So your hens have reached six months of age and slowly, but surely, they’ve begun to lay eggs. So far, however, laying has been infrequent and egg shells have been thin and brittle. In order for your chickens to produce strong, healthy clutches on a regular basis, they’ll need the right resources. In this entry, we’ll look at a few ways to increase the frequency and quality of egg laying.
Providing your chickens with a balanced diet is essential to healthy egg laying. Once hens reach laying age, they should be switched to a layer feed with the right balance of protein and calcium. If you still notice that eggs are thin, you can add crushed oyster shells to their feed for extra calcium. During peak laying times and hot seasons your hens may need additional vitamins added to their water. Make sure the water is changed every 24 hours. Avoid giving hens too many treats, as they will increase the amount of fatty tissue in their abdomens and consequently reduce egg production.
The total volume of an egg is composed of over 50 percent water. Likewise, hens need an ample supply of water in order to lay regularly. Hens should always have access to water, particularly in extreme temperatures.
Stress can bring egg production to a screeching halt. Make sure your coop is safe and secure, and that your hens always have access to it in case they have to escape from predators. Hens roaming in open spaces are far more likely to be subject to environmental stressors that can negatively impact their ability to lay. For more information on ways to protect your hens from harm, check out our earlier blog entry here.
Hens are also more apt to lay eggs in clean environments, so it’s important to keep up with the maintenance of your coop. Provide them with clean, dry nesting boxes and check the boxes regularly for eggs. Rake out droppings and add fresh litter to promote a hygienic environment for your hens to lay.
Want to learn more about providing for your chickens? Check out our comprehensive care sheets, or give us a call for more information.