Thursday, February 3, 2011

Will Hens Lay Eggs Without a Rooster?

I was asked this question the other night by our waitress while out for dinner.  Although it may seem obvious, I must admit that I wondered the same thing before I researched the ins and outs of raising chickens.  I'm not quite sure how the subject of chickens came up, but it seems to be a common conversation I'm having lately.  Not only did our waitress give me the idea for this blog post, but she bought a dozen eggs which we dropped off at the restaurant the next morning for her...double bonus!  Thanks, Darla. 

The answer, you ask?  No, you do not need a roo to have eggs.  Just like human women, hens don't need a roo to ovulate.  However, if you want to hatch baby chicks, you will need a roo to fertilize the eggs you plan to incubate.  This fact is particularly eggceptional for those living in cities and towns where they are allowed to have a few backyard hens to supply their family with eggs.  They get the all the benefits of the fresh eggs without all the noise.  I'm quite certain the neighbors will be grateful there isn't a roo around too! 

We don't have a roo in our big hen house since we don't plan to hatch our own chicks.  We decided it was best to avoid having a roo since they can be a bit temperamental (and loud).  I didn't want to have to worry about the kids getting chased or bitten by a territorial roo! 

We do have one Silkie roo.  We thought he was a she and by the time we figured out she was actually a he, we were attached and decided he could stay.  Brooke, who Travis now calls Bert, is a bit bossy and dominating.  He keeps the Silkie hens in check and stomps around & crows often to let everyone know he rules the roost.  I must say that I am looking forward to spring so our Silkies can be moved from the garage to the backyard.  Brooke even crows in response to the boys' whines and cries.  The garage is a bit too close for comfort!  I may even let some of our Silkie hens sit on their eggs if they seem interested.  It might be fun to see how they do managing their brood. 

1 comment:

  1. Well, I'll be! Was just sure it couldn't happen to lay eggs without a rooster but the explanation here is perfect and understandable. Wonder why I didn't ever learn that as a child. I'm 77 and never knew this. . . as the saying goes, "Never to old to learn!"