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.