Hen Having Trouble Laying, Please Help!


10 Years
Dec 23, 2012
Texarkana, Arkansas
My Coop
My Coop
My Mottled Houdan is having problems laying. She is about 10 months old, and this is her second egg (last egg was about three weeks ago). The last egg she layed was gray in color and large, and it's supposed to be white and smaller. Here is a picture of her last egg (top left). The dark egg is a maran egg for reference. Does any one know what I can do to help her?

I feed her typical commercial layer crumble, she gets a lot of time free ranging (on average about 6 hours/day), constant water/food access. The last time she layed an egg, she acted the same way she is acting now for two days. The third day, I went out, and the egg was in the nesting box, and she was back to normal and happy to see me.

She started acting the same way today. Please tell me there is something I can do to help her. I hate seeing her act so miserably. She moves around very little. When I call, she just stands there and looks at me rather than running to me as she normally does. If she does move, she waddles more than normal, obviously from the egg... I thought the last time was just because it was her first egg, but it looks like it may be re-occurring. Has any one else experienced this in a different breed, or even the same?
Are you asking if she might be egg bound? Is she a bantam or a standard? They do lay large white eggs. If she is having difficulties at this young of an age laying,watch her carefully as she is one that might be predisposed to egg binding. Hopefully it is just due to her being a brand new layer and her body is still adjusting.
Have you gloved up and checked her vent out to see if an egg is stuck? If so give her some calcium, soak her in warm water and massage her belly toward the vent to help expel the egg. After about 20 minutes take her out dry her a bit and put lubricant like ky or an oil in vent to help her lay the egg. Massage her maybe a heating pad under a towel to help relax her muscles.

My hens (just turned a year) had problems getting back into laying regularly after winter. Eggs were small like just starting to lay again, leathery eggs, shell less eggs, and one monster jumbo egg. The one that had the very large egg I keep an eye on, she waddles like a penguin, tail down body erect. Paces to the nest back and forth for an hour. She will sit and for about 15 minutes makes tek tek tek noise while trying to expel the egg. Egg will come out after it looks like she has put some effort in to expelling the egg. She manages to lay the egg just when I think of taking her in to try to help her out.
She's not acting egg bound, but then again, she is a new layer and probably doesn't understand what's happening. It's like she doesn't know what to do so she isn't even really trying to push the egg out. She's not walking upright. She's holder her rear up rather than down. She is LF and I asked some one else who has MH, and I was told the eggs are supposed to be snow white and smaller.

I give all my layers crushed oyster shells mixed in with their food about once a week, since I don't want to over-load them on it. Submerging a hen in water seems stressful, and she would fight me, wouldn't she? .
No do not soak her as this may stress her out. If you feel she might be egg bound,do a cloacal exam to check. I have seen new layers a little confused about what is going on with their body.
I am so sorry your hen passed away! We have a light brahma who is just the most affectionate, fabulous pet and she seems to have problems with this too. We spent hundreds of dollars at the vet and basically he gives us liquid calcium. We give it to her and hope for best. I hope we don't find her like that but we can't keep taking her to the vet....

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