Our turkens here at Echo Florida have not been producing many eggs. Does anyone have any suggestions for how to help increase egg production?
@Noah_Elhardt do you have any suggestions for Sarah?
Sarah: It can be frustrating to have chickens not producing eggs! A few questions may help identify the likely cause:
How old are the turkens? Most breeds start laying at around 6 months of age. Most of the time, you’ll see a drop in egg production at around 18 months, when the hens molt (and annually therafter). Production will pick back up afterwards, but at a lower rate, so that most commercial producers harvest their birds for meat at 18months and start over. Turkens are dual-purpose, so they won’t produce as many eggs per year, but will probably be able to maintain egg production for several years, albeit never as much as the first year or two.
What are they eating, and how much? Egg laying peaks when hens are fed 100-120 g/day/bird, at around 15% protein. Too little feed, and hens won’t lay. Too much feed, and they’ll get fat and stop laying (this in contrast to when you are raising your chickens for meat, in which case you want to maximize feed intake by always having feed available). Of course, depending on your system, feed may be hard to measure, so just be mindful of this if you are supplement feeding prepared feed.
How long have they not been laying? One factor that impacts egg production is day length. In temperate zones it is common for hens to have low egg production numbers in the winter when days are shorter. Some producers let their hens rest during this period, others use supplemental light to achieve a longer day (~16 hours) to keep production up.
Beyond that, there are other possible factors - stress, parasites… but I warrant the cause might be in the above list?
Hope this helps!