Domesticated chickens have the potential to yield an egg once in 25 – 28 hours. However, certain factors like sudden changes in the season, inadequate nourishment, molting, aging and other environmental stresses can cause these birds to stop yielding eggs.
Changes in the environment:
Sensitive chickens take time to adapt if changed to a new nesting box or a coop. If the hen is stressed by any visits of its predators, it stops laying eggs. Hence, in order to get the best yield, hens should be housed in a comfortable nesting box which is not too cold and is free from any predator visits.
Chickens can yield eggs better in warmer temperatures (45 – 80 degrees). They need around fourteen hours of daylight exposure for healthy and fertile eggs. Hence, often you would see that the yield greatly reduces during winter as the number of hours of exposure to bright light reduces. Also, the weather cools down and surrounding air becomes cool. Hence, you can add artificial lights in the hen house in order to maintain warm temperature and also increase the exposure to light.
Lack of adequate water and nutritious food can also reduce the potential of laying eggs in a great way. Egg-laying chicken need a lot of calcium in their intake. Hence, if the hen is deficient in calcium, the eggs yield reduces or the eggs have weak shells or the offspring are not born healthy. Sprinkle crushed egg shells or oyster shells on top of the chicken feed in order to provide sufficient calcium intake.
This is a natural process of shedding the old feather and growing fresh ones and occurs around 18 months of their survival. It can last anywhere between 2 – 4 months during which the hen may stop laying eggs. The laying process resumes once the molting phase is over.
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