Do Hens Lay More Eggs With a Rooster Around?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by cooksewwrite, Jan 30, 2015.

  1. cooksewwrite

    cooksewwrite Just Hatched

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    I know that hens don't need a rooster to lay eggs. However, I was wondering if their presence in a flock had any effect on how well and often the hens produce eggs? I haven't read anything that said one way or the other. Any insight into this would be appreciated

    Thanks!
     
  2. krista74

    krista74 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The only thing I can think of is if you had a particularly aggressive rooster, or several roosters who were competing for top position within a flock, and the girls were being over-mated. That could certainly affect their laying.

    It makes sense too - being continually harassed and over-mated by competing roosters would be a very stressful environment for a hen to live in, and stress is definitely a contributor to poor laying in my opinion.

    - Krista
     
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  3. cooksewwrite

    cooksewwrite Just Hatched

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    I definitely agree with and can see how that could effect their laying negatively. Thanks for responding!
     
  4. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener True BYC Addict

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    I can tell you that 2 years in a row, with a rooster in my flock, I've had pullets that have started laying before pullets of my neighbors. In 3 sets of neighbors/friends, many of the pullets were from the same source, and all were the same age (some hatched by me, and some from the same shipment of chicks to a local hardware store.) Was it due to the fact that I had a rooster, and they did not? Or was it due to the fact that I gave my flock fermented feed and higher protein feed? Who knows... perhaps a combination. Purely from a physiological stand point, it would stand to reason, that having a rooster around, may, remotely, possibly, cause the hormones to kick into gear faster, resulting in earlier onset of laying.
     
  5. cooksewwrite

    cooksewwrite Just Hatched

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    Thanks for the response lazy gardener! Great info about your observations.
     
  6. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    To me, a healthy flock is going to lay better. Healthy not only physically, but mentally.

    As mentioned, a rooster that stresses the hens with his behavior can negatively effect the flock, and thus their laying. Stressed, overmated, harassed hens won't lay as well.

    On the other hand, a good rooster who is good to the ladies and helps keep the peace with the hens could contribute to better production. I've had roosters that physically get between hens and keep one from being a bully. If I didn't have that rooster keeping that mean girl in line, would the others possibly not lay as well? I think so.
     
  7. JadedPhoenix

    JadedPhoenix Chillin' With My Peeps

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    One thing not mentioned yet, in the absence of a rooster, at times the dominant hen will take over the rooster's duties. This not only includes crowing, but trying to mate as well. If this happens, that hen will not lay any eggs.
     
  8. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener True BYC Addict

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    Not so, in my experience. When I did not have a rooster, my Alpha hen would mount the gals lower on the pecking order, and she was also an excellent layer. She did not try to crow, but definitely took over that leadership role.
     

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