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  • Writer's pictureBaking with Chickens

Chicken FAQ: Do hens need a rooster to lay eggs?

chicken in a tutu looking at a metal rooster
Who the f are you? Step off, Roo. I'm top chitch around here and we don't need you.

You'd be surprised at how often I get asked this question. The answer is NO, hens don't need no man to lay eggs. A hen's oviduct will create an ovum that becomes an egg regardless of whether it's fertilized by a rooster. If the act of chicken sexytime does happen and the rooster's sperm fertilizes the ovum it will then become a fertilized egg that could be hatched into baby chicks. The unfertilized eggs that are laid would just go rotten if not collected and used. Kinda like how women have their monthly period, chickens just go through this process almost every day.

I do not have a rooster in my flock because I don't want baby chicks and because my neighbors would hate me. They are loud mf'ers. In Los Angeles the city ordinance states that in order to keep roosters there must be 100-feet between the chicken coop and your neighbor's home. To keep chickens (hens) they must be 20-feet from your own dwelling and 35-feet from your neighbor. There is a rooster in my neighborhood and while I love hearing him crow I'm glad that he's far enough away that his crows are muffled and softened by the time they reach me.

This is our golden rooster Maurice, who was a housewarming gift from a friend. One year my Chinese zodiac told me that I should keep a "fierce-looking gold rooster" at the front of my home to ward off bad relationship juju. So I spray painted him gold and gave him glitter eyeshadow. Fierce enough for you? He keeps watch over our home and flock, silently.



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