Most backyard chicken owners can’t stand to see their chickens hurt in any way. They will try to do all they can to keep their chickens happy and healthy. When it comes to a chicken laying eggs, you may wonder if it’s painful for them.
So, is it painful for chickens to lay eggs? Yes, it can be painful for chickens when they lay eggs. The pain will usually go away once the egg is laid. Younger chickens tend to feel more pain than older ones as their bodies are starting to adjust to laying eggs.
Does Egg-Laying Hurt Chickens?
When a hen lays eggs, it will feel some pain and discomfort. The pain will usually go away once they lay the egg. It usually takes about 30 seconds for them to lay an egg.
The hen will sit in the nesting box until she’s ready to lay the egg. This will be a couple of minutes before the egg is laid. As the egg is about to come out, the hen will stand up and start to push the eggs until it falls out.
Once the egg is laid, the hen will not have any more pain. Also, she will not experience any pain or have any negative side effects.
Sometimes, the hen will experience pain. If she doesn’t seem well after laying an egg, you’ll need to watch her carefully. This indicates there is a problem.
Factors That Could Affect The Egg-Laying Pain
When a hen lays an egg, there are some factors that could cause them to have pain. Some could be fatal for them, so it’s a good idea to know what to look for.
Below are some of the factors you should be aware of:
The Age of Your Chicken
Chickens who are young will experience more pain than older chickens. Instead of the usual 2-3 minutes to lay an egg, it will take them much longer.
When they are about to lay an egg, you may notice that they are having a hard time trying to push the egg out. You may hear them a gasping or wheezing sound. The sound is their way of expressing their discomfort.
Some young hens may make a squeaking sound as they lay an egg. All of these sounds that they make are normal for chickens.
As they get older, the pain will ease and won’t last for a long time.
The Size Of The Chickens Egg
Not often will it happen, but a hen may lay an egg that’s larger than normal. This is usually caused during the chicken’s ovulation. Instead of one yolk, the ovaries may release two yolks.
The bigger the egg is, the more pain they will endure as they lay them. Usually, the big eggs will be covered with some blood on them. This is caused by the vent (birth canal) being damaged. The vent will eventually heal on its own in a couple of days.
Large eggs will not only cause pain during the laying process, but after the egg is laid as well. You may notice the hen being stationary all day long. If you notice this behavior, it’s best to leave them alone.
Once the pain has eased, the hen will come out of the nesting box and find something to eat and drink.
The Egg Has a Thin Shell
An egg that has a thin shell is usually due to the hens not having enough calcium and other essential nutrients in their diet.
A healthy egg will have a strong shell that will pass through the chicken’s reproductive system without any problems.
However, if the egg is thin, it is very fragile and can be easily broken as it passes through the vent (birth canal).
The thin-shelled eggs may break inside the chicken leaving sharp pieces, which could cause injuries to the chicken.
The sharp eggshell could cut the chicken causing them pain. If the cuts are small and minor, they could lead to serious infections later.
Egg Bound Chicken
When a chicken gets egg-bound, it is very painful for them. This means a large egg is not able to pass through the vent (birth canal) of the chicken.
A chicken that is egg-bound will have signs of pain and discomfort. The most common signs are the hen not moving around, having problem breathing, and weak. This problem is very serious and should be treated quickly.
Ways To Help Chickens Lay Eggs
For chicken owners, the last thing we want to see is the chickens in pain. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to make it more comfortable when they lay eggs.
One of the ways is providing a good location for them to lay eggs. For the nesting box, it should be located in a quiet and cozy place. During the time the hens are laying eggs, it can become stressful for them. Having a quiet place will help them relax.
Another way to help them lay eggs is to provide good bedding for their nesting box. The materials used should be soft and comfortable. It’s recommended to use aspen bedding as it’s the softest material available.
The second option is using hay or straw. It should be fresh and clear of any pests.
The third way to help the hens lay eggs is to add herbs such as chamomile, lavender, and passionflower. These herbs have properties that will help the hens relax. You can add these herbs into the bedding or around the nesting box.
When chickens lay eggs, they will endure some pain. Some will experience more pain than others. Younger hens are more prone to pain than older ones.
Therefore, it’s important to help them in any way that you can. You should provide the chickens with a stress-free environment, the proper nutrition, and plenty of space for them to move around.