hippychick's 2o1o egg production is in continuous flux. at one point, the girls were going gangbusters. granted, my idea of 'going gangbusters' is a collection of two dozen plus eggs a day. the collection for a good four or five months has dropped down to one dozen or a dozen plus eggs a day.
important factors in regard to the hippychick flock
- i raise a varied population of rare and heritage breeds
- not all breeds are good layers, nor do all lay each day
- a number of my girls are now two and three years of age
- as the girls age, egg production slows
- one flock was challenged by the dry pox early autumn
- this stress on their immune system will also slow laying
- moult, moult and moult
- several of the girls were in a seemingly constant state of moult
- moulting is the process of dropping and replacing primary feathers
- feathers are made of protein, eggs are made of protein so laying slows and/or ceases for a hen while she is in moult
the interesting thing is that a whole slew of local poultry folk are experiencing the same massive slow down. i decided to look into the various reasons for a chicken to move into moult and found the following Queensland Government article to be the most clear and helpful explanation of the process.