Zero Eggs ... and a big UH-OH ...

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by mangled, Nov 7, 2008.

  1. mangled

    mangled Chillin' With My Peeps

    ...And I'm beginning to get a bit worried about it.

    I have 21 hens about 1 1/2 years old in the main coop/run area, with 1 roo, 5 pullets and 4 cockerals, which are approx. 12 weeks old. They are in an enclosed run, so they aren't laying in a hidden place.

    They are fed 18% layer's crumble, scratch feed as a treat, and have oyster shell readily available. Water is changed daily, and they get scraps from the table. My run is 42 feet long by 27 feet wide, and the coop is 12 feet x 10 feet. There are 5 nest boxes.

    I have gotten absolutely no eggs from the main coop for 15 days. I actually set our game camera up in the coop to film the nest boxes, to see if there was a predator, egg eaters, what have you, and in 2 days of filming, there was no evidence of anything. The hens are simply not laying.

    I know with the decrease in light, change in weather, moult, etc., right now, I should see a decrease, but shouldn't I be getting at least a couple daily out of 21 hens? These are all mature layers that were giving me 18-21 daily for the majority of the year. It's been dwindling off for a few weeks, and now I'm just worried.

    Is this just normal or should I be concerned?
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2008
  2. rooster-red

    rooster-red Here comes the Rooster

    Jun 10, 2007
    Douglasville GA
    It seems to be the norm for this year, I'm getting 1-2 eggs a day, where last year at this time I had less hens and was getting more eggs (same hens too)
  3. Katy

    Katy Flock Mistress

    That's how it was for me last year...very few if any eggs for waaaay too long. This year they've definately slowed down, but they haven't quit entirely yet. It sure would be nice if when they quit laying they didn't need to continue to eat just as much!!
  4. sara

    sara Title Needed Here

    Today I got 2 eggs total from my birds. It felt like a surplus because I've been getting 1 every other day for weeks, and I have lots of birds of laying age. I think most of mine have been molting. Also daylight hours are short and I don't use extra light. They will hopefully start again soon for you [​IMG]
  5. scubagirl

    scubagirl Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 29, 2008
    Marysville, WA
    I hang 2 heat lamps, red bulb, in my coop, and my

    chickens are still laying daily.

    Light is important for egg production, and it keeps the coop slightly warmer as well.

    Good Luck
  6. mangled

    mangled Chillin' With My Peeps

    Well, we ran a bit of an experiment this afternoon.

    I set all three of our live traps in the run, baited with eggs. Store bought, because I had none to use of our own. [​IMG] This evening, when I went up to close the girls for the night, 2 traps were sprung with hens in the traps and the eggs were eaten. [​IMG]

    So, I've got them separated from the rest of the flock. I set 2 eggs in their nest box, and we'll see if they're still there in the morning.

    I fear our egg eating problem has resurfaced.

    Last edited: Nov 8, 2008
  7. shmooborp

    shmooborp artistic fowlism

    the weather.. the less light in the day.. most likely all factors.. im experiancing the sammmmeee thing.. :\\
  8. jhm47

    jhm47 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 7, 2008
    Eating eggs is much more prevalent during the molt. The hens are trying to get all new feathers, rest their reproductive systems, and recharge their bodies. The extra protein, calcium and fat in eggs is nearly the ideal food for the hens at this stressful time.

    I gather from your post that you have had problems wih egg eating earlier. Once hens find out that there is something "yummy" inside an eggshell, it's very hard to get them to quit. You may get them to quit for awhile, but they often will revert to their bad habits.

    The best way to permanently stop egg eating (and I know that many on this site disagree) is to partially debeak the offending hens. You don't need to do as radical of a job as the commercial people do. Just take off about 3/8 inch of the top beak. They will bleed some, and it will be sore for a few days, but it stops them. I feel that it's preferable to culling a perfectly good hen. Good luck!
  9. mangled

    mangled Chillin' With My Peeps

    Egg-eating has been a serious problem on and off with my hens for months now.

    My husband fully plans on culling the offenders. I told him it may be every hen we have, and he shrugged and said we'd just start over in the Spring. [​IMG]

    We're just really short of money now while I'm waiting to hear back from jobs, and he's stressing about the lack of eggs and the small profit.

    Hopefully I can find another alternative. [​IMG] I'll have to look into debeaking. [​IMG]

  10. idealpoultry

    idealpoultry Official BYC Community Sponsor

    Sep 25, 2007
    Cameron, TX
    They need light! 16 Hours a day minimum. Try adding light on them each night from about 6-10pm and that should help with your problem.


    Ideal Poultry

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