How to Tell If Your Hen Is Laying Eggs

UK - Mike Colley, FAI Farms' Poultry Manager, explains how to tell if your female chicken is in lay.
calendar icon 26 September 2014
clock icon 2 minute read

Unless you find the eggs in the hen house or run, how do you know if a pullet or hen is in lay?

In this video clip, Mike shows how to tell if a female chicken is laying eggs.

Firstly, he checks the health of the birds, looking at:

  • feather condition of the body and wings
  • eye, nostrils, comb and wattles
  • vent (cloaca or "back-end")

To tell if the hen is laying eggs, feel gently around the vent, as Mike explains. The area will feel inflated when the hen is in lay.

If the area feels taut or the bird looks unwell, she may not be laying and may have an illness such as egg peritonitis.

Sarah Mikesell


Sarah Mikesell grew up on a five-generation family farming operation in Ohio, USA, where her family still farms. She feels extraordinarily lucky to get to do what she loves - write about livestock and crop agriculture. You can find her on Twitter or LinkedIn.

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