Are cute hens at Tractor Supply begging you to bring them home? Are you wondering if you should keep a Rooster with your hens?
If you don’t realize the power of a rooster’s job you won’t understand the scenario of when you need one.
Let’s go over when you need a Rooster and if your current hens need a Rooster.
Can a Chicken Lay an Egg Without a Rooster?
This is a popular question, and it makes sense to wonder. If you have hens, they will lay an egg with or without a Rooster, as egg-laying is a natural process triggered by hormones and daylight.
However, a rooster is necessary if you want fertilized eggs that can hatch into chicks.
Factors influencing egg-laying in hens include age, diet, health, and the amount of daylight they receive. It’s important to provide your hens with a balanced diet, clean and comfortable living conditions, and enough daylight to stimulate egg production.
Having a rooster in your flock won’t change the number of eggs you get, but it can affect the fertilization of those eggs.
Keep a Rooster If You Want to Incubate & Hatch Your Own Eggs for Chicks
The general rule when keeping a Rooster in your flock is 1:15. Generally, if you have a Rooster, you will want 10-15 hens to go with him.
- Read Tips for When Your Rooster Is Aggressive and Raising a Rooster Here
Don’t Keep a Rooster if You Only Want Eggs To Eat
If you buy chickens only for eggs, you do not need a Rooster. Remember that Roosters will crow in the morning, afternoon, and evening. Or anytime they feel it is necessary!
If you have hens, you know they are noisy too, but a Rooster can take the noise to a new level. This is important to remember based on your zoning and your dear neighbors.
Your hens will lay eggs with or without a Rooster.
Do Keep a Rooster if You Pasture Raise/Free Range
As soon as we moved out to the country with our six hens, I knew I would let them roam the land. In our city house, I let the girls out an hour or two before bedtime, and they loved it.
I enjoyed watching the pecking order form and our top hen signaling if there was a flying bird overhead, but she didn’t have the sense of duty like a Rooster.
Today the hen is five years old and the only one from the flock still going strong. Her name is Minty, and boy, do we love her.
She challenged our Rooster because she had five other sisters to look after, but as her sisters had somewhere else to be, she stepped down and let our Rooster- Amelio take charge.
If we didn’t have a Rooster for pasture raising– which means we let our chickens roam around our acreage with no fencing, I wouldn’t still have Minty.
Even inside their coop, when predators are lurking in the morning, thanks to our Trail Camera, Rooster has different vocal sounds he uses to signal a predator is lurking.
We can walk out to the barn with the gun in hand- okay, who am I kidding? Eric, my husband, does all that.
On the other hand- I grab the super old pitchfork and think, I’ll do something with that!
It is amazing to watch a Rooster use different signals when there is a sky predator, land predator, or food available.
He and other Roosters are gentlemen when it comes to letting the hens eat before him. There is a price to be paid for it, though. He gets to mount them almost anytime he pleases.
You will get a few hens saying, “Forget it,” and walk away.
If you plan on raising pasture or letting your hens out for a few hours a day, I recommend getting a rooster.
I love pasturing and raising our chickens, and this article explains why.
Can a Hen Go Broody Without a Rooster?
They can still go broody if you have hens and do not own a Rooster. Broody hen or broodiness is a term used when the chicken wants to hatch and raise her eggs.
From my experience, this doesn’t mean they will be successful. It’s also been the same two chickens who have gone broody for us.
I’m sure different breeds have different results. Our two broody hens are Black Australorps. My silkie wants nothing to do with her eggs!
Is it Safe to Eat Fertilized or Unfertizlied Eggs?
There is no difference in taste from a fertilized or unfertilized chicken egg.
In conclusion, hens do not need a rooster to lay eggs, but there are some benefits to having a rooster in your backyard flock. If you’re considering adding a rooster to your homestead, weigh the pros and cons carefully based on your specific situation and preferences.
Ultimately, the decision to introduce a rooster to your flock is a personal one that depends on your goals as a backyard homesteader. Happy chicken raising!