How Long After Squatting Do Chickens Lay (And Why)?

Exact Answer: A Few Weeks

A hen or a pullet will start to squat once she is ready to lay eggs. It is a signature move that a hen will use if she is approached by a rooster. It is usually a sign for the rooster around to mate with her. A hen will only lay eggs when the rooster mates with her.

However, if a hen starts to squat down multiple times during the day does not directly mean that she will lay the eggs the next day. It can be anywhere from two to three weeks before the eggs are laid even the hen is squatting a lot.

How Long After Squatting Do Chickens Lay

How Long After Squatting Do Chickens Lay?

The term for when the hen squat is called “Lordosis.” The hens do the squatting when they are about five months old. It happens when they mature. The squatting can be understood when the hen crouches and bends its legs. They also flatten their wings and back.

Some people also refer to it as “the submissive squat.” It is okay for the hen to start squatting a few days or even a few weeks before it can lay eggs. It is due to the reason that the rooster will only mate with a hen if it squats, after the mating, it takes time for eggs to develop in the hen. 

During ovulation, the yolk will develop into the ovary of the hen. The yolk or the oocyte then gets transferred to the oviduct. Once the hen mates with the rooster, the oocyte gets fertilized in the oviduct. 

There can be many reasons behind the time it takes for the hen to lay eggs after it starts to squat. The reasons can be stress, improper feed, extreme cold, and many more. The reason can also be that they are too young or not ready to lay eggs at that period.

However, the timing might extend based on a lot of factors. In rare cases, the hen might not lay eggs at all even after squatting for weeks.

ConditionThe time it takes for the hen to lay eggs after squatting
Mating happens in a day or two of squattingA few days
Mating happens after a week or more after squattingA few weeks

Why Do Chicken Lay After That Long After Squatting?

A hen looks for a lot of things before finally laying eggs. If it finds that something is not favorable, like the coop is not comfortable enough or there are pests inside, it can lengthen the time between the squatting and the laying of the eggs.

Besides, there are many reasons why a hen might take so much time to lay eggs even after squatting for weeks. Some of the reasons are as follows:

  • The primary reason for the period is the timeline when the mating happens. Since squatting only means that the hen is ready for mating. Only when the rooster impregnates the hen, the hen will lay eggs within a few days.
  • Sometimes, the laying time of the eggs can extend due to extreme weather conditions. It happens mostly in winter that the hen tends to lay lesser eggs. The time between squatting and laying eggs also is higher in winters.
  • The hen is a picky bird when it comes to where it wants to lay eggs. If the nest is not clean or has a pest infestation, it might extend the time it will take for them to lay eggs.
  • Another aspect that plays an important role is the quality of feed the hen is getting. Hens need a lot of calcium before they can lay healthy eggs. If the nutrition is not enough in the feed, it might take more time for the hen to lay eggs.

Conclusion

A hen will lay eggs only when it is prepared to do so. There might be an illness preventing the hen from laying eggs or laying the eggs after long intervals.

It often happens that since the hen is not of the right age, and hence takes longer to lay the eggs. Besides, if the hen feels like there might be a predator around, it may constrict the hen from laying eggs.

However, considering everything is taken care of, a normal hen should lay eggs within a few weeks after they start to squat.

References

  1. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0032579119454606
  2. https://www.jstor.org/stable/4532861
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