But WHY do they lay eggs??


10 Years
May 25, 2009
Adelaide, Australia
Seriously, It's starting to get to me. Why do chickens constantly lay eggs even without a roo around.

Obviously the trait has been bred into them, but even without the breeding, they must have laid a fair bit in 'the wild' (if chickens every truely were wild).

What crazy kind of evolutionary quirk would have them popping out infertile eggs? Why go to all that time and effort if the end result is just going to be a tasty meal for a passing predator??

Or is egglaying really 100% people induced?

It might be a stupid question but its bugging me and I want to know..


Chicken Ambassador
10 Years
Jan 26, 2009
Bagshot Row


10 Years
May 28, 2009
well, normally there would be a rooster around in the wild, wouldn't there? and look at humans. We have to go through our darned periods every month. Same thing, isn't it? Course, it's not every day but then, chickens lay in clutches; we don't.

Maybe someone has a better answer but that's why I would think, anyway...


10 Years
Mar 12, 2009
I'm not a scientist.. doctor.. or even a chicken specialist...

BUT... with that being said and without getting too gross, here is why I would imagine. Eggs are for reproduction purposes. Chickens are born with all they're ever going to have, already inside their bodies. It's the shell that they have to manufacture. Human females, also born with all the eggs we're ever going to have. Our "manufacturing" if you will is the joyous monthly crud we get to deal with. We "shed" an egg every month, whether there is a husband around or not. I assume chickens are just doing the same. Keeping their body in prime working order for the day that Mr. Studmuffin might be around in order to keep the world populated with little studmuffins. Just my 2 cents.


10 Years
May 29, 2009
There's this simple little quirk called 'Selective Breeding'. When we first started taming chickens ages ago, we tamed them because they reproduced year round (thus were a great food source!). Then, we decided as humans we loved the eggs, so we ate all the gals that didn't pop eggs frequently as dinner. I mean, if you look at hatchery stock chicks, they are all a certain type (meaning the gene pool is rather shallow). A breeder will tell you their best greatest thing is getting new blood, but the truth is, there's not a whole lot of diversity of bloodlines out there (depending on where you get your stock!).

So, they keep laying eggs like crazy because in all the years (and we are talking many many many many) we humans have selectively bred them to do so. I mean, look what we crazy folks did to dogs? All dogs descend from either jackels (the vast majority) or wolves or some combination of the two and you get dogs now that look like all kinds of things - short tall fat squat rat-killers sled-pullers fluffy cuddly tiny gianormous... etc

We even have horse breeds out there that have virtually no genetic diversity. I was talking to my vet (who's a great guy) just the other day about breeding my two year old friesian horse (in the few years when shes four) to someone else, and asked if he knew of any nice stallions (cause I really liked her bloodlines and wanted to find a nice stallion like her sire). He launched into this lecture (I could tell it was a pet peeve) stating all these breed and scientific articles in vet science about genetic diversity in horses and basically for all the differences friesians have in their genome (which some crazy dude is mapping right now)... I could breed back to her sire and it would be no different than breeding to the next great stallion I found. I'd never do this, but I found this interesting that we have such lack of genetic diversity in the US in terms of some horse breeds.

So the simple answer is: It's humans fault. We did it. Chickens lay like crazy because we bred them to do it.
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