Do Chickens Need a Rooster to Lay Eggs?

This is a question that more than 5082 of our readers have been asking us! Luckily, we have found the most appropriate information for you!

You don’t need a rooster for your hens to lay eggs, as hens will lay just as many eggs whether there’s a rooster around or not. However, a rooster is needed to fertilize the eggs to hatch them into baby chicks.

The male chicken fertilizes the eggs, which allows them to develop into baby chicks. Indeed, some choose to keep an all-female flock to avoid too many baby chicks or because roosters can be noisy and aggressive. Additionally, urban or suburban homesteaders may not have a choice due to zoning laws that forbid roosters. Check out the ordinances in your area to ensure you don’t get fined for having a rooster where they’re not allowed. You might want to think twice about owning a rooster if you have small children or lots of farm visitors. Signs of this can include backs rubbed clean of feathers and physical exhaustion.

How does a rooster fertilize an egg?

The rooster will hop on the hen’s back and perform a cloacal kiss, delivering sperm into the oviduct. This will fertilize the egg of the day and can fertilize eggs for a week or so afterward.

Do chickens lay more eggs with a rooster?

If you want to hatch baby chicks from the eggs your hens lay, you’ll definitely need to have a rooster around to fertilize the eggs. But if your goal is just to increase the egg production from your backyard flocks, a rooster won’t do anything to increase their production.

Are hens happier with a rooster?

Chickens, even those who have been living together for years, will sometimes squabble or pick on those lower in the pecking order. What is this? Having a rooster around does seem to keep peace within the flock. Also, in the absence of a rooster, one hen will often assume the dominant role and become a bit of a bully.

What are the benefits of having a rooster with hens?

Having a rooster can lead to happier hens. They will forage and locate food and call to their hens to alert them it’s time to eat, then they stand guard while the flock eats. Another benefit of having a rooster is having fertilized eggs. One rooster can keep as many as twelve hens’ eggs fertilized.

I’m often asked if a rooster is required in the coop for hens to lay eggs. The answer is no. Hens will lay eggs without a rooster around to do what roosters do, but don’t expect baby chicks. Roosters aren’t just unnecessary for egg productions, for many backyard enthusiasts, city ordinances dictate that roosters are not even permitted within city limits. It’s not an unreasonable position. Roosters are noisy and crowing from dawn to dusk can be so maddening that there aren’t enough free eggs to placate a neighbor in close proximity. They’re loud, aggressive and they won’t give you a single egg. What’s the upside of roosters?

Chickens from parent lines that are kept and selected for showing are chosen based on physical characteristics like correct feather coloring and patterns or having the ideal comb type not production ability.

There are many reasons why people would want hens only, like someone with very limited coop or run space. Let’s look into the basics of egg laying and a few reasons to consider keeping a rooster anyway. Most chickens do not lay an egg everyday, it is actually more like every other day. This is especially true with any hens from a flock selected for show stock. The super productive breeds like Australorp and hybrid chickens like the Golden Comet will lay an egg nearly every day for about a year until they molt. Molting is when the chicken naturally sheds her feathers and grows new plumage. Her most productive egg laying time is the first season starting when she is 6 months old and continuing on until she has her first molt. You can choose to keep your hens for as long as you want if you just like having chickens around and want the occasional egg. If you are running a business selling the eggs, then you will want to consider replacing your older hens. Traditional cooks, especially those who moved here from another country, love stewing hens because this is the type of chicken they are used to eating back home. Egg production will go down in the winter because of the shorter day length. Eggs won’t completely stop coming they will just be more infrequent. Another thing to keep in mind is that the eggs will freeze in the winter if not collected soon enough. Multiple egg collections per day and keeping the nest boxes full of straw will lessen the likelihood of frozen eggs. He is lovely and calm.You might want to keep a rooster running with your hens so you can have fertile eggs. If you don’t care which rooster is the dad then collect eggs any time you are ready. If you have seen this breed then you can imagine from the air this hen would look like an appealing target with her bright white head that is easy to pick out from the surroundings. The Polish were fun, easy to catch chickens we enjoyed having around however a breed that is more aware of the surrounding would have been less likely to get targeted by the hawk in the first place. It is more like he is guarding his space and doesn’t want a potential rival on his turf. Roosters stay in the chicken house at night and get let out to trot around during the day with the hens as well. Your rooster will live with the hens, inside and outside of the coop, and eat the same feed they do. Using fresh eggs that are less than one week old gives you the best chance of success. In order for the eggs to be able to hatch they must be kept at a specific temperature and humidity level for 21 days. That being said, we have had hens that were supposed to be non broody hatch out chicks before but that was not typical behavior for the breed. If you don’t have mechanical turners you will need to turn the eggs a few times a day by hand. A clutch is the group of eggs she is going to start setting on to hopefully hatch chicks. Occasionally you will find a overly long egg that when cracked open will reveal two yolks in the same shell but she will never lay two eggs at one time.

He can be a magnificent site with his full plumage glistening in the sun! Of course, he knows how stunning he is and just has to convince the ladies that he is the ‘best in the coop’!

A rooster does serve a couple of useful purposes to the flock which can be a good thing for the hens and keeper alike. First in answer to the original question – no, you don’t need a rooster for your hens to lay eggs. In fact, Barnevelder roosters are supposedly very good with chick care, but again, this is probably an individual thing. Tidbitting is when a rooster finds a special treat or curious item and begins picking it up, showing it off, and dropping it again hoping the hens (or chicks) come running over. If you watch closely, he probably won’t partake in the feast, as he feels it is his job to give the goodies to the ladies. Aside from tidbitting, roosters will allow their ladies to eat, forage, hunt, and peck while he busily watches for predators. If your flock free ranges over a wide area, having a rooster (or two) is good, extra security. His little brain is wired to ‘spread his seed’ and protect and provide for his flock and a good rooster will do this to the best of his ability. The pecking order is a delicate balance and sometimes there’s a hen amongst the flock that’s a bit more aggressive (or a bully). When your rooster hears a valid hen fight, he will run to intervene and stop the girls from going overboard. The plumage is so designed to be attractive to the females when mating season rolls around.Roosters have long, pointed neck feathers, referred to as hackles. If he is rough with the ladies you will see evidence in the form of broken feathers, bald spots and possibly lacerations to her head or back. A flock of hens can and will kill a newcomer they see as a threat – rooster or not, so for his safety go slowly with the introductions. My hens love to congregate around the bachelor pad in Spring – almost as if they are window shopping! Although it may sound unnatural, apparently in the wild, subordinate roosters will spend time together in all male groups and get along well. They may be separate from the ladies, but they still keep their eyes open and issues warnings as necessary to the hens in the pasture.

All hens will lay eggs at maturity

All hens lay eggs. Hens are the female chickens that are laying eggs.A female that has not laid any eggs yet is called aSince all chickens come from eggs, it only makes sense that all breeds need to lay eggs to make the next generation of chickens.However, the

Some hens lay eggs nearly everyday

This is especially true with any hens from a flock selected for show stock.Chickens from parent lines that are kept and selected for showing are chosen based on physical characteristics like correct feather coloring and patterns or having the ideal comb type not production ability.Show chickens are fine birds for your farm flock and a necessity to have if you want to do well at the poultry shows.Show line chickens tend to be much bigger and prettier than the production lines of the same breed just be aware the show lines will not lay as well as the hens selected for egg producing ability.

Egg laying will stop when the hen molts

This normally happens around 18 months of age. During molting the hen will stop laying eggs.

A hen’s first year has the most eggs

A hen can lay eggs as long as she is healthy.Her most productive egg laying time is the first season starting when she is 6 months old and continuing on until she has her first molt.Her second year egg laying tends to produce bigger eggs but not as often as the first year.Most commercial farms keep hens only until the first molting period then the hens are replaced.You can choose to keep your hens for as long as you want if you just like having chickens around and want the occasional egg.

To get more eggs, replace older hens

If you are running a business selling the eggs, then you will want to consider replacing your older hens.Younger hens will allow you to keep up with the demand for eggs from your customers and to get more eggs from the money you are spending on feed.

Older hens can be sold as stewing hens

Who will buy your stewing hens?ManyTraditional cooks, especially those who moved here from another country, love stewing hens because this is the type of chicken they are used to eating back home.

Chickens can lay eggs in the winter

Egg production will go down in the winter because of the shorter day length.If you don’t want to lose production keep the lights on in your chicken coop for 14 hours per day to keep the hens laying.Most people assume it is the cold that stops the hens from laying but it is actually the shorter days and the genetics of your hens.
Another thing to keep in mind is that the eggs will freeze in the winter if not collected soon enough.Multiple egg collections per day and keeping the nest boxes full of straw will lessen the likelihood of frozen eggs.

For fertile eggs, keep a rooster

You might want to keep a rooster running with your hens so you can have fertile eggs.In order to raise your own chicks a rooster is required.Most flock owners will have one rooster for up to 50 hens. If there aren’t enough hens, he starts harassing them.

Separate birds by breed for purebred chicks

If you want purebred chicks and have more than one breed of rooster, the rooster of your choice has to be with the hens for two weeks before you collect the eggs to hatch.The other rooster must be kept out.If you don’t care which rooster is the dad then collect eggs any time you are ready.

Roosters can protect hens

We had a Polish rooster fight off a hawk. The hawk had a hold of a hen and the rooster got the hawk to leave.We just happened to be outside at the right time to see all the action. These particular chickens were White Crested Polish.If you have seen this breed then you can imagine from the air this hen would look like an appealing target with her bright white head that is easy to pick out from the surroundings.Plus with all the feathers blocking her view she can’t see danger coming.The Polish were fun, easy to catch chickens we enjoyed having around however a breed that is more aware of the surrounding would have been less likely to get targeted by the hawk in the first place.12 Crested Breeds Of Chickens is one of my articles where the Polish and other breeds are listed and described, check it out if crested chicken breeds are interesting to you.Other than that, we have not seen any indication of a rooster protecting the hens.It may seem like he is protecting them at first but it is actually more like he does not want you, other animals and especially other roosters in his territory.

Roosters stay in the hen house

Roosters stay in the chicken house at night and get let out to trot around during the day with the hens as well.Your rooster will live with the hens, inside and outside of the coop, and eat the same feed they do.

Not all eggs can turn into chickens

Any egg that is fertile, well formed and clean can be kept for hatching. It is to your advantage to keep only fresh eggs to hatch.

Hatch eggs that are less than 1 week old

After a week, the hatchability starts to decline. Using fresh eggs that are less than one week old gives you the best chance of success.

Incubating eggs has specific requirements

Now we move to incubation. In order for the eggs to be able to hatch they must be kept at a specific temperature and humidity level for 21 days.

Let a broody hen hatch eggs for you

Your other option to turn eggs into chicks is let the hen do it for you. If a hen is broody (likes to sit on eggs) she knows exactly what to do and when to do it.You just need to give her the space and let her work. Not all hens will be broody it depends upon the breed.That being said, we have had hens that were supposed to be non broody hatch out chicks before but that was not typical behavior for the breed.

Get a square incubator at the farm store

The eggs can be incubated by the hen or by you in an incubator. We use the styrofoam incubators you can get at your local farm store.These work pretty well but do need monitored to stay at the right temperature.If you don’t have mechanical turners you will need to turn the eggs a few times a day by hand.There are some great digital incubators available, but we have never used one, so I can’t tell you how well they work.

Hens want 8-10 eggs before setting

Hens like to have 8-10 eggs per clutch. A clutch is the group of eggs she is going to start setting on to hopefully hatch chicks.Each hen will pick a nesting spot and lay eggs in this spot until she feels there are enough eggs for her to start setting.When does she have enough eggs?She may be happy with a few more or a few less eggs than average.

Eggs Laying and Fertility

First in answer to the original question – no, you don’t need a rooster for your hens to lay eggs. Your hens’ will lay an egg roughly every twenty five hours

Flock Security

If you have a contained, secure flock, rooster security is not needed obviously. If your flock free ranges over a wide area, having a rooster (or two) is good, extra security.

Flock Balance

Many folks think it’s important to maintain a ‘natural’ balance in a flock by keeping a rooster. It certainly does provide for a more natural state of affairs, but really I don’t think the hens mind one way or the other.

Plumage

Compared to the majority of hens, rooster plumage is gorgeous and colorful. The plumage is so designed to be attractive to the females when mating season rolls around.

Helen Bridgers
gang related violence has went up 50 percent in my house since I took the kids play station from them. To say I drank my way into marriage isn't much of an exaggeration. Unable to type with boxing gloves on. General twitteraholic. Pop culture fan. Social media practitioner. Beer lover. Interests: Gardening, Bowling, Biking
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