Spooky Myths about Backyard Chickens Part 3: You Need a Rooster to Produce Eggs

The days are getting closer to that magical, witching night. And the myths about our boo-tiful backyard birds are getting even scarier. Let’s take a look at this week’s myth and determine if it is indeed fact or fiction!  

Myth #3: A rooster, or multiple roosters are required to produce eggs. That is for sure fiction! First of all, I’ve never seen a rooster lay an egg! Have you?  

Chickens will naturally start laying eggs when they are about 6 months old, depending on breed. A hen, or female bird, typically lays one egg per every 24 to 27 hours, or one egg per day. That is why it is so important to check for eggs daily to make sure you get them before they break, before another hen or other predator gets them or while they are their freshest. 

Farm fresh eggs, as are all eggs are a great source of protein. However, you do not need a rooster, or male bird, on hand for the hen to lay. However, if you want to grow your flock, you will need a rooster or multiple roosters on hand in the spring to fertilize the eggs. 

A rooster’s primary benefit is egg fertilization to proliferate the flock. One male will usually mate with up to 10 hens, so plan accordingly with the number of chickens you have. If you do want to grow your flock and try to hatch out baby chicks, do your research and make sure that your eggs get fertilized and incubated properly. You will need a broody hen or an incubator to put the eggs in, and it typically takes 21 days of incubation for the new chicks to hatch. 

Myth debunked! Roosters are necessary to grow you flock! But you don’t need roosters around the hen house just to lay eggs! Healthy, stress-free hens will lay an egg a day without a rooster around!  

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