14 Hens, Only 8 Eggs a Day

my chickens are almost a year. i have five breeds. three of each. one rooster King Tut.the most eggs i've had are one day of thirteen and an average of eight a day. the have fresh water daily and feed. they have a nice room & 7 nests. BUT, one nest never has had an egg. this nest always has poop. i clean it daily. poop is all. eight a day is not good right? they have plenty of outside area to play. none of my weeds, grasses have any chemicals and any other scraps seems good. I live in central Oregon. no wild animals to get to them. i do have all the local birds drop by for easy lunches

any other info i can give you i will.
Bob

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How Often Do Hens Lay an Egg
by: sharon

Bob,

Most chicken hens lay one egg ever 30 hours. The day you got 13 eggs, 13 of the girls were in sync laying in that 24 hour period, but I'm sure the eggs were laid over a period of several hours that day. Since every 30 hours is close to 24 hours, it can be a common assumption that hens lay an egg every day, but that isn't based on science. Due to staggered laying times, you may have a day now and then when you get no eggs, and fewer or more than your usual 8.

If you want to do the math: multiply 7 days x 24 hours and divide by 30. Then multiply that number by 14 hens. That's the actual number of eggs you can expect per week. If you divide that number by 7 it will probably be about 8 - which is how many you usually get per day. I think 8 a day is normal for this size flock.

BUT, the seasons are changing. Chickens are molting, daylight hours are getting fewer. Both of these conditions will lead to a decrease in egg numbers. During the molt many feathers are lost so new feathers are growing in, too. Feather growth is a huge demand on the resources of a hen and can stop egg production or slow it considerably.

You didn't say what the breeds of your hens are. If you have production breeds, they tend to lay pretty well all year, but only for 2 years and then they stop laying. If you have Heritage breeds, they tend to take a break from laying when the daylight hours are short and during molts. This is normal and natural for hens to have cycles of laying.

Chickens need 8 hours of sleep. If you want to use artificial fluorescent full spectrum lighting, you can trick hens into continuing to lay during Fall and Winter, by having a light come on in the coop after 8 hours of darkness.

As far as the poop in the nest, sounds like a hen is sleeping in there, or possibly broody, so spending some daytime hours in the nest. When you've got chickens, you get poop, where ever they can leave it.

I lived in the Willamette Valley for about 25 years and kept free range chickens for most of my time living there. I rescued chickens so had many different breeds that I learned from.

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