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Do chickens go into labor?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by marymac, Mar 6, 2009.

  1. marymac

    marymac Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I can't find an answer to this. I know it sounds kinda dumb, but I have been wondering about it for a while now. Does a chicken hold off laying her egg till she wants to lay it or is it a labor process much like a woman having a baby? Does it come out when the egg is ready no matter where or what she is doing?
     
  2. digitS'

    digitS' Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I thought you meant does the hen suffer from distress when laying. They can sure fake it if it isn't real distress - color drains from comb and wattles, eyes close, panting, cursing . . .

    Let's see - A hen weighing 2400 grams produces an egg that weighs 60 grams. That egg is 2.5% of the hen's total weight. This would be equivalent to a 135 pound woman giving birth to a 3.5 pound baby - every day! . . . if everything else was equal.

    There seems to be a common idea that hens can "hold" the egg for some amount of time. But, I don't know if people who know much about the physiology of a hen really think this is true.

    I imagine that the hen learns what is happening and usually seeks a quiet, hidden, comfortable place for laying. The egg's final development takes place in the uterus and when muscle contractions begin to move the egg out of the uterus, there is just a matter of seconds before it emerges into the light of day.

    Steve
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2009
  3. lilbreeches

    lilbreeches Chillin' With My Peeps

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    i think to a point they can wait. i have watched my girls go in to the nests and get mad and walk around or go back out to the yard for a few if another girl is in their favorite box. if she don't hurry, after a few minutes, the irritated girl will concede to use another box. i really don't know if it is a matter of waiting to lay though. maybe kinda like having to wait when we have to go to the bathroom. if someone else is in there, we can wait for a bit, but if they don't hurry, we have to concede to use something else (ex: the woods [​IMG] ).
     
  4. KyleD.

    KyleD. Chillin' With My Peeps

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    from looking at my chickens im pretty sure they can wait, i have an old banty coop thingy lol that i keep open and my free range girls lay in there well every morning when i go to feed one may be in the box and she'll jumo out to come eat and then go to lay her egg. not sure if that helps at al!
     
  5. lavandula girl

    lavandula girl Chillin' With My Peeps

    My Wyandotte prefers to lay her eggs in a very inconvenient corner of the coop. If I see that she has excavated a nest back there, I fill it in with straw. Yesterday, she was squawking her egg squawk, went into the coop, and saw that her favorite spot was not there. She came out, squawked angrily at me, bit the Red Star and went into the corner of the run to dig. It almost seemed as if she was saying to me "I'll give you a couple minutes to rectify your mistake, and then I'll get back to the laying!" She did this for 3 HOURS, going into the coop, coming out, biting the Red Star and then digging a hole, over and over, before she finally deigned to lay in a nest box. So, yeah, I do think they have a certain amount of control. But eventually, the egg will come, and they'll pick a spot.
     
  6. marymac

    marymac Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:This is what I've seen mine do,and it's what made me wonder about it. It's like they can wait but get mad if they can't have their box or are squeezed out by another hen. Then they run around ssquaking and pacing like an expectant father in a waiting room.[​IMG]: Yet it seems they all want the same nest box. chickens sure are something if you think about it.
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2009
  7. luvmychicknkids

    luvmychicknkids Canning Squirrel

    Mar 6, 2008
    Floresville, Texas
    I have seen them lay their egg ON another chicken because the nest was full. They tried to push the other hen out and when it didn't work they seemed to have no choice but to go ahead and lay the egg and it dropped on the other hen. I have seen this happen twice, BTW. I don't think they really can "wait" more like they go to the box a bit early and can then leave until it is actually time.
     
  8. marymac

    marymac Chillin' With My Peeps

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    So it would probably be safe to say they do go into some kind of a labor before the egg. i have seen them look like they were pushing and closing their eyes like they are in pain. Doesn't sound like something I'd want to look forward to every day
     
  9. digitS'

    digitS' Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Cussing a blue streak once they catch their breath should be understandable.

    S' [​IMG]
     
  10. Demeter

    Demeter Out Of The Brooder

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    How much do you think it hurts a chicken to lay an egg? [​IMG] [​IMG]
     

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