egg production

Discussion in 'General Chicken Discussion' started by arnie, Jul 6, 2012.

  1. arnie

    arnie New Member

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    Hi All! I have 6 hens in my flock. 2 Barred rocks and 4 Silver Laced Wyandottes.

    I'm having trouble getting eggs from the girls. A year ago I was getting an average of 4 to 5 eggs a day. This year however I get 1 to 2 eggs a day. The hens are in their 2nd year of laying, I got them in april of 2010.

    They free range my yard all day, with fresh water and plenty of good quality food. What should I be looking at to find out the hens need to get a few more eggs out of them?

    Thanks, arnie
     
  2. Apyl

    Apyl New Member

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    Some chickens are past their peak by 2 years old. Have you changed feed lately? Are they getting enough calcium? Hows the weather? Do they have mites?
     

  3. arnie

    arnie New Member

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    I haven't changed anything from last year. I bought some oyster shells to make sure they have enough calcuim but I don't think that will help produce more eggs though.

    Average Minnesota weather. The hens laid more eggs this winter with no added light then they are laying now.

    I have dusted them for mites several times so I don't think that's the problem...not sure.

    They look healthy, clucking all the time, seem happy...

    arnie
     
  4. Sundancers

    Sundancers New Member

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    One of the problems I had early on was the chickens hiding their nest while free to range. I thought I had lost half my flock only to have them come back with chicks?

    Just a thought ...
     
  5. hollyosborn

    hollyosborn HollyOsborn

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    Free range = go find their nests.. when i let mine out in the mornings, i have a few i have to watch closely.. one is a sneaky devil.. she back tracks and circles all around, usually takes a good hour to see where shes going. ahha... right now i have some hidden nests i cant seem to find.. somehow they are getting out of my sight and sneaking away...
     
  6. leirob007

    leirob007 New Member

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    Brown egg layers take a little extra protien to lay then white egg layers for some reason I noticed. you can find out if that is a problem real easy. toss them a cup of dry cat food a week and see if your egg production goes up. if it does. then the feed you are feeding them is not enough. you need a min of 20% protien intake for your birds and back feed your shells. I prefer lime or back feeding the shells ( dried and crumbled ) to oyster shells. another possibility is you have an egg eater. toss some styrofoam chunks like off of a broken cooler into the nesting area. they will quit eating eggs in a hurry.
     
  7. Roslyn

    Roslyn A Round American Woman

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    My vote is for hidden nests. If you are having ANY of this heat wave that could also help lower production. Once my girls were past their first year they lay the best in the Spring and Fall, deep Summer with heat and humidity slows them down. I figure that is Mother Nature's way of not over-stressing them, so I just plan accordingly.

    However, if they are free ranging I would start watching them closely. If you let them out in the morning and notice that one seems to be in a hurry to go somewhere, then I would try to follow her and see where she is headed, she may have a secret nest.
     
  8. arnie

    arnie New Member

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    I'm 100% sure they are not hidding their eggs. I have looked many times and found eggs one time when they could not get back to the coop because the door was closed---- also there is really no place to hide them in my yard. I have also locked them in there run for several days with the same amount of eggs.

    Seems to be getting worse 6 eggs from 6 chickens in the last 7 days. Last year I got 36 eggs from the same chickens in the same week.
     
  9. twentynine

    twentynine New Member

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    It is a very hot summer. I vote for that being some of the problem. Secondly, age, were they day olds when you got them in April 2010?

    Just a observation I have made over the years. A chicken can hide a nest on a pool table, so never underestimate their ability.
     
  10. arnie

    arnie New Member

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    2 eggs today none yesterday... I think I'm going to keep them locked in their run for the next few weeks and see if I get more eggs.
     
  11. arnie

    arnie New Member

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    twentynine, sorry I didn't answer your question. I'm not sure how old the chicks were when I got them. It was chick day at the local ag store. A few days old?? just not sure.
     
  12. twentynine

    twentynine New Member

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    Okay doesn't matter a few days or one day. I thought maybe you had got point of lay pullets or laying hens. That would make your hens much older.
     
  13. midgetfarms

    midgetfarms New Member

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    There are a ton of things that change egg laying. 1-age. Yours are at the end of their productive lives. They will still lay for years but not every day. 2-heat. This is the hottest time of year. Some girls wont lay if they are too hot. 3-molting or broody. They dont lay during either of these. 4-changes or stress. If something freaks them out (thunderstorm, sonic boom, chubicabra) they can stop laying for Weeks.
     
  14. Lady_Alia

    Lady_Alia New Member

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    Chubicabra?!?!? Lol excellent!
     
  15. midgetfarms

    midgetfarms New Member

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  16. Marengoite

    Marengoite Junior Member

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    You might also vary the diet with plenty of table scraps. If you have a ham bone or some other large bones for them to peck the meat off of that will give them both added protein and calcium. Chances are, though, that the heat is what's doing them in. Are they spending most of the day hiding in the shade and panting?
     
  17. PeterFromRutland

    PeterFromRutland Junior Member

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    I'm having this issue right now with my two reds. I'll try the cat food trick.