ISA Brown doesn't lay?


In the Brooder
7 Years
Sep 25, 2012
I have three ISA Browns. 2 of them lay consistently, every day. They are also preferred by the roo as told by some feather degradation on their backs.

But I have three hens and only get 2 eggs a day. The third ISA is generally left alone by the roo. She sleeps on the far end of the roost away from the other three (roo and 2 laying ISAs)

Do some ISAs just not lay? Why?

I've put her in a separate place to see if she's laying but just hiding them from me. 1 day in, no eggs (but the usual 2 in the coop nestboxes) but I figure I'll keep her a couple of days in there just to see.

But why would this happen? Or does it just occasionally? I rather thought all hens would lay, eventually. Especially a laying breed like an ISA. The other two are regular as clockwork to the point where, if I pasture them earlier than usual, I know when - exactly - to go out and get my eggs.
Sure. It happens. Have enough pullets and sooner or later, you run into such a bird. Last year, I had Barred Rock pullet that went months and months past point of lay. Her hatchmates all laid for months, but she never did. I gave her to my neighbor for soup, if he wished. He hesitated for another month or two. Calls one day and says, "She's laying." Few months later, he claimed she was the best hen he ever had. LOL

You just never know.

Out of about 20 pullets, you might get one like this. Sometimes they eventually lay. Sometimes? They never do. I cannot recommend you keep her, give her way, or eat her. That's a choice you alone can make. Best regards.
Thanks Fred's Hens. I was wondering if maybe I was missing something but if this is just something that occasionally happens then, well, at least I know it's not something I'm doing wrong. I'll probably keep her in seclusion for a few days to make sure she's not hiding (this is the problem with pasturing chickens) and then... I don't know. Maybe she'll be a good broody (leaving the laying hens to keep laying) or I'll soup her. not sure, just wanted to make sure this behavior wasn't due to my on ignorance.

Thanks again for letting me know this isn't totally unheard of.
I've got a whole pen full of ISA's and have gotten them for years. She won't go broody. These commercial hens have been bred for 35 years NOT to go broody. She'd be a freak of nature if she did. Sorry.

Yes, the segregation is a good idea. Just to be sure. That the rooster avoids her suggests he knows something is up with her.
She'd be a freak of nature if she did. Sorry.

Don't apologize, it makes the decision on what to do with her that much easier if, in a couple of days, she shows she's not laying. I just wanted to make sure I wasn't missing something with her. If there was a chance for value from her that I didn't know about then I'd feed her for the winter and see come spring. But it looks like, if she doesn't do anything in a couple of days, she's probably not worth keeping around. (I give my birds the best life possible - they have the run of the acreage during the day and a safe place to sleep at night and supplemental feed. But if they don't give a little back then...)

And I think you're right, the fact that the roo has left her alone tells me there's probably something off with her and he knew it well before I did (I'm kinda new with this - roos have probably been doing this action for a few years... or centuries). Though he does keep fluffing around the front of her seclusion. Maybe he's just all about quantity and not quality and feels a diminishment of his harem is a reflection on him.
Huh, well apparently chickens understand threats or situations better than I expected.

I isolated her for 4 days, no eggs. It was rainy on the day I was going to cull her so I just let her out of isolation and figured I'd catch her the next morning and deal with it then. That afternoon there was an extra egg, as there was today. And I caught the roo mating her this morning, as well.

So SOMETHING jump started her (the other hens have been laying for months) but heck if I know what that was. I guess I should be thankful for the rain that morning.
My neighbor has six Golden Comet (sex-link production hens) and I have three. One of hers did go broody, and wouldn't lay nor leave the nest. They took her off the nest and housed her in a kennel next to the others (with food and water) for three days, and after that she went right back to laying. I know that it is very rare for one of these production birds to go broody, but it can happen.

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