Hi Treats for Chickens community, it's me, Dawn!
Egg laying is at an all time low. The word “low” can also be interpreted as ZERO. Ahnnd, I suppose it’s a little to be expected since:
- its winter in northern California
- its dark at 5pm
- we moved back home and things are new-ish
- its winter
- its cold
- I tried a new [non-TFC] product in their nesting boxes and they hate it
- its not egg laying season period
What to do. What to do! What to do?? How do you get the most eggs from your backyard chickens?
It may sound like a difficult question but if you have kept chickens before you already know the answer – you treat her like a queen!
To get your chickens to lay lots of eggs, there are several things you need to do. I will dish out a couple of DIY tips to your flock's egg laying problems.
First, I, we, you and me can’t do diddly about the season, or the fact that the flock is persnickety about being disheveled from the move.
Bhuut, in an effort to change the mood around this joint I did pull out the previous nesting box bedding and up-cycled it by sprinkling and spreading it under the roosts to make all.the.things all that much better in the coop. I replenished the coveted nesting boxes with an alfalfa, straw and orchard grass mix, added a heavy spoonful of Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth [in each box] and finished the whole process with a fragrant handful of certified organic Nesting Box Blend [also ‘per box’]. Ahhh, the aroma~
And then I got to thinking ....what if they just forgot they could lay eggs? What if they could be reminded what these fluffy, warm and fragrant nesting boxes are for? What if I could trick them [heck, even just ONE of them] to lay and an egg?
So here’s what happened. Here’s what you can do too. It’ll only take seconds, required zero labor and I bet you have these exact materials or something equivalent on hand ....maybe in the trunk of your car, out in the garage or in your yard:
- tennis ball, or
- golf ball, or
- a yellow chicken toy, or
- large round shaped rock, or
- a faux egg
For heavens sakes I think you could even crinkle up a section of the newspaper into a nice, tight, round wad and use that!
Here’s what you do:
- put your item(s) in one, two or more of your nesting boxes
- say a sweet little prayer letting them know it would be nice if you returned to find an egg in the box.
- walk away. Go about your business.
- give it 12, 24, 48 hours and check occasionally.
It worked for me! After over 8 weeks without a single egg one of my green-egg layers hunkered down, got cozy and comfy and BAM! We have an egg!!
There are several natural ways to make chickens lay eggs during low yielding periods from your chickens. I covered a couple- cleanliness and "fake eggs" placebo effect. Let me know Treats for Chickens community if you wish for me to create a 10 Egg Laying DIY Tips series.
Now go try and let me know how things turn out. "Go Lay an Egg!"
-Dawn, Treats for Chickens 🧡
Let's keep your flock happy + healthy!
Got something to cluck about? Have other suggestions? Questions?
Help fellow chicken parents and leave a comment below!
I give my chickens a bowl of yogurt a couple of time a week and that seems to increase egg laying for my 19 girls. It is hilarious to watch them eat it.
I’ve been having conversations with my hens about the high cost of food. And how their purpose here is to make me eggs. One of my girls FINALLY squatted for me last week and today I caught her inspecting nest boxes. So it’s working. No egg yet but I’m optimistic.