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Thread: Do Hens need roosters to lay eggs for eating?

  1. #1 Do Hens need roosters to lay eggs for eating? 
    Forum Cosmic Wizard icewendigo's Avatar
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    Im guessing you need a rooster to have eggs that hatch into , chicks? baby chickens? What ever you call them.
    But the eggs that farmers pick to be eaten, do farmers need Roosters to get those or do hens just lay eggs out of the blue?


    thanks


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  3. #2  
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    Those particular hens are bred to lay eggs, however the Rooster serves two roles; To fertilize some eggs for continued population of egg layers and to keep the hens in check. In chicken society, there's one male for many females. He's head honcho and if you look at the spurs on his heels...
    You can't have more than one male in the group very easily. One will kill the other.


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  4. #3  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope sculptor's Avatar
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    hens just lay eggs out of the blue
    fersure
    and with no bloodspot, they're kosher too
    but then
    with no rooster- no chicks, you gotta buy a new flock every couple years

    get a rooster and let one or two hens brood(sit the nest) or put some eggs in an incubator, and you have an almost eternal flock
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  5. #4  
    Forum Professor pyoko's Avatar
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    Hens lay eggs without roosters. They are just unfertilised.
    It is by will alone I set my mind in motion.
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  6. #5  
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    no rooster- no chicks, you gotta buy a new flock every couple years
    That's only if you buy chooks that are bred for commercial laying or if you regularly kill one for eating. If you buy traditional breeds, they won't lay 300 eggs a year each for 18-24 months as a commercial breed might do, but they can live for a long time giving you 150-200 eggs a year.

    And you have to watch out for "boss hen". There's always a hierarchy in groups of chooks (so you have to be very careful when introducing new hens to the group) and sometimes 'boss hen' will behave much like a rooster, crowing in the mornings. So you need to have the highest roosting perch set so that the boss can lord it over the others from the highest perch but the roof is close enough that she can't stretch upwards to crow.
    "Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen." Winston Churchill
    "nature is like a game of Jenga; you never know which brick you pull out will cause the whole stack to collapse" Lucy Cooke
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    Northern Horse Whisperer Moderator scheherazade's Avatar
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    I also have raised several flocks of hens for eggs and achieved 96% production through the months of December and January by use of lighting and heat lamps on a timer. As others have said, the hens do not require a rooster to lay eggs. They are really quite interesting creatures and as they were nearing their time of beginning to lay, they would dance before me with their wings slightly spread, 'assuming the position' as if for a rooster. Obviously, they figured out that I was the boss bird, lol.

    On a few occasions, I would acquire a bird from a friend and found that the best way to introduce the new bird was to slide it into the coop at night, when the birds were roosting. The term 'pecking order' is precisely that, as birds have a very strict hierarchy and some breeds of chickens seem to be more aggressive in the enforcement of same, to the point that it is neccessary to clip a small portion of their top beak to prevent serious harm being done. I really liked 'Isa Browns' for being small, efficient and good-natured and did not need to take such action with them.

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  8. #7  
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    through the months of December and January by use of lighting and heat lamps on a timer.
    Seeing as they're still very much like their native forebears in tropical jungles, lighting and heating hen-houses to replicate the non-seasonal 'natural' environment is a pretty good idea. We don't have hens here yet, but we will be doing something along those lines during winter even though, at 34S, our latitude is not quite so much of a problem for day length.

    (I know some animal cruelty groups used to criticise this practice in commercial egg production as 'forcing' hens to keep laying - but it's quite OK. There are quite enough problems in egg farming to worry about without this non-problem.)
    "Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen." Winston Churchill
    "nature is like a game of Jenga; you never know which brick you pull out will cause the whole stack to collapse" Lucy Cooke
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  9. #8  
    Northern Horse Whisperer Moderator scheherazade's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by adelady View Post
    through the months of December and January by use of lighting and heat lamps on a timer.
    Seeing as they're still very much like their native forebears in tropical jungles, lighting and heating hen-houses to replicate the non-seasonal 'natural' environment is a pretty good idea. We don't have hens here yet, but we will be doing something along those lines during winter even though, at 34S, our latitude is not quite so much of a problem for day length.

    (I know some animal cruelty groups used to criticise this practice in commercial egg production as 'forcing' hens to keep laying - but it's quite OK. There are quite enough problems in egg farming to worry about without this non-problem.)
    The Isa Brown was specifically bred to be an 'egg factory' according to a chicken forum that I was perusing earlier, it's sole purpose being to churn out eggs for our consumption, so while this specific to purpose breeding may also be of concern to some, in this climate, without an insulated and heated coop, the poor birds would be feathered popsicles in short order, I'm guessing. As it were, they seemed content to be at liberty in the coop over the winter and allowed free range in a large outdoor pen three seasons of the year.
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    One trick I learnt from a book if you want to eat the hens as well as the eggs. Use colour to identify each lot of hens. If you start out with, say, Black Orpingtons and a few months later get some Rhode Island Reds, then more months later get White Leghorns, you'll never be in any doubt about how old any given chook is when you choose one to kill. When you kill the last black one, get more black hens.

    Good system if you want to kill them regularly. Given the $$$price of pullets nowadays, I'm not sure about the economics. Though I suppose you could have a separate enclosure of much cheaper day old chicks for growing on to 'fend for itself' size if you don't mind the fuss of feeding and protecting them.
    "Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen." Winston Churchill
    "nature is like a game of Jenga; you never know which brick you pull out will cause the whole stack to collapse" Lucy Cooke
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  11. #10  
    Northern Horse Whisperer Moderator scheherazade's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by adelady View Post
    One trick I learnt from a book if you want to eat the hens as well as the eggs. Use colour to identify each lot of hens. If you start out with, say, Black Orpingtons and a few months later get some Rhode Island Reds, then more months later get White Leghorns, you'll never be in any doubt about how old any given chook is when you choose one to kill. When you kill the last black one, get more black hens.

    Good system if you want to kill them regularly. Given the $$$price of pullets nowadays, I'm not sure about the economics. Though I suppose you could have a separate enclosure of much cheaper day old chicks for growing on to 'fend for itself' size if you don't mind the fuss of feeding and protecting them.
    That would certainly simplify matters. If one is going to stay with the same breed/color, one could also just band the birds, a simple little plastic leg bracelet that is easy to put on the birds.

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  12. #11  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard icewendigo's Avatar
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    Can chicken feed on insects that would feed on fungus/plants that would feed on their poo?

    Could you have some sort of mostly recycling micro-ecology in a space colony (Moon, Mars) or are traditional chickens and eggs pretty much out of the picture?
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  13. #12  
    Northern Horse Whisperer Moderator scheherazade's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by icewendigo View Post
    Can chicken feed on insects that would feed on fungus/plants that would feed on their poo?

    Could you have some sort of mostly recycling micro-ecology in a space colony (Moon, Mars) or are traditional chickens and eggs pretty much out of the picture?
    An interesting question, icewendigo. I expect that is we can ever establish a living environment for humans with plants that we could also transport insects and fertilized eggs and hatch them into this environment. Chickens can tolerate living in fairly small spaces so the challenge would be establishing the 'environment' or habitat I am thinking. Purely speculative on my part.
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