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Eggs are an essential source of proteins and are obtained from the breed of chicken called layers. These layers technically poop out the eggs from their cloaca, just below their tails. Do you ever think of the possibility of the egg-laying process hurting the chicken? Does it Hurt chickens to lay eggs?
Egg laying is not necessarily a painless process. it might not be as painful as you would naturally expect. Chickens lay their eggs and go on about their day almost immediately. Only young hens and those laying large eggs feel pain while laying eggs.
Generally, it does not hurt chickens to lay eggs; however, there are other scenarios where egg-laying may hurt the chicken. For example, some chickens have been seen excreting a few drops of blood after egg laying.
Does it Hurt a Chicken to Lay an Egg
Chicken laying eggs is not a very painful process. However, a little pain can be attached, especially when the chicken is young and just started laying eggs or lays huge eggs. Many experienced chickens lay eggs between 30 seconds and 1 minute, which is why the pain will last. Once the egg is laid, the chicken carries on with its previous activity.
Young chickens just starting to lay eggs may take a longer time. Some of them may have bloodstains on the egg after laying. It usually stops after a few more eggs are laid because the cloaca widens to accommodate the size of regularly laid eggs.
When the chicken eventually lays a larger size of an egg, it may go through some pain, but other than that, it is a painless process.
Related topic: I wrote an article on what age do chickens stop laying eggs, this may be a useful read for you if you are looking into hen layers.
Is It Cruel To Make Chickens Lay Eggs
No, it is not cruel to make chickens lay eggs. Naturally, chickens lay between 10 and 20 eggs every year to ensure the continuity of the species. However, modern chickens have been genetically modified to produce about 260 and 300 eggs annually.
If it was cruel then it wouldn’t be a natural part of a chicken’s cycle. Different breeds of chickens produce different amounts of eggs, for example, the White Leghorn hens produce many more eggs than the Gold Laced Wyandotte hens. Chickens modified to produce more than what is natural might seem cruel, and there are strong arguments for and against the process.
What can’t be disputed is when hens are locked in tiny battery-style cages and expected to keep laying in appalling conditions, this is cruel.
Why Do Chickens Squawk After Laying An Egg
The squawk or egg song made by chickens after laying their egg has been described in many ways. Some groups describe it as a cry of pain after passing out the egg. Other groups describe it as a celebratory chant made by chickens for laying their eggs.
On closer observation, it was seen that the squawk is more of a biological response than a celebratory noise or a sound of pain. The egg cry can last for about 15 minutes after eggs have been laid, and it serves to scare predators away from the location of the eggs. Other possible reasons why chickens squawk or do the eggs song include:
- Mating: After laying eggs, chickens are in their most fertile and receptive conditions for mating. The squawk can be a call out to the males around, alerting them of the possibility of fertile mating. From observation, many roosters become active and vocal; they quickly locate the female perform their mating dance until it finally deposits its semen into the female.
- Sound location: When the female was among a flock before she went to lay her egg, on arrival after egg-laying, the squawking may be a way of calling out to them to know their location and move towards them. It may also be a mode of announcing the location of the laying nest to the other chickens, especially when they share a nest.
Some chicken rearers suggest that it could be a call of pride, where the chicken vocalizes to make its position known.
Ever wondered what time of day do chickens lay eggs, then check this post I wrote out, it goes over when and some factors that determine their laying schedule.
How Do I Make My Chickens More Comfortable Laying Eggs
Laying eggs may not be a painful and challenging process for regular layers. However, it can become a more comfortable process when these few steps are taken:
- Privacy: To make the process of egg-laying a little more comfortable for the chickens, providing a private and secluded place for laying eggs is a good idea. Many chickens tend to go into a secluded place to lay their eggs in secret.
- Feeding: One possible cause of pain while laying eggs is the possibility of the eggs breaking while being laid due to thin shells. Thin shells can cause minor bruises in the chicken’s cloaca, or in extreme cases, cause large injuries that may become infected. Thin shells in eggs are a function of the diet; deficiency of calcium and protein in the diet of laying chicken can lead to the thinness of the shell. The remedy to this is to provide a diet enriched with protein and calcium. These elements play an essential role in the formation of eggshells.
Other tips include giving the chicken a stress-free and spacious environment to live in. It helps them become more relaxed and comfortable through the egg-laying process.
What We Learned
In summary, does it hurt chickens to lay eggs? Chickens do not generally feel pain when laying eggs. However, young chickens that are new to laying eggs and chickens that produce large eggs are likely to experience a little discomfort while laying their eggs. Feeding the chicken appropriately and giving them a little privacy can make laying eggs more comfortable.