What do hens need to lay?


10 Years
Sep 30, 2009
What do hens need to lay eggs? I want to start raising my own flock, and I need some advice from the experts!

Do they need a rooster? Or can they lay unfertilized eggs on their own?

Do they need a laying box of certain dimensions/other conditions?

Anything else?

I am planning on building a tractor style coop with a run and hen box, roosts, laying boxes, plenty of ventilation, etc.


Poultry Snuggie
11 Years
Mar 16, 2009
onchiota NY
sorry couldnt help it. You do NOT need a rooster for a chicken to lay eggs-if you have a rooster more than likely the eggs will be fertile-you cannot taste the difference. The only way to know they are fertile is to crack them open and look for the "bullseye" spot-use the search section for great photos. You dont need a roo for anything but fertile eggs and protection to his girls. Also, a good ratio is 1 roo 8-10 girls otherwise if you have more than 1 roo per 8-10 girls, they will be overbred and its really rough on the girls from the spurs and grabbing their heads to mate. oops just re-read your post and I left out stuff-you will need a nesting box-eventually. When the girls are about 18-20 weeks old I would introduce it-not to early thought, they'll just use it as a poop box! make sure you have laying mash/pellets ( if they are that old) and oyster shells for god hard egg shells. They can eat treats in moderation-not alot of salty foods. 4 cubic feet per chicken in a coop-lots of space to roam-I think I covered the very baisc of basics-but you really need to use the research section to find all the very little details you are probably looking for:) good luck
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