Hen not laying


In the Brooder
6 Years
Aug 13, 2013
Approximately 3 months ago we rescued a Sussex hen from a friend of a friend who was going to kill it.

The Hen hasnt laid one egg in nearly 3 months. About 2 month ago we found out that it might have scaly leg mites so we started treating with Neem oil - i am please to say that the scaly legs are slowly going however still not laying.

The hen seems fine - very bossy and energetic (a little slow) but gets out in my yard and dig around furiously :)

Does anyone have any ideas why this poor baby might not be laying?
Do you know how old she is? In the picture, her comb/wattles look a little pale, not as red as I would expect in a hen that should be laying. Her feathers do look in good shape, did she just get through a molt? They often do take awhile (months) to return to laying after being rehomed, or basically anything that upsets them, and with the time of year (do you have them on supplemental lighting?), and if she just finished up a molt, and her breed, she could very well take a break from laying until spring. My other concern would be that she has some reproductive / egg laying problem going on like internal laying since you mention she is slow? Do you know when they last time she actually laid an egg was? Have you checked her abdomen etc and does she feel normal?
Worms, lice, and mites can all affect laying. A minimum of 16% protein in the diet that most layer feeds have are best. I agree she could be an internal layer or just a poor layer. Some breeds can take up to 3 months to lay after a molt. This all may be why she was given away.
Has she recently molted? It can take a chicken a while to start laying after a molt (I know this from experience). Also, what feed are you giving her? Ideally, you want to give layers layer feed, as it contains the correct amount of calcium and other nutrients to allow them to lay lots of eggs. Make sure that you aren't giving your chickens too many treats, as these can dilute the amount of nutrients that they are receiving.

If it had happened later in the year, I would have suspected the cause to be decreasing light hours. It is possible that something else stopped her from laying, and she isn't going to start again until the daylight hours start lengthening.

She might be internally laying. Does her abdomen feel hard? And, do you know how old she is? Older hens tend to have egg laying problems, like Egg Yolk Peronitis, egg binding, internal laying, etc. Older hens also lay less often, and are more affected by changes in lighting and other factors which wouldn't usually affect egg laying as much.

Mites can weaken a bird and cause them to not lay. I'd check her over to make sure that she doesn't have any. Does she feel thin? Worms could cause stress and stop her from laying. Also, has anything stressful happened in the past few months? Like, any predator attacks, new coops, moving, new birds added, etc? Changes and stress can make hens stop laying.

Lastly, is it possible that she is hiding eggs? Some hens don't lay in nest boxes and choose to find their own secluded spots and build up a clutch of eggs there.

Hope this helps!
appreciate the responses. I will check her to see if she is hard. she did recently move. I do feed later pellets - I put apple cider vinegar in her water to help with worms

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom