Roosters and Egg Production

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Michael Talk, Feb 27, 2014.

  1. Michael Talk

    Michael Talk New Egg

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    New member long time reader. My question to all of y'all is, has anybody noticed an increased egg production by adding a rooster to your flock? Only reason I am asking is bc I have one of my coops with 6 different hens ( 2 comet, cinnamon queen, barred, and an unknown) had no rooster with them for about 2 months and got maybe an egg or 2 a day. Ive added one of my buff roos to the coop and for the past 2+ months have been avg 4+eggs a day. Just wondering if the roo is simulating egg production? Thanks for the comments in advance and love the site!
     
  2. Michael Talk

    Michael Talk New Egg

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    Feb 27, 2014
    Sorry forgot about the black sexlink
     
  3. Hooligans7

    Hooligans7 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I dunno, but I'm sure you'll get plenty of adamant opinions. My strictly amateur observation is that my neighbor up the road has always had a rooster for six years, but has only been getting 2 - 4 eggs out of 18 hens for the past several months. His hens vary in age from one to four years old. His chickens have a good-sized run, but it's nothing but dirt. He uses a supplemental light timer (with 40-watt bulb) in the large coop, but it's only on in the very early morning, totaling about 11 hours. He feeds them layer mash and crushed corn.

    On the other hand, my hens also have always had a rooster (going on two years) and I always get 3 - 5 eggs out of five hens. (I've had 5-egg days 4 out of 7 days lately.) The only differences are:

    1. My chickens free range from when I let them out (usually 7 - 7:30 a.m. during winter) until they put themselves to bed.
    2. I supplement 60-watt (13-watt CFL equivalent) light for 14 hours a day and split it evenly between morning and evening. The light source is over their roosts in the chicken tractor (it's more of a mobile coop — see avatar)
    3. I feed them layer pellets and supplement (mostly cooked) vegetable scraps mixed with some cooked oatmeal, and supplemental Vitamin D on cloudy days. They also get incidental raw fruit scraps.

    I'm not suggesting that what I do is any "better" than what my neighbor does; I'm only saying that I get more eggs from five hens than he gets from 18 hens.

    What about roosters? I have no idea. 'Buster' protects them from airborne predators and they hang out together all over the yard, garden, and edges of the woods.
     
  4. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Chicken Obsessed

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    There are a lot of variables to take into account. But, anecdotally: I started my chicks at the very same time, and from the same supplier as a neighbor did. He had no rooster, unfortunately, I had 6 roosters, and 5 pullets. My flock got a higher protein feed, and I started doing FF somewhere along the way. My girls started laying at 16.5 weeks, his didn't start until 20 weeks. Again, my extra variables in addition to the roosters were FF and increased protein.

    IMO, it's highly possible, and makes sense that it might. I'd love to see a controlled study regarding this, however, I believe that the flocks would have to be separated by quite a distance for the findings to be relevant.
     
  5. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Overrun With Chickens

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    Stress is a major factor in egg laying. Stressed chickens will slow down or even stop laying all together for a period of time. You see this after predator attacks or relocation or some other disruption to routine.

    With this in mind dynamics within a flock can add to stress or minimize it. If you've a bossy hen and some mild mannered hens then there can be stress. A rooster taking control and keeping the peace will minimize flock dynamic stress.

    Happy hens are healthy and productive hens.
     
  6. Hooligans7

    Hooligans7 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    OK, what's "FF" ? Frequent Flying?
     
  7. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    FF stands for fermented feed--there's a massive thread on it in the "feeding/watering" section

    It makes no sense from a biological standpoint for a hen to lay more eggs with a rooster present. Especially production bred birds.
     
  8. Hooligans7

    Hooligans7 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    @Michael Talk , it is very significant to note that commercial laying hens in battery cages have never seen a single rooster, have never seen sunshine, and are under tremendous stress: They can't walk, stand up, turn around, flap wings, scratch or peck, or take a dust bath; they're in constant noise, bad air, and have no bedding whatsoever. Yet, if they don't lay a minimum of 4 - 5 eggs per week, they're shipped off to a pet food factory.

    According to commercial and government sources, 52 F to 79 F results in good egg production. Colder or warmer temperatures reduce production, as well as high humidity (75% and higher). Supplemental bright light is required to mimic a 14-hour day, and many battery chickens have never been in darkness.

    My conclusion is that roosters are never required and are completely inconsequential when it comes to egg laying, never mind that my hens seem to enjoy having him around. I also conclude that stressed-out hens will still lay an adequate number of eggs, provided that they have proper nutrition, water, light, heat, and humidity level.
     
  9. Hooligans7

    Hooligans7 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you, donrae. I'll look it up the thread and find out about FF.
     
  10. Michael Talk

    Michael Talk New Egg

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    Thanks for all the replies! On another note they are receiving the same feed that have gotten since they started laying (those are about 1 1/2+ old). I had a rir roo in there with them for a while before I sold him, and in between the rir roo and the buff roo we were luck to get more than one a day. Now I know there are many different factors like length of day and what not. I was just curious if anybody else noticed better results by adding a roo to their flock. Thanks guys I love the forum!
     

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