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Reduce floor eggs: How to encourage your chickens to lay impeccably

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When floor eggs become an issue it can have a significant impact on the profitability of a flock!

Producers face an on-going battle in the onset of lay to train the birds to use the nest boxes.  

Fortunately at Humphrey Feeds & Pullets, our experienced on farm specialists can advise on methods that have proved invaluable elsewhere with producers.

What causes floor eggs?

There is not one single cause of floor eggs. Humphrey Feeds and Pullets Poultry Specialist, Steve Clout said: “Significant factors include sunlight seeping in from pop holes before the house lights are on, drafty nest boxes, mite infestation and `cosy corners’ all of which can add to the problem."  

Reducing the problem

Steve knows of large flocks of birds that produce just a few dozen floor eggs a day, while other flocks suffer 10-15% of floor eggs. Anything below 5% is ideal and he offers the following advice to achieve this:-

  • For the first few weeks of the birds being housed in their new laying house, they need to be walked amongst many times during the course of every day.  Do this at regular intervals and remove floor eggs as they are laid, as they attract other birds to lay in the same area.
  • The ideal house temperature and environment play a big part encouraging laying in the nest boxes.
  • Strategic use of electric fencing can help guide the bird away from areas where they might otherwise crowd, such as corners, which in turn reduces the risk of smothering.
  • Monitor mite regularly, there are some very successful in water treatments on the market that our team can advise you on.

Support from rearing farms

The first 16 weeks of a chicken’s life are vital for introducing good habits, so the environment created by rearing farms is important. At Humphrey Feeds & Pullets' rearing sites, slatted floor areas are available to the growing chicks from 6 to 10 days old to get them acclimatised to moving around the floor surface. It also helps them get used to roosting on the slats so they are more likely to wake up near the nests when they are housed on their eventual home on the laying farm.

The rearing house is set up to replicate conditions in the laying house with similar drinker types and feeding systems so the birds can adapt to their new environment easily.

Humphrey Feeds & Pullets have been providing feed, pullets and advice since 1932. Find out how we can help you optimise flock welfare and performance by getting in touch here or calling us on 01962 764 555.