Roosters are essential members that a flock needs for a number of purposes. These purposes include serving the farm with a beautiful sight to see by their full and pretty plumage. Besides that, they also serve as good guards against danger, fighting off any animal that threatens the hens and eggs.
Significantly, they are also needed for fertilizing the eggs, similarly functioning as a female human’s ovum. However, they are only good as that for the eggs. Contrary to what most people assume, the truth is, a chicken can lay eggs without a rooster.
Primarily, hens are bound to lay eggs approximately every 25 to 27 hours with or without a rooster. This is the reason why they are called egg layers. However, the eggs that these chickens lay are unfertilized, needing a good rooster for a successful hatch. Before any egg, though, a hen needs to have a healthy lifestyle in order to be a productive layer. She has to be fed with adequate nutrition, get enough sunlight, and be protected from stress and diseases.
However, a productive egg layer also depends on your role as a chicken-keeper. First, you have to consider your chickens’ breed, ideally prior to the operation of your poultry farm. Keep in mind that there are breeds that are actually fine egg layers. Also, during your operation, you must ensure that you keep your eggs collected every day. This is in order to keep the hens from keeping their focus on hatching eggs and not on laying.
Below is a list of some conditions and prerequisites that are vital for chickens’ egg production. Taking all these considerations is sure to help your poultry farm maximize its egg yield even without the presence of roosters.
How Can Hens Still Produce Eggs Without a Rooster?
As mentioned earlier, a chicken can lay eggs without a rooster; however, it is an unfertilized egg. More so, chicken hens require a healthy diet in order to make it possible for them to lay eggs each day. Each creature requires a particular diet that can nurture their holistic development. Likewise, chickens are also specific in their individual diets in order to produce a quality set of eggs.
Some narratives would say that after serving their chickens with maize, the eggs that their chickens produced were totally reduced. Maize is a chicken food made from corn, and it only contains a small amount of protein. Unfortunately, chickens require foods that contain more protein. It is common knowledge that eggs are mainly composed of proteins. Thus, it is necessary for them to take a reasonable amount of protein each day.
In some cases, some hens also tend to become broody. In times like this, it is important to note that this circumstance does falsify the reality that a chicken can lay eggs without a rooster. Broody hens tend to focus on hatching their eggs even if it is unfertilized since it is their primitive instinct.
Unfortunately, if the same situation continues, there is a tendency that the chickens will no longer lay another set of eggs because they are already caught on making their eggs hatch. For this reason, it is recommended for you to regularly collect the eggs each day and let no egg remain in their coop. Once it is done, the chicken hens will continue to lay eggs forgetting about being broody towards their eggs.
Aside from the healthy diet, it is also essential to consider that egg-laying chicken gets enough sunlight exposure. Even with the absence of the rooster, chickens can still produce eggs that are unfertilized when exposed to sunlight in a satisfactory amount of time.
This requirement may be a problem during the winter season because there is only a short amount of time that the chicken can be exposed. Approximately, it is recommended for you to expose your chicken under the sunlight for at least 14 hours each day. As a solution though, you can utilize an artificial light to provide an alternative source of light somehow.
Breeds of Chicken
Another important thing to take note of is the types of chicken breeds. There are just chickens that no matter how many times you subject it on favorable conditions, the eggs that they can produce each year are very less in number compared to the number of eggs produced by an average chicken every year. Some of them may have one-to-no eggs each day. But you must not forget that it is not all about the absence of the rooster but because it is just the nature of their breed. Thus, you must be selective in choosing which breed of chicken to raise in your poultry farm.
Introduction to Environmental Changes
You must also take into consideration that the chicken hens are very sensitive to environmental changes. If other chickens are added to their coop, it will also affect their laying routines, thus decreasing the number of eggs produced. More so, transferring them from one place to another will likely stress them out that can also affect their laying capability. All of these extraneous factors can possibly contribute to the decline of egg production of your chickens per day. Thus, it is recommended to make their overall environment stable and free from all potential stresses.
Deteriorating Health of Chickens
As your chicken get old, their ability to produce eggs is also reduced. This is another reason that can prove that it is not the absence of rooster that the hens cannot produce eggs but rather due to their deteriorating health. At this point, there is already no remedy for you but to gradually transfer it to the quarantine area and wait until the chickens lose all their ability to lay eggs. During this time, you can start on collecting other breeds of chicken and raise them according to the favorable conditions that can nurture their holistic health.
What are the differences between Fertilized Eggs and Unfertilized Eggs?
Fertilized eggs can only be produced when the hens and roosters interact. When the sperm cell coming from the rooster meets the egg cell of the hen, it will then produce a zygote, which will later develop into a chick. Its embryonic stages will continue while the chick is inside its protective compartment in the eggshell. On the other hand, unfertilized eggs can only be produced if the chicken hen alone manufactures it without the presence of the rooster. Unfortunately, these eggs cannot develop into a full-grown chick and are mostly consumed as a food in the market. And to put a conclusion on whether a chicken can lay eggs without a rooster, they can definitely produce many but unfertilized eggs. Even so, most markets prefer these type of eggs since it is mainly sold for immediate consumption and not for growing a chicken.
What are the breeds of chicken commonly raised in poultry houses?
You may wonder which breeds of chickens top the most number of fertilized and unfertilized eggs produced in a year. Some of these breeds are Australorp, Lohmann Brown Classic, Rhode Island, Sussex, Golden Comet, Leghorn, and many more breeds of chicken that are commercially recommended in most poultry houses. These breeds are mostly selected due to their ability to produce a quality yield including the amount of eggs that they can produce in a year. Nevertheless, despite these breeds being known to such capabilities, you must still consider various factors in order to maximize their egg-laying ability. Some of which are their environmental condition and the foods that they are fed each day. With proper care and attention, you will surely acquire their maximum potential and receive the fruit of your labor.
What are the things to consider when adding a rooster to the flock?
Many farmers add roosters to their flock for the benefits they offer. First, they offer security for the hens and eggs from roaming predators. Second, they function by fertilizing hatching eggs. Lastly, it is more like a bonus, but they offer entertainment with their full plumage and amusing personality. However, the downsides when adding roosters in a flock include ultimately their tendency to be noisy. It is a well-known fact that they crow every morning and a few bad times throughout the day. Remember, you can be patient with the noise because they are your chicken, but not your neighbors.
In addition, roosters have the tendency to be aggressive both socially and sexually. You will need to train them before they grow big and keep other people, especially children, from getting near them. Sexually, on the other hand, they can wear out hens as mating for chicken is not consensual. Ideally, there should be a single rooster at the most for about ten to twelve hens. More roosters than that will cause hens to be physically exhausted and have their backs rubbed clean of feathers.