Pecking order position and no eggs??


In the Brooder
10 Years
Apr 5, 2009
I've got a question about my 2 buff orpington hens who WILL NOT lay eggs anymore!! I got them just as they were coming out of molting, and they laid fairly well for the first little bit.

Now, they're the bottom of the pecking order, and I can't get an egg out of them ever. The other 6 hens are laying beautifully.

Could their position in the pecking order possibly be affecting their egg laying? Or is there another reason that I just can't figure out?
also wanting to read this answer...
Me too (waiting for answer). I have 3 red sex link hens and 1 bantam rock roo all 1+years old. We just got them a few weeks ago and I've noticed the one with all her feathers (don't know if she's molted yet or not) is the one that isn't producing eggs and appears to be at the bottom of pecking order. I had wondered if something was wrong with her. Never occurred to me about her pecking order.
The other 2 hens have varying amounts of feathers, hence their names Strip and Popcorn, are now laying daily and just a bit more assertive.
The roo of course is like most men, He don't care about anything as long as he gets his daily ration of food, loving and sleeping space.
As the days get shorter some hens just slack off laying. It's early yet for a major slow down but even now we're getting less eggs than we did earlier in the summer.

Another thing to consider is if you have enough nests to provide the bottom of the order hens to get in and lay without being harassed. There are always the "good nests" that all the top hens want and then you need to have less desirable nests that the outcasts can use.

Lastly, I'm just curious how you are sure they aren't laying if they are in with a flock? I couldn't tell you which of my hens are laying and which are not. I have a lot of hens now though. Do you actually see the other 6 laying and not these hens or are the eggs a different color? Sometimes hens rotate on laying so even though you only get 6 eggs every day out of 8 hens it doesn't necessarily mean that two hens aren't laying. Back when I had just 7 hens I noticed that some days one hen would not lay and a different hen who I didn't think was laying would. I would get 5 or 6 eggs a day, but, on different days, had observed all 7 laying.
I've got 8 hens total; 6 are RSL/RIRs, and the other two are the BO's. So 6 are brown layers and only the BO's lay the off-white eggs. In this case, it's clear who's earning their own keep!

Haven't had a white egg in about 3 weeks now. They laid consistently for the first month or so I had them, then sporadically, now nothing.

There are plenty of nests to go around, but there is definitely a favorite one for the 6. The only variable I've been able to isolate is the darn pecking order thing. Could it be nutrient deficiency--they don't get the same amount of treats that the others do??

They really are firmly on the bottom, too. Poor things, they get all kinds of harassment.
I would try some protein treats. For my nine pullets, I put out two plates. That way even the "bottom of the heap" chickens can get a few bites. I put out plates of mash mixed with water, topped with yogurt and chopped hard-cooked eggs. Talk about special!!! The girls love it!!

Good Luck!
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I've only had chickens for a couple of months and we have one that has never laid. She is the bottom of the pecking order too so i too was wondering if this was why, while they are still settling in. She gets plenty of protien.
Could be stress. Hopefully when they are finally accepted by the others they will settle down and start laying again. Good Luck
3 weeks later I have had one white egg from the two of those hens. 2 eggs in 10 weeks from 2 hens is just not enough to justify their feed! And they're not even nice birds to make up for it. So I posted an ad and they're out of here today. Maybe in a different coop they won't be so stressed out and can actually calm down and lay.

I still don't know if that is the cause of them not laying--being on the bottom of the order, but it's the only variable I can think of. Weird.

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