Do hens lay better with a rooster around?


In the Brooder
10 Years
Jan 30, 2009
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


Hilltop Farm
Premium Feather Member
15 Years
Nov 18, 2007
My Coop
My Coop
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.


Internally Deranged
10 Years
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.


Premium Feather Member
10 Years
Feb 5, 2009
South Georgia
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.


12 Years
Jan 13, 2008
Sun City, California
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)


In the Brooder
6 Years
Apr 15, 2013
Upstate NY
My Coop
My Coop
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 (
), and in the same way the hens are going to lay what their bodies are made to lay LOL.


7 Years
Sep 6, 2015
Central Missouri
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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