Still Not Laying

Elaine : When I lost my sweet hen in a terrible heat wave last year (she went into the egg box without my knowing and died in there of heat), I got a 8-week old Cuckoo Maran chick to keep my Barred Rock company. She grew – and grew and grew — and I love her dearly. But Rhetta (that’s her name) hasn’t laid an egg yet, Also, her comb is super small. I think that winter has stopped her forward momentum and I’m hoping she’ll lay her first egg this spring. But I was wondering, is it ever possible that a chicken never lays at all? Of course, if that’s the case she’ll be a pet for the rest of her life. But I would like to get an occasional egg, if that’s possible.

My Reply : It doesn’t happen very often but it is possible for a hen to never lay any eggs. If that was the case it could be that she has no eggs inside her at all, or she may be laying internally. Some hens are just naturally poor layers and any eggs they do lay are few and far between. Pullets that get started laying before winter sets in usually will continue throughout the cold weather but those that don’t start in time do then tend to wait until Spring, so it is most likely to just be that her timing is a little off and she will join your Barred Rock in the nest box when it gets a bit warmer.



  1. Margaret Kellogg April 6, 2017 at 12:19 am

    I had a Cuckoo Maran hen and she was not a prolific layer. She was very intermittent and I never hatched a chick from her that didn’t die before it was full grown, so I think there was something a little off with her. She was very sweet and so was the roo but I lost them both over this winter, they were a little older.

  2. Francesca M Austin April 6, 2017 at 5:39 am

    Marans are slow to mature and often don’t lay for 8-10 months, much later than many other breeds. Could this be the problem?

  3. Elaine April 16, 2017 at 4:48 pm

    Francesca, I think that WAS the problem. Because she started laying about a week after i wrote in, and she’s been laying ever since. In fact, she’s a massive producer. It’s as though she was saving it all up and now I’m pretty much getting an egg a day. Thank you for the info, you were right.

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