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You are Here: Home -> Forums -> Health/Care -> Drop in Egg Production and More

Topic: Drop in Egg Production and More (5 messages)

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Drop in Egg Production and More (5 messages)
Posted By Message Posted On Report

BARBARA37
Score: 1
We have a flock of eight hens all 11 months old. They started laying last fall and laid pretty well up until recently. Their egg numbers have fallen and when they do lay the occasional egg it's half the size of what's normal.
Also they seem voracious. They fight over each other's droppings! They have feed set out for them all day. It's a mix of grains: dried peas, lentils, flax seeds, and a little bit of corn. I give them a calcium supplement in a separate dish.
They range in a fenced yard so they don't get any fresh grass other than the clippings I give them.
My intuition tells me they have a deficiency. Maybe their food has too high of protein. Ideas anyone?
4/4/2017 8:40 PM report abuse

PATRICES
Score: 34
KALISPELL, MT
Survived our first winter in Montana. Girls did well even when it got to -22.
I'm no expert on mixing feed for chickens. It may be that your mixture is lacking something nutritionally that they require. Protein should be in the 18 to 22 percent range. A couple years ago I remember seeing a conversion program that would estimate how much protein was in your mix. You might try to look for that. You could also feed a commercial chicken feed for a month and see if that makes a difference. If it does then you will know that your feed is not adequate and you will need to change the mix that you are presently feeding.
4/19/2017 11:05 PM report abuse
MARK73
Score: 3
I agree it may be a nutritional issue, however, Mites and/or disease can also trigger such reactions in a flock. Too much of an element(perhaps a high level of a heavy metal) can also trigger sudden health changes, including deformities. Feeding a home flock a measured and balanced feed recipe containing the right ratios of macro and micro nutrients, always, would be a good starting point. Check for mites, observe for pasting and unusual looking poop, and don't forget about possible stress induced changes from causes like harassing dogs, cats or kids! Good luck and happy homesteading!
5/13/2017 6:46 PM report abuse

BARBARA37
Score: 1
I thank you all for taking the time to respond!
Here's what happened. I took my girls off the homemade mix and switched to a commercial layer ration. That first meal they consumed in record time. In just a few weeks I noticed less frantic feeding and less feather picking. A month later we got our first egg! Now we get one egg per day, per hen.
We still use the homemade ration for six week-old pullets up until they start laying. I suppose the demand of egg production on a hen's body is too high for the homemade ration to provide for.
Thank you again! I hope others can learn from my lesson.
7/4/2017 1:04 PM report abuse

PATRICES
Score: 34
KALISPELL, MT
Survived our first winter in Montana. Girls did well even when it got to -22.
Thank you for coming back and reporting on what you have done. It will help others who are having the same problem. My only concern is that you are still using the home made feed. The big difference between a grower feed for young pullets and layer feed is the amount of calcium. It may be that your home made feed might still be lacking in some of the nutrients that a growing pullet needs. Watch your young ones carefully and if they start to feather pick you may have to switch to a commercial grower feed.
7/4/2017 2:43 PM report abuse