RufusJones

Hatching
Oct 6, 2020
5
19
3
For the first time in 40+ years, I have a hen that doesn't lay!

I normally get 5 chicks every year (long-term management strategy). In March, I purchased 2 Barred Rocks, 2 Golden Comets, and 1 Americauna. 7 months later, all but the Americauna are laying like gang-busters. The Americauna is happy (not bullied), healthy, and there is no "secret nest" hiding anywhere. Vent indicates she isn't laying either.

I've always scoffed at people saying they have a hen that doesn't lay, because every time, there is a reason. But here I am, an expert in this arena, and I finally have one that doesn't lay!

Guess I'm sharing to let it be known that it does indeed happen (albeit VERY rarely).
 

RufusJones

Hatching
Oct 6, 2020
5
19
3
She may just not be ready. I have heard of some that won't lay until the fall or spring after they are hatched so you may get some from her still.
According to my records (I keep detailed logs), brown layers are laying by no later than 24 weeks, and Americaunas by no later than 30 weeks. She's at 33 weeks, and we have 11 hrs of sunlight right now.

I can see people possibly having a hen not laying until the following spring if they get the chick in mid to late summer, because they may not have requisite hours of sunlight when they reach laying age.
 

RufusJones

Hatching
Oct 6, 2020
5
19
3
Wow! I didn't know it was possible.
Maybe, and hopefully, she will lay later in the year...If not....You got a literal 'pet' chicken <3
I only have "edible" pets ;-) . Unfortunately, one of my kids may have a different opinion. [FacePalm]
 

Ridgerunner

Crossing the Road
Premium Feather Member
Feb 2, 2009
26,482
17,743
797
Southeast Louisiana
Anything is possible when you deal with living animals. You just don't get guarantees. It is possible.

But I'll tell a story. I once got true Ameraucana eggs from a breeder and hatched them in March. I kept three pullets. The first two of those started laying in the first week of December, two of them, a couple of days apart. The third one was a couple of weeks later. Nine months from hatch. In December, the shortest days of the year. I do not use artificial lights to extend the days, days were about 10 hours long. Those broke all the rules. Was I getting frustrated? Well, yes I was. I really wanted those blue egg genes in my flock.

When I hatched their eggs, crossing them with my barnyard mix "from production breeds" rooster, their daughters typically started laying around 20 to 24 weeks. That part surprised me, I expected them to take after their mothers.

Will she ever lay an egg? I don't have a clue.
 

NatJ

Crowing
Mar 20, 2017
4,385
7,472
426
USA
Guess I'm sharing to let it be known that it does indeed happen (albeit VERY rarely).
Good to know!

I've had chickens with wildly different onset of lay (variety of breeds.)
One year I got chicks in late June. The first one started laying the end of November, nine more started laying in a staggered fashion over the rest of the winter and into spring, and I butchered the last one at the end of March because I was tired of waiting (she did have egg yolks developing at that time, so I presume she would have laid if I'd waited longer yet.)
 

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