Chickens are one of the first things that come to mind when starting a homestead, but the thought of having a rooster can turn some people away.
And I don’t blame you if you don’t want a rooster! They can be mean. And although there are some breeds that are generally friendlier than others, you really don’t know about a rooster until you’ve witnessed his personality. And that usually requires already owning one.
So, I get these questions a lot: Do I really need a rooster on my homestead? And: Do I need a rooster to get eggs from my hens?
The short answer to both of these questions is no.
While there are some benefits to having a rooster around, you most certainly do not have to have one.
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Roosters do not cause hens
to lay eggs.
It’s a very common misconception that hens need roosters to lay eggs, but that’s all it is.
Your girls will start laying at around 6-9 months (depending on the breed) whether there is a rooster present or not.
But don’t be ashamed if you thought that too! People who have lived in my rural Kentucky county their whole lives have thought the same thing. It’s understandable.
And here’s why:
You do need a rooster to get fertile eggs.
Although your hens will lay on their own, the eggs will not be fertile.
They wont ever hatch.
So, if you really want chickens so you can raise more chickens (repetitive much?) Then yes you might need a rooster.
And yes I said might.
That’s because there are still other options, like buying fertile eggs from breeders and letting your broody hen hatch them like they were her’s.
Or even hatch the eggs yourself in an incubator—this is a great way to let children learn!
The choice is totally yours my friend! If you want a rooster—great! And if not that is fine too. It’s all up to you and what you feel is best for your homestead. Comment below with your own rooster experiance.
See you next week!