1. Come check out hundreds of awesome coop pages (and a few that need suggestions) in our 2018 Coop Rating Project!

Laying hen not laying

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Chickenangel433, Jul 24, 2016.

  1. Chickenangel433

    Chickenangel433 In the Brooder

    Jun 13, 2016
    Murfressboro TN.
    Laying hen has been staying in the nest boxes all day and not laying. She's our brown Egger and used to be the most eager friendly yet dominate in a mother hen way. Now she just sits in there and doesn't even seem interested in meal worm treat time. I'm worried she's not eating or drinking enough. And no eggs in five days but she's very interested in sitting on the other eggs and gets aggravating when we remove them. This behavior we believe began when we introduced ceramic eggs to the boxes to encourage the hens to use the other boxes since they (4 others) were all using the same one and we have 3 more that should start laying soon. It worked and they started to spread out but I did notice some egg stealing going on when they were in there together. We don't have a rooster or fertilized eggs. Is there anything wrong with Mama Birdie besides that I should just lock them out of the nest boxes after they lay. Which is not easy since they don't all lay until noon.

  2. Are the fake eggs in the nest boxes yet? I do not believe she is egg bound or Broody?
    This may cause a big up roar, but the fake eggs are your problem. Young Pullets starting to lay will in general, all want to use the same nest box. Try curtains on the boxes to encourage them. Curtains give more privacy for the hens. Lots of times the fake eggs will cause egg pecking in hens because finally the hen could peck a hole in that fake egg she has been working on for days.

    Enjoy the Chickens
  3. Mountain Peeps

    Mountain Peeps Change is inevitable, like the seasons Premium Member

    Apr 23, 2014
    My Coop
    She sounds like she has gone broody. It's not very healthy for her to sit and not hatch eggs. Sometimes, broody spells can last around 2 weeks to a couple months. I would recommend breaking her. Block the nests or put her in a wire cage until she is no longer broody. Here is some further info on broody hens.




    Best of luck!
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Fake eggs will not cause broodiness (or egg eating) but a broody hen will sit on fake eggs(or real eggs, or rocks, or nothing).

    Is she staying on the nests all night as well as all day?
    Is she growling, screeching, maybe even biting when you try to take eggs or remove her from nest?
    If so, it is very likely that she is broody.
    Best way to break a broody is put her in a wire bottom cage (with no bedding at all) raised off the ground.

    My experience went like this: After her setting for 3 days and nights in the nest, I put her in a wire dog crate with smaller wire on the bottom but no bedding, set up on a couple of 4x4's right in the coop and I would feed her some crumble a couple times a day.

    I let her out a couple times a day(you don't have to) and she would go out into the run, drop a huge turd, race around running, take a vigorous dust bath then head back to the nest... at which point I put her back in the crate. Each time her outings would lengthen a bit, eating, drinking and scratching more and on the 3rd afternoon she stayed out of the nest and went to roost that evening...event over, back to normal tho she didn't lay for another week or two.
    Water nipple bottle added after pic was taken.

    There are so many mistruths here...SMH.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by