they are ranging around my yard (and I've got all the secret nesting spaces covered too).

    I have a lot of Marans in my flock and because they are bigger, they seem to require a higher protein content. I feed 20% pellets, black oil sunflower seeds, hydrated cat food and I cut out scratch completley. They've been doing very well on this and production is exponentially better.

    Hope this helps!
     
  4. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    Agree with other posters. If the heat isn't above 90, and they aren't molting, then the production with those ages and breeds should be much better.

    Thus, they might be laying offsite. Keep them enclosed or in an enclosed run for a week and see if your production jumps. I also think the diet is somewhat suspect. Scratch is what it is, mixed grains with a combined protein of 8% on average. That amount keep chickens alive, but doesn't allow for egg production with a high protein diet. A 50/50 blend of 8% scratch and 16% layer reduces the total to 12% protein. Normally, ranging for bugs and worms can make up that difference, but it depends on the environment.
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2011
  5. redhd077

    redhd077 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    109
    Mar 11, 2011
    south eastern, ID
    Well a week ago we left on thursday morning and came back on sunday evening and we had 17 eggs....and i think 2 got broken and ate. So it maybe they are laying somewhere else. We don't have a chicken run, we just always let them free range...which there is alot of places to look for eggs! Any tips or tricks on how I can get them to not lay else where? I guess i will leave them lock up for the next day or two and see what happens. I don't know if I have ever know if our chickens where molting. Haven't notice to may more feathers, but get 22 chickens and ya have alot of feathers. LOL
     
  6. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    Since many chickens lay before noon, after a day or two kept in, the next step is to not "release the hounds" until noon. That is also helpful in "training" them to lay in the box provided. Best regards.
     
  7. redhd077

    redhd077 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    109
    Mar 11, 2011
    south eastern, ID
    Fred's Hens :

    Since many chickens lay before noon, after a day or two kept in, the next step is to not "release the hounds" until noon. That is also helpful in "training" them to lay in the box provided. Best regards.

    I usally don't let them out until after noon. So i kept them locked up all day yesterday and i still only got 4 eggs, so i was thinking maybe they are molting, then I left them locked up again today and bam! 6 eggs today. So whats the deal?!​
     

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