Working Chickens, Part 8: Roosters and Chicks

| 2/16/2017 8:44:00 AM

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Chickens eating

Chickens only lay eggs for a few years. What that means is that you will need to refresh your laying flock every couple of years. You’ll either have to buy new chicks every other spring, or you have to raise your own flock.

Here are some thoughts, answers to questions, and tips on keeping roosters and raising chicks.


I have heard a lot of folks ask if they need to keep a rooster in order to get eggs. The short answer is no. Hens will lay eggs without a rooster, so if all you are after is eggs, you don’t need one. In fact, there are many municipalities that don’t allow you to keep roosters in city limits.

However, you do need a rooster in order to get fertilized eggs. Roosters are great for more than just fertilization, too. Roosters protect and watch over their flock. I have personally witnessed our rooster find an insect or pile of grain, not eat it, and call the hens over for them to eat first. He’ll even watch over them while they eat.