Newbie question


May 21, 2015
My wife and I are just getting into chickens, and I have a question that I didn't really find addressed.
Even though this is the first time we've had chickens, I have had house birds (parakeets, cockatiels, etc.) ever since I was like 9 or 10 years old. And believe me, that's well more than a few decades ago.
I've noticed through the years that whenever I have only female birds, none of the birds ever lay any eggs. But when I have a male with the females, even if he's in a separate cage, I have eggs all over the place.
I've always figured that, even though they don't need a male to lay eggs, having a male around coaxed them into laying.
My question is, does the same hold true for chickens? I wouldn't mind having a rooster around if I could be sure that he wouldn't turn into one of the mean ones I remember from visiting my grandparents when I was a kid.
Thank you so much for any help you can offer.
Welcome to BYC!
This is a common question/misconception -- the fact is, you do not need a rooster to induce laying. In fact, there are times when the presence of a rooster can be stressful enough to impede production rather than enhance it. The only reason you "need" a rooster is if you want fertile eggs that can be used for hatching - there are plenty of other reasons that folks "want" a rooster in their flock, but they are not necessary at all.
No that is not true for chickens. The commercial egg operations have flocks that are pure female, no males anywhere around, and they lay practically every day. Having a rooster around has no effect on how they lay or if they will go broody.

No one can give you any guarantees about how a rooster will turn out, regardless of breed or how it is raised. You can find posts on here where a rooster of any breed is a darling and others where the same breed is a monster. The only reason you need a rooster is if you want fertile eggs. Anything else is personal preference. I always suggest that you keep as few roosters as you can and still meet your goals. That’s not because you are guaranteed to have problems with roosters, just that problems are possible. For you the perfect number may be zero, but if you try have a plan B to get rid of him if necessary.

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