one chicken doesn't lay

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by dravillas, Sep 7, 2009.

  1. dravillas

    dravillas New Egg

    Sep 7, 2009

    Sorry if this question has been posted before (we're new). This summer we started raising two backyard chickens. They are both Black Sex Link and were pullets when we got them (not sure of age, but the guy we got them from said they'd start laying within about a month or six weeks). One of them indeed started laying, probably closer to 8 weeks after we got them. They both look great, seem quite happy, and seem like they are at the same stage of maturation. But one has never layed. The one that does lay is clearly the "leader". The one that doesn't lay seems to watch the leader when she is on the nest. We have also noticed the "squawking" when the egg laying is going on - I always assumed it was the one laying that was squawking, then my wife told me she thought it was the other that was making the noise while the leader was laying. Final note in mystery - today I was home from work, heard the squawking, went back to take a look, and indeed it was the "non-layer" that was squawking, and I saw there was a squirrel in the chicken run! I chased it off, it later came back, and I chased it off again. I need to fill a gap in the chicken run (there is a small home in the wire where the squirell got in). So my wife thought the non-layer was not laying because it was "bound", or whatever the term is (not destined to lay eggs), but I'm wondering if this squirell may have something to do with it - either in terms of having stole eggs every day, or perhaps scared the non-layer and turned her into some sort of protector of the leader when she is laying. Any insight????

    Thanks for any comments.
  2. rancher hicks

    rancher hicks Chicken Obsessed

    Feb 28, 2009
    Syracuse, NY
    A couple of things come to mind. One is to try leaving a wooden egg in the nest. Do you have two nest?
    I find that my girls seem to want to lay in the nest w/ the wooden egg. If I move it they move to that nest sometimes. I have even found two girls in the same nest at the same time, side by side. Maybe they like the conversation while they wait for the egg.

    Two are you sure she's a she? Are you aware that sometimes when there is no roo a hen may take on the role of a roo. Even to the point of crowing. Rare I suppose but it is possible.

    Three any chance she got sick? I had a hen get sick and when she got better she just wouldn't lay. Check her eating and what her poops look like. Your dominant bird may not be letting her eat. Provide an alternate feeder in another location from the one you have.

    Four if she doesn't lay you may have to replace her. I have determined that the cost/time of treating a sick bird is more than the cost of replacement.
    You can buy a new bird for about $10 which is less than the cost of most meds.

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