Rooster = fewer eggs from hens??

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by MyBlackHen, Jan 23, 2012.

  1. MyBlackHen

    MyBlackHen Songster

    Jun 26, 2010
    Upstate New York
    Hi all, I was wondering if any of you experienced this. Last year we had 9 laying hens and had pretty good egg production, even through the winter. This year I have 19 hens (7 are almost 2 years old though so not super-productive, all the rest are less than a year old) and we also have one rooster. We were only getting between 4 and 9 eggs per day! I was going nuts because feeding 20 chickens and getting only 6 eggs a day is not a great feeling. This has been going on for months - I haven't gotten over a dozen eggs in one day in over 3months.

    Until 2 days ago. I really had a feeling that the rooster was impacting egg production somehow - pressuring the hens. Plus we're feeding a big bird who definitely lays no eggs! So I finally talked my husband into it (he felt sorry for the poor guy!). On Saturday we separated him from the hens (water only, no food) - guess what? We got 13 eggs that day. Sunday was his last day (*sniff*) and we got 14 eggs that day.

    So is this just a coincidence or what? I'll have to see if they keep it up at this rate. I don't get it - usually the recommended ratio for hens to roosters is 10:1, and here this guy had 19 ladies. Also, he didn't seem overly aggressive - he never was aggressive with us, and he seemed okay with the hens, as far as roosters go I guess. I mean he'd definitely bite their combs and all but that's normal right? (this was our first rooster so I only know rooster behavior from what I've read on this forum and our 7-month experience with this rooster).

    Just wondering what your thoughts are ... thanks!


  2. scratch'n'peck

    scratch'n'peck Crowing

    Oct 31, 2008
    West Michigan
    My Coop
    Maybe you just had a rooster that stressed the girls out or maybe it was the adjustment to incorporating more chickens to the flock? Anyhow it didn't sound like you really wanted to feed a rooster that was definitely not going to lay eggs.

    My hens are two years old and they really took a longer break from laying this fall/winter. They just started laying again after about 3 months following their molt. The same rooster has been around the whole time so he had nothing to do with it.
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2012
  3. I think your boy got a bum rap. If anything, I've seen the presence of a rooster stimulate hens. Guess it's a mute point at this stage. By the way, that recommended 1/10 rooster to hen ratio is a fertility thing........Pop
  4. We had a bad roo in our flock last year that really stressed out the girls. Bad egg production and frequent flogging of the treat lady. Dispatched that roo and replaced with 2 more roos this year. The new roos are lovely to both the hens and the human treat dispenser. Our egg production is good even in the dead of winter.

    Just my experience.

    [email protected] Chirping

    Jan 4, 2012
    Washougal, WA
    I was always told the rosters "encourage" the hens to lay. by his last day did you mean you killed the roster?

  6. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    Unless he was 'heck on wheels' one rooster to 19 hens should not have overly stressed the hens. I'm thinking it is all coincidental to the increasing day length which is leading to better egg production.

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