Do Chickens Need Roosters to Lay Eggs?

No, chickens do not need roosters to lay eggs. Roosters are necessary, however, for the eggs to hatch chicks. Roosters fertilize the eggs before they are laid. This sometimes is preceded by a mating ritual in which the rooster dances around his intended hen while dragging one wing along the ground around her.

More Chicken Facts:

  • People have been raising chickens for eggs for a very long time — chicken bones dating back to 6000-4000 BC have been found in China.

  • Hens don't produce eggs until they are about six months old and their egg laying starts to subside at about 18 months.

  • Once hens lay the fertilized eggs, called a clutch, they will stop laying and incubate them — this is called "going broody."

  • There are approximately 175 varieties of chickens, and they lay eggs in a variety of colors: white, brown, and even blue or green.
More Info: University of Illinois Extension

Discussion Comments


Regarding need for roosters- think of humans. Females technically "lay" an egg every month. They do not need males to do this. Same thing with chickens. Males are needed to fertilize the egg, not produce it.


How do hens lay eggs without a rooster?


Have you ever seen a two or three tone egg? We have a chicken who is laying these types of eggs. Does anyone know why? Is there something wrong with the hen or egg?

Post your comments
Forgot password?