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Do hens lay better with a rooster around?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by duckidaho, Jun 13, 2009.

  1. duckidaho

    duckidaho Out Of The Brooder

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    I know I don't need a rooster for hens to lay, but I heard from an experienced chicken raiser, who heard it from her mom, who heard it from her mom, that hens will lay better with a rooster around the house. Any truth to this?

    I'm inclined to keep our rooster, although watching his mating behavior can be a little nerve-wracking. Thanks, Russ
     
  2. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

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    I say no. I gave my Rooster away so now I have none. My girls still pretty much each give me an egg a day. I average 6 eggs a week from each.
     
  3. saddina

    saddina Internally Deranged

    May 2, 2009
    Desert, CA
    No, and if you have an especially uh... vigoris roo, he can stress out the girls from overmating them. That said, I'm abnormally attached to a specific roo, and he's getting to stay, where the rest have gone to the freezer.
     
  4. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    Good question, actually.

    Some on here feel hens do just fine without a rooster, and others feel they do better with one around. I doubt there is any scientific research on the subject; would love to read it if there is. I figure they evolved to have a rooster present, so makes sense they do better having one.

    When there is no roo, one hen usually sort of takes over the role, at least as far as being the dominant chicken, and sometimes even exhibiting mating behavior with other hens. I have read that the lead hen might stop laying, but gather this is unusual.

    I have a flock of 4 hens who lost their roo. The lead hen did do some mating behavior at first, but not for long. She still lays. I get 3-4 eggs a day from them, except when my broody goes broody. I don't see any real evidence they would lay better with a roo, but then, how would I know....

    Mating behavior can injure hens, for sure. If he just grabs the neck, I would not be too worried. If you start seeing bald backs or lacerations from spurs, that is another thing. There are plenty of good roos out there. I will not keep one who hurts the hens.
     
  5. Kev

    Kev Overrun With Chickens

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    Chickens have had a long history of domestication though.. with particularly hard selection for strict high production with some lines such as production leghorns, RIR etc- with roosters being around or not being irrelevant.

    Egg farms don't have roosters either.. (well most, excepting the fertile egg market eggs)
     
  6. mark18

    mark18 New Egg

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    So should I keep my roosters around or not
     
  7. Morndew247

    Morndew247 Out Of The Brooder

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    Keep him if you like him. If not, make soup. It's pretty irrelevant to egg production.
    Man or not around I still drop my egg once a month ([​IMG]), and in the same way the hens are going to lay what their bodies are made to lay LOL.
     
  8. newbie32

    newbie32 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
     
  9. mark18

    mark18 New Egg

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    I'm not gonna get rid of them there at my gf an I'm gonna bring in to my house think ill still get eggs if not more
     
  10. 10AcreChick

    10AcreChick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I checked for a thread like this cause I was wondering the same thing. I just gave my chickens a bigger coop and a new rooster all in the same weekend, so I can't be sure which it was, but they went from laying five eggs a day among the 16 of them to 13 eggs! Of course, the weather got warm, too. Not very scientific, to b sure.

    I got rid of my last roo because of his overzealousness with the hens, hope this one is kinder. I'll soon have 36 hens to two roosters, so hopefully they have enough between the two!
     

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