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    • CommentAuthorvolka
    • CommentTimeJun 10th, 2010 2:30pm (Jun 10th 2010)
     
    Since the weekend, our 4 laying hens have only managed to lay 2 eggs on Sundayand Monday, 1 egg and a soft-shelled on Tuesday and Wednesday, and only a soft-shelled on this morning (hubby's just checked and none at 2.30pm).

    All 7 girls are healthy, wormed, eating well, running about, being inquisitive and very talkative. The hen house is nice and clean and no sign of pests. All four gardens in our little plot are all organic, and there's been no spraying in the fields. Plenty of fresh water, greens and feed available

    Any clues?

    Do you think the weather might have something to do with it? We have had some very up and down weather, sudden downpours, thunder for no reason, followed by ridiculously hot spells.
    • CommentAuthornanny north
    • CommentTimeJun 10th, 2010 8:23pm (Jun 10th 2010)
     
    Mine are laying very eraticaly as well Volka and Amber is laying soft shelled at the moment. I think it is the weather affecting them. They are going to bed a lot earlier as well.
    •  
      CommentAuthorRed
    • CommentTimeJun 10th, 2010 9:06pm (Jun 10th 2010)
     

    Keeper of the hens

    It could be the drastic change in weather. If there have been any roadworks, building work or anything else nearby at the moment it could be due to stress related from the extra noise.

    I wouldn't think it's anything to worry about as long as they are acting healthy, aren't eggbound or anything like that...
    • CommentAuthorvolka
    • CommentTimeJun 11th, 2010 10:25am (Jun 11th 2010)
     
    Funny you should say that, NN, the girls are taking themselves off to bed around 8.30pm which is way too early for this time of year.

    I remember running around after them at 10pm last year, trying to get them in.

    No soft egg this morning and, good news, the older girls actually left the newbies share their porridge this morning without any pecking.
    • CommentAuthorleevaux
    • CommentTimeJun 11th, 2010 8:40pm (Jun 11th 2010)
     
    Well its 8.30pm and mine are still out although the weather is awful at the moment the rain last night was unbelievable!!!!!!!!!!! and i do think that different things around chickens does have an effect on there laying but it dose pass.
    •  
      CommentAuthorneil
    • CommentTimeJun 12th, 2010 7:59am (Jun 12th 2010)
     

    Keeper of the hens

    The shell is the last bit of the egg to be made (obviously! Just made myself sound stoopid there haha), so any disruption or scare can affect the shell colour / thickness.

    You can usually expect some soft-shelled eggs when they are coming up to start/end of laying for the year and moulting, but I wouldn't expect it was that causing this.

    Doesn't sound like they really need it, but it might be an idea to get them some Oyster Grit for extra calcium?
    • CommentAuthorvolka
    • CommentTimeJun 12th, 2010 9:48am (Jun 12th 2010)
     
    Three eggs of normal shell quality yesterday so it looks like things are back to normal. No way of telling who laid the soft eggs so it's a mystery.
    • CommentAuthorvolka
    • CommentTimeJun 17th, 2010 8:53pm (Jun 17th 2010)
     
    spoke to soon! back to just one egg a day for the last 5 days. don't know what's going on. i've chucked in some extra oyster grit and dosed the water dispensers with magic chicken ribena (that's what hubby calls it) - it's packed with minerals and they seem to like it. i'll give it another week and then go looking for a chicken vet, i think.

    Photobucket
    •  
      CommentAuthorRed
    • CommentTimeJun 17th, 2010 8:59pm (Jun 17th 2010)
     

    Keeper of the hens

    Gary Larson :D

    Egg production does fluctuate, I guess. If they're over a a year or two old it won't be as good as when they were younger...
    • CommentAuthorvolka
    • CommentTimeJun 29th, 2010 7:32pm (Jun 29th 2010)
     
    huh - just one of those things. my neighbour reckons that because they laid so productively throughout the winter, they're having a break now. anyway, good news - one of the new birds has started laying as we had five eggs today. it was so tiny!