Do chickens ever get quiet or lethargic before first lay?


7 Years
Jun 2, 2012
I have four pullets who are 23 weeks old and appear to be almost ready for their first lay. Their faces are red, they are very talkative, and 3 of them are squatting when I touch them.

One of them (my Easter Egger) has always been the excitable athlete of the bunch...running all over the place, chest bumping the others and jumping on everything. Now she seems very quiet, is hanging back from the other three, and laying down in comfortable spots to sleep/rest a lot. She also appears to be a bit slimmer than the rest of the girls, but has a healthy appetite and isn't skinny. She doesn't seem to be in pain or sick other than she has always had slightly runny poop compared to the others since she was born. I treated them all a few weeks ago with some med in their water just in case she had cocci...but no change since being medicated.

Do chickens ever get this way because of the changes right before their first lay...or does this sound like something else?



Happy Chooks

Free Ranging
Premium Feather Member
11 Years
Jul 9, 2009
Northern CA
My Coop
My Coop
Not usually. Usually they get very vocal right before they start laying. If she otherwise looks fine, I wouldn't worry too much. It could be as simple as the change in weather - settling down to stay warm.

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