Keeping layers is a lucrative business that can bring you lots of profits. However, it has some challenges. This includes suboptimal management practices, diseases, and the hens laying soft eggs and on top of this list is decreased egg production. All these challenges can result in huge losses.
However, each of these challenges must be addressed independently. Addressed in this article are the various ways you can handle the issue of low egg production. For many people, especially those in poultry keeping, the main reason they do this is to make money. Therefore, it is essential to prevent any losses.
One of the reasons why your chickens may not lay efficiently is that you are not feeding them properly. As a result, egg production decreases. Feed your hens well, with nutritious feed, and give them sufficient water.
When the food is not tasty, your chicken feeds less. Also, in a stressful environment, especially when the weather is too hot.
Other causes include:
• Moulting phase– Hens stop laying eggs during this phase. When birds lose their feathers and have to re-grow them, you have to feed them with good nutrients. Even when they aren’t paying enough eggs, it is essential to give them support through the molting cycle by providing them with a high-quality diet.
• Aging-Aging is another reason why chicken can produce fewer eggs. Layers start to lay eggs at 18 weeks. If the chicken is well fed, it can lay up to 360 eggs per cycle. Usually, egg production is above 90% between 24 to 44 weeks of age. However, between 70-80 weeks, egg production starts to decrease. Therefore, make sure that you manage your flock effectively and efficiently by observing what you feed your layers and observing the best management practices.
Consider Management and Sufficient Lighting
It is essential to maintain the best biosecurity practices and manage your lighting, especially for the in-housed layers when it comes to management. When the lights are turned off, your hens will not feed, resulting in low egg production. Also, are you wondering why is my chicken laying soft eggs? This behavior is observed in chickens that are forced to lay eggs day and night. As a result, the chickens are out of sync with the natural daylight. It is also a result of insufficient calcium intake in your chicken feed. Therefore, check your lighting regularly and make sure the lights are not dim if the chickens are exposed to insufficient light, less than is required. This also reduces egg production. Again, when your layers are exposed to too much light, they mature quickly at an early stage, which causes them to lay tiny eggs. Therefore, make sure you check and manage your lighting regularly.
Choose your layers carefully
Laying hens is mostly noisy. They like hunting for their food every day. The layers are also active. Therefore, when choosing your layers, ensure they are healthy. Good layers have a medium-long breast and are not short. Avoid the layers that are lazy, undersized, weak, and undesirable. You should avoid buying such chicken to be part of your layers.
Why my chicken is laying soft eggs? If you want to address this issue, maintain sufficient lighting and ensure that you’re feeding your chicken with proper nutrients.
5 Ways to Increase Egg Production in Hens
1.) Use Quality Feed.
Using good feed for your hens is a no-brainer when it comes to increasing egg production. Making eggs takes nutrients and vitamins from the chicken, as well as energy, so feeding them quality feed is a must if you want more eggs. Hungry hens can become stressed out, and a stressed hen doesn’t lay. Using treats such as mealworms, corn, and birdseed will also increase egg production as these are high in the proteins needed to lay eggs. Avoid carbs, however, as these can make hens obese. Obese hens don’t lay well and can have a host of health problems.
2.) Clean Nest Boxes.
A dirty coop is very bad for hens, especially when it comes to laying eggs. Not only can waste from the hens invite parasites and contain ammonia, which is toxic to animals, but it also makes eggs dirty, and having to clean eggs after they’re laid can be quite the chore. Hens also like clean, dry bedding to nest in, and if they’re not happy with the quality of their nest, they will lay less often. Having a dirty coop can also increase stress in hens, which will reduce egg production significantly. It also reduces the smell of chickens on your property, which is a plus!
3.) Try Increasing Calcium.
Good nutrition leads to larger egg yields. A good feed will already have calcium, but adding calcium to a hen’s diet will only increase production. Laying an egg takes a lot of calcium from the hen! You can tell your hen isn’t getting enough calcium when her eggs are soft-shelled, as the shells are made from the calcium in her body. You can add more calcium to their diets by washing and crushing up oyster shells into small bits and mixing them with the feed, or leaving it as a treat in a separate feeder.
4.) Make Sure They’re Hydrated.
How well do you think a dehydrated hen feels? Fresh, clean water access is a cornerstone of having healthy hens. Even though they might drink muddy water in puddles, they need access to fresh water that is changed daily. This will prevent dehydration in your hens and keep them laying frequently. If you live in a hot, humid, or arid area, you need to make sure the water is plentiful, as a hen can drink up to two pints of water in a day during the summer. A dehydrated hen does not lay eggs, period, and it will take them a few days to start laying again.
5.) Reduce Stress as Much as Possible.
Chickens are a prey species, meaning they are prone to freak out over the smallest things that we, as humans, wouldn’t be bothered by. A stressed hen doesn’t lay, and a myriad of things can cause them stress, such as a lack of nutrition, sickness, predators, parasites, loud noises, a dirty coop, or even new members of the flock. Keeping them happy and healthy is a must if you want egg production to be high as it can possibly be. You must be gentle with your hens, and they will reward you with eggs accordingly. Try to think from their perspective if you’re trying to find what stresses them out – you might be surprised at what you find going on in your land.