Can a hen refuse to lay?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Chellester, Jul 31, 2007.

  1. Chellester

    Chellester Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 22, 2007
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    Can a hen refuse to lay if she doesn't have a good place to do so and/or she doesn't feel safe?

    I was just wondering if they have that much control over laying, or if its one of those necessary biological functions like eating or sleeping that they have to do eventually even if the conditions are bad.
     
  2. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    I think the hen has to lay eventually, can't stop menstruation without hormonal control. [​IMG]
     
  3. SHELLY

    SHELLY Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I would like to know the answer to this question too. I bought an adult hen from a friend on Thursday of last week. She hasn't laid an egg since I've had her. I was hopeing she would lay after she got used to her new home.
     
  4. Rooster01

    Rooster01 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I believe if theirs an "egg in the pipe" so to speak, she has to lay. If they are scared by something they will stop laying but if they are about to lay they can't stop. I guess they could reabsorb the egg if they haven't started making a shell around it. I'm not sure about this.
     
  5. Rooster01

    Rooster01 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:It could take a few weeks for her to start laying again. I've had chickens scared so bad that they didn't lay for several months. Give her 3-4 more weeks before you start to worry.
     
  6. JackieK318

    JackieK318 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I've heard also that if you don't have a rooster, one hen may stop laying and be head hen.
     
  7. Chellester

    Chellester Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Say it's a hen that has a rooster and does not have any eggs "in the pipes" (I love that phrase!). Can said hen just not lay if she doesn't have a suitable place to nest?
     
  8. TreyClark281

    TreyClark281 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    ive had mine for about a month and she just layed 1 egg is that good. (for her not me lol)
     
  9. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    Well, I think if the hen is stressed out by the fact there is nowhere to lay she will stop laying due to stress. I don't think giving no nest boxes or sutitable places to lay will stop her from laying. She'll just put it on the ground somewhere. Look at factory hens. They are unhappy and they lay like mad! Poor things.
     
  10. Chellester

    Chellester Chillin' With My Peeps

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    silkiechicken, that's a good point... I never even thought about the factory chickens.

    I wonder if certain breeds can control their laying habits more than others? After all, the factory chickens are bred to do exactly what they do- produce eggs in less than desirable conditions.
     

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