Low Egg Production in Poultry: Causes and Solutions



Decrease in Egg Production: Causes  Solutions

Collecting eggs from the nest
boxes is one of the great joys of backyard chicken keeping and when the
yield from the nest boxes isn't what we expect, it can be disappointing, and at times, cause for concern. A
drop in egg production can be one of the first signs of a problem in our flocks and just as
we pay attention to our chickens’ droppings to monitor their health, so too should
we pay attention to the hens' daily egg count for signs of trouble.
  The following are the most common causes of a drop in egg production in backyard flocks with solutions where possible.  A drop in egg production can be one of the first signs of a problem in our flocks and just as we pay attention to our chickens’ droppings to monitor their health, so too should we pay attention to the hens' daily egg count for signs of trouble.  The following are the most common causes of a drop in egg production in backyard flocks with solutions where possible.
Fluctuations in egg
production can be caused by a myriad of physical, behavioral, environmental and
emotional triggers, some requiring remedial action and others, no cause for
alarm. To determine the reason for a decline in egg production, a complete
flock history and physical assessment of all birds should be performed, asking
questions such as: have any new chickens been added to the flock, were new
birds properly quarantined, have there been any changes in feed, housing arrangements, weather, lighting, droppings, have there been any signs
of predators or sickness such as eye discharge, sneezing, lethargy, etc.  After taking all factors into consideration,
the cause should become apparent.
 To determine the reason for a decline in egg production, a complete flock history and physical assessment of all birds should be performed, asking the following questions:
The following are some of the
causes attributable to a drop in egg production:


Decreased lighting conditions
Light triggers a hen’s pituitary gland to produce eggs. Regular egg-laying requires 14 to 16 hours of light and decreased
daylight hours in autumn and winter can cause a drop in or stop to egg production. Supplemental light
can be added to the coop to encourage egg-laying with no detrimental effects
to the hen despite myths to the contrary.
 Light triggers a hen’s pituitary gland to produce eggs. Regular egg-laying requires 14 to 16 hours of light and decreased daylight hours in autumn and winter can cause a drop in or stop to egg production. Supplemental light can be added to the coop to encourage egg-laying with no detrimental effects to the hen despite myths to the contrary.
Molting
Molting is the natural process
of feather shedding and re-growth. Hens divert protein and energy away from egg
production to concentrate on feather growth. Supplementing a hen’s diet with
extra protein during a molt can aid in feather growth and egg production.
 Hens divert protein and energy away from egg production to concentrate on feather growth. Supplementing a hen’s diet with extra protein during a molt can aid in feather growth and egg production.
Stress and Change
Hens are extremely sensitive
to stress and typically respond to it by putting the brakes on egg-laying. They
particularly dislike change, which is a major cause of stress and decline in
egg-laying. Any one of the following can adversely affect egg production:
changes in feed, changes in coop layout, moving to a different farm or coop,
adding or losing flock members, annoyance from a well-intentioned child, a
fright from a predator, irritation from internal parasites (worms, coccidia) or external parasites,(lice, mitesrodentsviolent weather, barking dogs and high heat.



 Hens are extremely sensitive to stress and typically respond to it by putting the brakes on egg-laying. They particularly dislike change, which is a major cause of stress and decline in egg-laying.
Broodiness:
A broody hen in the coop can affect a flock’s egg production. Not only does she
stop laying eggs; the mere sight of her sitting on a nest can inspire a chain
reaction of hens to brood, resulting in fewer eggs overall. Broodies should be broken properly or permitted to hatch eggs in a location away from the nest boxes to ensure a prompt return to egg-laying and to preserve their health.
 A broody hen in the coop can affect a flock’s egg production. Not only does she stop laying eggs; the mere sight of her sitting on a nest can inspire a chain reaction of hens to brood, resulting in fewer eggs overall.
Disease-Illness-Parasites:
Hens that are ill or have parasites such as worms, coccidia, mites or lice, do not
perform optimally. Taken in conjunction with flock history and any other
symptoms, a drop in egg production can indicate that hens are sick or suffering from a parasite infestation. For
example: if a drop in egg production follows the addition of new chickens to
the flock and no other physical symptoms are noted, a communicable disease or parasite should be suspected and investigated further. 


 Read Also : Factors Affecting Egg Production in Poultry in Backyard Chicken Poultry

**Any time a sick chicken dies suspiciously, the USDA should be contacted to have their veterinarians assist in a FREE disease investigation, which includes a necropsy of the deceased bird(s). Always preserve the body for a necropsy by keeping it cold, never frozen, until further instruction is given by a vet. 866-536-7593.**
Taken in conjunction with flock history and any other symptoms, a drop in egg production can indicate that hens are sick or suffering from a parasite infestation.
Egg Hiding
Free-range or pasture-raised
hens may fall into the unwelcome habit of laying eggs outside the coop in
secluded locations. Hens have been known to disappear for weeks, secretly brood eggs and return to the flock with baby chicks in tow! Coop training ordinarily
eliminates the problem of egg-hiding.
Free-range or pasture-raised hens may fall into the unwelcome habit of laying eggs outside the coop in secluded locations.
Egg-eating chickens
Everyone loves fresh eggs,
and chickens are no exception. Hens often start eating eggs when they discover
a broken egg in a nest box.    

Once a chicken gets the taste of this high-protein, nutritious snack, it becomes difficult to deter intentional egg breaking and
eating. Much more on addressing this problem behavior here.
Everyone loves fresh eggs, and chickens are no exception. Hens often start eating eggs when they discover a broken egg in a nest box. Once a chicken gets the taste of this high-protein, nutritious snack, it becomes difficult to deter intentional egg breaking and eating.
Age
After two years, a hen’s
production naturally declines. An aging flock will naturally produce fewer eggs
after its first two years. Nothing can reverse this process.
After two years, a hen’s production naturally declines. An aging flock will naturally produce fewer eggs after its first two years. Nothing can reverse this process.
Predator Theft
Various predators can be
responsible for egg theft including: raccoons, rats, snakes, opossums and
skunks. Coops should be secured with hardware cloth to ensure that nocturnal
predators cannot gain access to the birds at night when they are most vulnerable.


Various predators can be responsible for egg theft including: raccoons, rats, snakes, opossums and skunks.
Various predators can be responsible for egg theft including: raccoons, rats, snakes, opossums and skunks. Coops should be secured with hardware cloth to ensure that nocturnal predators cannot gain access to the birds at night when they are most vulnerable.
Nutrition Imbalance
The wrong feed, too many
snacks/treats, overcrowding, mixing commercial layer feed with scratch/cracked corn/oats, etc.  & being physically prevented from getting to
the feeders by another flock member can all lead to nutritional
deficiencies, which can result in a drop in egg production. 
The wrong feed, too many snacks/treats, overcrowding, mixing commercial layer feed with scratch/cracked corn/oats, etc.  & being physically prevented from getting to the feeders by another flock member can all lead to nutritional deficiencies, which can result in a drop in egg production.
Water deprivation
Access to clean, fresh, cool water at all times is imperative to the formation of eggs. 
Egg production will suffer if a hen's access is limited physically (frozen or too far away) restricted (prevented from reaching it by another chicken) or unpalatable (dirty/medicated/warm).

Read Also : How to Start Poultry Chicken Hatchery

 The installation of a poultry nipple waterer can solve most water-related problems. 
A cookie tin water heater will keep water from freezing in traditional waterers inexpensively and effectively.
Access to clean, fresh, cool water at all times is imperative to the formation of eggs. Egg production will suffer if a hen's access is limited physically (frozen or too far away) restricted (prevented from reaching it by another chicken) or unpalatable (dirty/medicated/warm).
Egg binding or Internal Laying
Malfunctions of the oviduct
can cause a drop in egg production. If the underlying
problem isn't detected and addressed, the hen will often perish as a
result. Seek veterinary help for a hen that has a swollen, water-balloon-like abdomen or signs of egg-looking junk are found.


 Lash eggs result from salpingitis
 Malfunctions of the oviduct are less common causes of a change in egg production than some of the others mentioned above. If the underlying problem isn't detected and addressed, the hen will often perish as a result.


If you need further enlightenment, on this topic, drop a comment for request and if you enjoy the information you have just read, kindly share it with other Farmers!

3 comments:

  1. Nicew updates, i personally love the tips ou shared here and those pictures are fascinating, kudos!!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks for sharing the important points of view with us. It is really very nice blog which describes how to Poultry Solutions

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