Well, here is another interesting discussion. Do roosters lay eggs is a good question that we all need to ask ourselves.
Not all people can tell who lays eggs between a hen and her sweetheart the rooster. Perhaps, sinking into hens vs roosters conversation can help separate doubt and facts from fiction.
In this article, I am going to answer the question whether can a rooster lay or not. This is based on a well detailed research I did just to make sure you get to know what you want to.
Can a rooster lay eggs?
No! A rooster is a male hen and he can’t lay eggs. The responsibility to lay eggs is that of a female chicken or a hen.
Roosters do not have the reproductive organs that can carry or make eggs like hens. Instead, these boys have a cloaca and other male reproductive organs that are responsible for manufacturing of sperms and depositing them in a hens vent.
Maybe you found an egg under a rooster and thought it was his. Perhaps he sat on it unknowingly making you think he can lay but the truth is he cannot.
My wife found our Silkie rooster sitting on one of the blu egg and she told me that the fluffy boy had started laying some blue eggs.
For hens to lay fertile eggs, they must mate with a rooster in a process known as cloacal kiss where sperms are deposited in the hen and fertilize the egg cells in her body.
Fertile eggs can hatch into baby chicks. Although it is not a must for hens to mate in order to lay, for fertile eggs to be laid, mating must take place.
Do hens lay eggs without roosters?
Yes! Hens will and can lay eggs even without mating with a rooster or a cockerel. When the female chicken or pullets reach the age of 18-20 weeks they will start to lay eggs.
However, those eggs laid by hens or pullets who have not mated with a rooster cannot be used for hatching because they are not fertile. Such eggs are only good to eat.
For roosters or cockerels to mate with hens, they must be above 16 weeks old. At this time, their reproductive organs are mature and they can fertilize eggs.
As hens age, they start to lay few eggs that are probably bigger in size depending on the genotype. A standard chicken egg should weigh between 50g-70g on an egg scale.
In most cases, egg weight will increase with age therefore have a positive impact on it’s heterogeneity.
When it is such a case, there eggs are downgraded and not fit for sale. This is because they easily break because the % of the eggshell remains constant.
Cocks too will have a low libido and produce few sperm cells as they grow old. However, they can still fertilize the eggs if they mate with the hens.
How often do roosters mate?
Roosters are sexually active and can mate several times a day with multiple hens. On a single day he can mate with more than 10 hens depositing billions of sperms in their vents.
When they mate, the sperms swim up to the oviduct where they meet the ovum and fertilize them. Some hens have some special pockets in the vent where they store enough sperms to fertilize eggs for days.
When the urge to mate rises, mostly a common phenomenon in spring, roosters are heard calling the hens for tasty treats like worms and crickets.
This technique is seen as a way of offering affection and love trying to keep the hen by her side. Some hens are wise enough and they will accept treats from multiple roosters but mate with one of her choice.
During the mating period, rival roosters crash fiercely as they try to have control over females and win all the mating rights.
When mating, hens lay and roosters jump on top and put his cloaca on the hens vent depositing millions of sperms.
Why are roosters thought to lay eggs?
Some people have taken fiction for facts. There are hundreds of folk tales where people have narrated how ancient roosters were kept for egg production.
In some stories, people argue that roosters that live for many years, they lay a single egg in their lifetime before they succumbing to old age.
So what made people think that roosters can lay eggs?
The presence of darker eggs than normal
Sometimes chicken breeds like the Blue copper marans lay brown eggs that are darker than those of other brown egg laying chickens.
In this case, people dispute that common hens cannot lay such eggs and they can only be laid by roosters.
This is not true because roosters do not and have never laid any eggs.
Roosters staying close to eggs
In some chicken breeds like the barnevelder and Cochin bantams, roosters have sweet and calm personalities where they even brood the young.
More often, people confuse this trait with laying and think that the young were hatched by him from the eggs he laid.
Big eggs than normal
Eggs laid by chicken breeds like Minorca, Production red and Lohmann Brown chickens are large and big than those of other chickens.
In some instances, eggs laid by female Minorca chicken are double yorked a feature that is not common. In such cases, these kinds of eggs are rumored to be laid by roosters rather than hens.
What causes chickens to lay eggs?
One major factor that makes chickens lay eggs is when they attain the right laying age. For commercial strains that have been bred to lay, first eggs will come at 18-24 weeks old.
Pullets will start to investigate the nest boxes and crouching with the males. Place decoy eggs or golf balls to guide them on the suitable laying spot.
Increase in the day length will encourage chickens to lay. Normally a hen requires 16-18 hours of light to lay an egg each day. In most commercial settings, light is supplemented in winter when dark hours are long to encourage the hens to continue laying.
Additionally, dietary manipulation is another method that has been adopted to make these birds continue laying. An increase in crude protein in their diet helps them maintain a consistent laying curve.
What is the importance of raising roosters?
Roosters are good to have in your flock. These big boys have number of advantages that they bring with them.
With roosters chickens will lay fertile eggs that are good to hatch into chicks. This is because roosters will mate with them more often.
Roosters are known to be territorial and predator savvy. They will defend hens and chicks from invasion by other roosters or top ranking bully hens.
These male chickens will also be on the lookout for any potential predator like possums and hawks. This way, they will keep other chickens safe and in order.
Source of chicken meat
In most cases, roosters are raised for meat more than they are kept as pets or for showing. These birds are fattened for a few months and are butchered as soon as they attain the right market weight.
Having several cocks gives you a cheap and easy means to get chicken meat. Don’t mind having some in your freezer to fatten you up.
Help chicken find food
It is common with chickens that free range to hear a rooster call hens for tasty bugs and juicy worms. They scratch the ground with their powerful claws and find anything edible for them and their loved ones.
Some fighting rooster breeds are raised for entertainment where they are taken to cock fighting competitions and their masters earn a fee if his bird wins a fight.
Others raise these birds for showing where they are taken for showing like the Military silkie rooster. These birds have a fancy nature where they are appealing and attractive to the eye.
Roosters are not egg layers and do not lay eggs but rather fertilize hens to lay fertile eggs. Unlike hens, roosters do not have the female reproductive organs that can make an egg.
But instead, roosters have male reproductive organs that are responsible for the manufacture of fertile male cells or sperms.
So, do roosters lay eggs? No they don’t.
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