Lesson 493 – Do you need a rooster to get eggs?

I mentioned this in one of my last posts but I decided to create a post dedicated to this one question. It’s what I get asked ALL the time.

Do you need a rooster in order to get eggs from your hens?

The answer is no. Absolutely not.

You need a rooster only to get baby chicks.  If you have hens, you’ll still get your daily eggs  even without a cock in the house.

I think the confusion here is that people think of eggs as being baby chicks and they are not, eggs are eggs. Hens are females on a cycle just like women are on a cycle. For a hen, though,  roughly every 18 hours an egg is released (can I just say a “Thank God” that women don’t work this way.) This is done whether a rooster  is involved or not. It’s how the hen’s body is programmed.

If the egg has been fertilized, then it has a chance to grow into a little baby chicken (provided there is a broody hen around who is willing to sit on the eggs.) If the egg is not fertilized then it passes through the system and is disposed of. It will never amount to much (except for a tasty breakfast.)

So as much as you might love your roo (and they can be stunning birds) if you are raising hens for eggs, you definitely do not have to have a rooster in your flock. However, if we ever come to the end times – read zombie apocalypse -, you’re going to need a rooster to ensure that you have a constant supply of birds. So while you should NEVER keep a rooster in an urban setting, you should, at the very least, know where you can locate one when the time comes.

Yeah, I know, I should have washed them. Next post.

Yeah, I know, I should have washed them. Next post.


Filed under Backyard Chickens, chicken care, Eggs, Roosters

4 responses to “Lesson 493 – Do you need a rooster to get eggs?

  1. Stephan

    I get that question a lot, now I have a link to pass on🙂
    I wanted to say thank you for all the informative pieces of info you provide, it’s a great source and I try to send you “materials” for you to use and share with others.
    My hens (3 now, more soon!) and the planning on getting hens, etc. has been a source of relaxation and hobby with great benefits (fresh eggs, fertilized garden, lawn).
    Happy Wednesday!

  2. Lucy

    Thanks for the post. We often get this question too and sometimes I have to fight back the “duh” in me that wants to come out. 🙂 More importantly, thank you for posting a picture of your eggs that haven’t been cleaned. We always see pix of beautifully washed eggs, but never see the ones of how they often look when we pull then out of the nesting boxes fresh daily with a little muck on them. I really appreciated seeing your very real photo of your very real eggs. Thanks & keep up the great work.

  3. I’m having so much fun at your blog which I found via the Live to Write – Write to Live blog. I meant to follow your suggested link to Storyfix (the tab is still open) but I got sidetracked by your chicken and rooster tales!! When my sons were children we made up (and collected in a little book) rooster (and occasional chicken) jokes. Example: What did the rooster say to the chicken when she laid an egg? . . . “how’d you-doodle-do that?” (said with a cockadoodledoo “accent”)

    • Wendy Thomas


      Anyone who contributes a chicken joke like that is a welcomed member to our flock! Glad you’re enjoying the stories, stick around, I’ll write more🙂


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