Do I Need A Rooster To Get Eggs From My Hens?

Photo of Kassandra Smith

Kassandra Smith

Senior Editor • Backyard Chicken Coops

Last Updated: 17 July 2020

Rooster watching over backyard chicken flock

Many of us get chickens not just for the companionship, but to enjoy the delicious fresh produce they provide. But, just how do our feathered friends produce these beautiful eggs? Do they need a rooster for the process of laying an egg to begin?

The answer is no! Hens are one of the most captivating creatures on the face of the earth. They are beautiful, intelligent, sensitive, affectionate, and capable of nothing short of a miracle- the creation of an egg. And, not only are these lovely ladies able to create an egg, they create and lay an egg approximately every twenty-five hours completely without the help of their male counterpart, the rooster. Unfathomable!

Now although hens have the ability to lay eggs without a rooster, a rooster is needed in order to fertilize your hens’ eggs. So, if you’d like raise chickens from your own breed lines, then you’ll need to add a handsome rooster to your backyard flock and let him strut his stuff!

Still not sure whether you want to add a rooster to your backyard flock? This article has some more information on what it’s like having a male in amongst your gorgeous ladies.

Well, just how does a hen lay an egg?

The egg formation process takes approximately 25 hours. This process will begin with the formation of the egg yolk, it is produced by the hens ovary during the ovulation process- the yolk is referred to as the oocyte at this stage. It then travels down the oviduct of the hen.

As it continues to travel down the oviduct it becomes covered with a white membrane called ‘vitelline membrane’, as well as some layers of the egg white or ‘albumen’. Still travelling further down the oviduct, a casing for the egg white and yolk will begin to form. Eventually, the shell will be completely developed, and thus the egg is completely formed!

The hen will then lay this new life form in a comfortable and quiet spot - all ready for you to collect the next morning.

Now, it is essential that your chickens have around 14 hours of daylight everyday, otherwise there bodies simply won't produce eggs. Why? It's a long story you can read about here. This is why many chicken owners choose to buy an Auto Door, so that there chickens have as much access to daylight as possible - genius!

So, if you want fresh eggs every day, you don’t need a rooster - all you need is a hen, and a comfortable, safe place where she can lay her egg! Our Taj Mahal, Penthouse and Mansion coops are sure to have your girls laying comfortably and productively in the specially designed nesting boxes.

One of the biggest benefits of keeping hens is having a great supply of fresh eggs. Nothing beats having home-laid eggs in the house for delicious meals and baking treats. However, in order to get a frequent, fresh supply of eggs, keepers need to look after the chickens that lay them. There can be multiple issues that are stopping your ladies from laying which is stressful for them and for you!

Don’t worry though – the eggsperts at Chickenpedia have cracked it! They have created the Eggs in Your Basket course to help you, help your ladies lay successfully. Discover crucial information to keep your chickens happy, healthy, and frequent layers. All your egg questions will be answered in this extensive course.

From double yolkers, to soft shells, no eggs, to odd eggs, Chickenpedia cover it all! Check out their great beginner-friendly courses today. 

Sources and further reading