If one hen starts laying, how does that effect others in the flock?

fiddleblue

Songster
10 Years
Jul 19, 2009
189
4
111
I began to get eggs 3 days ago, not one egg but 2 or 3 a day. I wondered about the hen's social dynamics around egg-laying. If one starts laying eggs, how does that effect others in the flocK? Are others more likely to start laying when one has begun, or is it strictly a biological thing with no relationship to social issues among them? I know that one is laying, but now I have seen 4 of the 8 hens sitting in nest boxes, which I never used to see them do. Are some beginning to imitate the one(s) that are laying, perhaps curious about the phenomenon and trying to sit and produce eggs themselves too?
 

azygous

Enabler
12 Years
Dec 11, 2009
27,642
44,632
1,232
Colorado Rockies
I tend to believe they do affect one another.

This recent fall, my five Wyandotte pullets began to lay. Very shortly thereafter, my five year old Araucana suddenly came out of "retirement" and laid eggs for a few weeks, then knocked off and retired again.

However, recently the crew had been slacking off to about half the normal weekly egg production, so I administered the famous red chili pepper/ cayenne nutritional supplement, and their production increased. Even more surprising, the Araucana came out of retirement and started laying again! The old girl is close to six years now.

She's still laying an egg every other day.

Crazy little rascals.
 

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