Maximizing Egg Production From Your Chickens

The laying cycle of a chicken flock usually covers a span of twelve months. Egg production begins when the birds reach about 20-24 weeks of age, depending on breed and season. Flock production reaches a peak of about 90% 6-8 weeks later. Egg production then gradually decreases after 12 months of lay.

Egg production can be affected by such factors as feed, water intake, duration of light, parasites, disease, environment and housing.

Laying chickens require a completely balanced diet to sustain maximum egg production over time. Inadequate nutrition can cause hens to stop laying, and inadequate levels of energy, protein or calcium can cause a drop in egg production. As a general rule of thumb hens need a diet that offers at least 16% protein. Steinhauser’s stores provide Purina Layena pellets or crumbles and Purina Layena Plus Omega-3 for your laying hens. Purina Scratch Grains can be provided to offer more variety in their diet, however, relying on whole grains will cause your hens diet to become imbalanced and inadequate to support maximum egg production.

Proper watering is the next factor to consider in egg production, and is most likely the most important element in maximum egg production. Water is not often considered a nutrient , but is the most important nutrient you can provide your hens. Providing fresh feed and clean water on a daily basis is the biggest step you can take in maximizing egg production. It has been generally assumed that birds drink approximately twice as much water as the amount of feed they consume on a weight basis.

Proper housing for your laying hens is another factor to consider in egg production. A good poultry house protects your birds from the elements, predators and injury. Poultry require a dry draft free house. Laying hens need a minimum of 1.5 Sq. Ft. per bird in a coop and 8 Sq. Ft. of space outside. Chickens also need 6 to 10 inches of perch space per bird and at least one nest for every 4 to 5 hens in a flock. In addition to proper feed, adequate water and housing, some other factors to consider are as follows. Fleas, mites and parasites will drastically decrease your egg production. Dust your hens with Sevin dust or a poultry dust to help rid your birds of these pest. Aging hens can live for many years and lay eggs for many of those years. However after two or three years many hens significantly decline in productivity.

Feel free to contact your nearest Steinhauser’s store with any further questions you may have.

Source: David Steinhauser

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