For good health and better production, your laying hens require proper nutrition, fresh and clean water, well ventilated clean housing and absolutely good protection from all types of harmful predators. Usually various types of problems occur with your laying hens because of diseases, stress and most importantly for flock mismanagement.
Common Problems With Laying Hens
Many of the problems with laying hens can be alleviated through some easy steps such as changing their lifestyle or diet. Some problems need to use medicines and treatment in order to get rid of. If any problems with your laying hens isn’t solved, then consider to retire a laying hen and find a replacement. Thus you can keep your flock free from all types of problems. Here I am describing the common problems with laying hens. Read about the problems and take necessary steps for preventing them.
Egg Drop Syndrome
Intermitten diarrhea is one of the first sighs of egg drop syndrome. A hen affected by egg drop syndrome may seem tired or listless. Egg production of laying hens get reduced and they lay eggs with thin shells which break easily. Sometimes the laying hen can stop laying eggs for a certain period. It is thought that, egg drop syndrome transfer from one hen to another hen through the contaminated vaccine.
Egg eating is one of the major problems with laying hens. And it must be addressed as soon as possible. If you don’t fix this problem quickly, then you will lose seriously soon. It’s slightly different from the eggs disappearing from the nest. There are many reasons of eggs disappearing from your nest. If eggs disappear, snakes or other predators might stealing them.
But egg eating by the laying hens is different. It occurs when your hens taste the contents of a broken egg. Once tasted the taste of an egg of your laying hen, they will continue to eat their own eggs. And it’s very tough to broke this habit once started. So it’s very important to prevent your hens from eating their own eggs. Remove fresh eggs from the nesting boxes quickly and prevent accidental breakage by fencing off hen yards and safeguarding nesting boxes.
Feather losing and new feather producing process is known as milting. Laying hens usually stop producing eggs during their molting period. Naturally laying hens begin molting in late summer or during early autumn. Some chickens start molting at their 4 months of age and some chickens don’t molt until they reach at least one year of age. Depending on the breeds, molting process can take few weeks even months. Once your hens complete their molting cycle, they will start laying eggs again.
Stops Laying Eggs
Your laying hens can stop laying eggs for numerous reasons. Your laying hens need about 14 to 16 hours of lighting period daily for producing eggs highly. Along with the sunlight, use artificial lighting. You can use a 40 watt bulb for every 100 squire feet flooring space. Doing this will encourage them to lay eggs again. Feeding habit also affects the egg laying of your hens. Laying hens require sufficient amount of fresh and nutritious foods. They need about 16 to 18 percent protein containing feed. Also add adequate amount of essential vitamins and minerals with their regular feed.
These are the common problems with laying hens. By feeding nutritious feed, providing good housing with proper ventilation system and taking good care of your laying hens, you can easily keep your hens free from these problems. Hope you will ensure good care and management for your laying hens. Good luck!