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Hens not laying very well

Posted: Thu Jul 08, 2010 9:45 pm
by Essexboy
My allotment neighbour and I started keeping hens on the allotment at the back end of last year. We have a bit of a mixed bunch, Rhode islands, Black rocks and light sussex, 15 in all, they are all young birds. We peaked at around 6-8 eggs a day in the spring, we are now down to 2-3 a day.
Al the birds are in good health, they are fed on layers pellets and some greens and I think we have the amount fed about right, they also have plenty of space. Could the hot weather be a factor? again, they have plenty of shade and ample acces to water. Any thoughts on this matter greatly appreciated.

Re: Hens not laying very well

Posted: Fri Jul 09, 2010 7:29 am
by Elderflower
I`m not an expert but this does seem a very small number of eggs from 15 healthy hens. I only have two but I`m getting about ten a week from them. Is the run and nest box absolutely secure? Nothing can get in and steal them?
They`re not laying in the run somewhere are they? One of mine started to lay in the run for a while but it has a mesh roof so no crow/magpie could nab it before I got to it.
I`ll be interested to hear what the more knowledgable think.

Re: Hens not laying very well

Posted: Fri Jul 09, 2010 2:22 pm
by Diane
Have you checked the henhouse for redmite? It's rife at this time of the year in untreated henhouses.

The hot weather is affecting laying all over the country apparently, according to the various poultry websites - hens don't lay too well in heatwaves. Just make sure the water is fresh daily.

One of my hens started laying under a bush last year, in the summer - as it was just too hot in the henhouse and she decided it was more pleasant in amongst the lavender plants!

Re: Hens not laying very well

Posted: Sat Jul 10, 2010 1:05 am
by pennybaggins
We kept hens and had the same problem. It is not down to feeding or weather. Ours were contrary little so and so`s - all free-range, who all produced one egg a day, but would not lay where they were supposed to, but scuttled off and hid ,to lay, in thistle clumps, behind grass tussocks etc.. ,so that we had to look hard to find the eggs,but they were there. The biggest clutch I found was about 20 eggs, all still edible,so I reckon 3 or 4 must have found the same niche!! They lay in the strangest places!

Re: Hens not laying very well

Posted: Sat Jul 10, 2010 10:19 am
by Chantal
I have three Light Sussex, one Buff Sussex and one "Miss Pepperpot" hybrid. Only the hybrid lays most days; the other four often go and have a sit down for a while and then change their mind (no, not egg bound). I'm certain that one Light Sussex has never laid an egg in her life! At most I've had four in a day, many times just the one.

Compare this to Seedling who until recently had three hybrid chicks who laid 3 eggs a day and on one occasion, four!

As has been said, contrary devils and pure breeds seem to lay less than hybrids.

You could try contacting the people at the Wernlas Collection in Ludlow, they are always good for sound advice.