I have 53 chickens that are over 6 months old. 30 of them are molting however many of them already have their feathers back and look good now. Im only averaging 9 eggs a day. I give them an endless supply of high protein feed always have oyster shell available. We throw corn daily. They have a big outdoor pen every day and are allowed to free range a few hours once in a while. I do NOT think they are eating their eating their eggs either.
Where do you live?
Where I live, the shorter days really REALLY impact my hen's laying. Just about the time they are done molting, the days get too short, and they just never pick up. I used to think I didn't want to use artificial lighting, because I didn't want to "force" them to lay... but then someone pointed out that hens closer to the equator don't have the short days we do here in Oregon.
All that to say:
Here's what I did, and it worked.
1) I fed them corn/wheat in the evenings because their crops working on high sugar foods help them keep a higher body heat, and so helps keep them warmer in the cold months.
2) I started lighting the coop. Nothing fancy, just a single bulb, set on a timer that I used to extend the daylight in the evenings until about 9 at night, and then to light them in the morning a bit before daylight. (I chose 6am) So they had 14 hours of daylight.
That's it! That's all I did, and it worked. I tried just the food, because I had heard that would be the key, but in the end, it was the light that really did it. The food at night just helps keep them warm.
I baited their nest sight with golf balls....some of my girls started laying on them at only 4 months old...
I live in IL. It gets dark early now. We are going to try the light and see if that helps. All of our chickens and guineas are in a 60 ft. barn. does it need to have light all over or can it be in one area?
Hmmm I don't know! My area isn't that big... but I do have a couple places where the one light bulb didn't light, and they still improved between no light at all and the one. I would say try it in one area, and then if you don't see enough improvement, try with more. My chickens seemed to hang out where the light was, and they didn't go into the shadows much.