It is not uncommon for a hens egg production slow and even stop, leaving flock owners with little to no eggs. The solution to this problem you ask? Lucky for you, I have the answer.
Here are the three most common reasons why hens slow or stop laying eggs.
#1. Shorter days and less daylight hours
At the end of summer and fall, the shorter days and less daylight hours can greatly affect a hens laying production. The decrease in daylight hours can slow and even stop egg production. The most accepted method used by commercial and local small farmers alike, is to use artificial light year round to give the hens a long day no matter the season.
#2. Poor Nutrition
Just like people need a well-balanced diet for our bodies to work well, hens need a well-balanced diet to maintain positive egg production! Maintaining a hens nutritional requirements can be met by providing enough calcium and salt in their diet. Ground limestone or oyster shells in addition to a supplemental amount of dietary salt can help boost egg production. Providing hens with feed that have these elements can help prevent decreased egg production. Poultry water protectors such as Carefree Enzymes Water Protector are a great way to make sure your birds are receiving clean water. Water protectors provide added digestive enzymes so hens are able to better absorb food. Water protectors also stop cross-bacterialization preventing one bird from contaminating the water, infecting other birds. Being sure that hens are not exposed to fleas, mites and lice can also help to decrease stress and increase production. Using products such as Poultry Protector from Carefree Enzymes can help to keep these pests under control.
Broodiness is when a hen attempts to incubate and hatch her eggs. When hens are attempting to hatch their eggs, they will stop production. This is most commonly caused by stimulation from the long daylight hours in the spring and summer, as well as when the hen is allowed to accumulate eggs. The best way to prevent to broodiness is by gathering eggs every day and being sure they do not accumulate in the nests. This is also a good practice to ensure the quality of the eggs for human consumption.
Although age is most always first to be blamed for slowing or ceasing in egg production, before you decide your hen is to old, try using some of the methods laid out above! Happy laying!