Men can’t get pregnant, agreed (maybe), but chickens aren’t humans. Can male chickens lay eggs?
Maybe you’re getting a chicken, and you think the rooster is cuter than the hen. But you need eggs. You’re confused. Can I buy a rooster to keep for eggs?
I was in your shoes. In this guide, you’ll learn if male chickens can lay eggs. Also, you’ll learn what it takes for a chicken to lay eggs and how you can help your chickens lay better and stronger eggs.
Here you go.
Can Male Chickens Lay Eggs?
It’s common knowledge that males of almost all animal species don’t lay eggs or give birth to offspring. Chickens are no exception. You can only get eggs from a female chicken. There are no hacks or tips that can get your rooster to lay eggs.
However, some chicken keepers can swear that their rooster laid an egg. Also, the popularization of ‘rooster eggs’ makes the whole subject even more confusing.
Throughout the rest of this article, I’ll clear your doubts by explaining what exactly happened when you thought your rooster laid an egg.
You’ll also learn what a rooster egg is and how they come about (since roosters don’t lay eggs).
How Hens Lay Eggs
Hens will start laying eggs when they come of age. Contrary to what you might think, hens don’t need roosters to lay eggs. They can continue laying eggs without mating with a rooster.
However, if female chickens don’t mate with a rooster, their eggs will be unfertilized. The eggs will only be useful for food and will never develop into a chicken.
If you have roosters in your flock, your hens might occasionally produce fertilized eggs. Fertilized eggs are just as edible as unfertilized eggs and don’t cause any health complications.
Hens tend to lay more eggs during the summer as they start to produce eggs. This is due to the presence of more sunlight, as light stimulates hens to lay eggs.
Hens produce eggs almost daily. The process of producing an egg takes around 26 hours, shifting the egg production frequency to about six eggs every week.
One thing you should always note is that hens don’t need to mate with roosters to lay eggs. They can live fine and lay eggs without ever breeding, and they won’t need to unless you want them to birth new chickens.
Differences Between Male and Female Chickens
Now that you know that male chickens cannot lay eggs, you will need to tell if your chicken is male or female before buying them.
While male chickens are also useful for meat, they’ll be pretty useless if you primarily need your chickens for the eggs.
Before proceeding, you should understand that no sexing technique is perfectly accurate. Sometimes, chickens sold as ‘sexed’ by breeders later turn out to be of different sexes.
Here are some of the ways by which you can tell if your chicken is male or female.
This method is hit or miss and isn’t a technique you can rely on to sex your chickens.
However, we know that male chickens always grow a bit larger than female chickens of the same size.
If you notice that some of your chickens are growing more rapidly than the others, the slow-growers are most probably the females, while the quick-growing ones must be the roosters.
- Vent sexing
This method is probably the most accurate way to tell a chicken’s sex, but you should only leave it to the experts.
Vent sexing involves applying pressure to your chicken until it defecates. After it does, you’ll then analyze its anal vent to tell if it’s male or female.
Male chickens usually have a slight bump on their anal vent, while female chickens don’t.
Again, leave this to the experts alone. You can permanently harm your chicken’s anal vent by attempting.
- DNA Testing
If you care about telling your chicken’s sex, you should try DNA testing. It is the most expensive way to determine a chicken’s sex, but also incredibly accurate.
DNA testing for chickens costs about $25 per chicken per test. Testing a family of about 12 chickens gets expensive quickly.
These methods all have some margin of error, but a recent scientific breakthrough has revealed a way to tell the sex of a chicken within three days of incubation.
While you might be excited to try this out, it requires that you make a microscopic hole through the eggshell using a laser.
So, you can’t use it for your backyard chickens; not a chance.
What is A Rooster Egg?
Since roosters cannot lay eggs, what is this ‘rooster egg’ thing that’s flying around?
Rooster eggs also go by fairy eggs or witch eggs, depending on who you ask.
Well, rooster eggs don’t mean eggs laid by a rooster. There is no such thing. Instead, a rooster egg is an egg lacking a yolk.
Rooster eggs are usually smaller than usual. Hens lay fairy eggs when their reproductive cycle is disturbed, and it’s nothing to worry about if it doesn’t happen so frequently.
So, rooster eggs aren’t laid by your rooster; your hens lay them.
And a fart egg?
Fart eggs are also uncommon eggs that you’ll see your hens lay from time to time. Fart eggs are the same as rooster eggs, except that they contain yolk.
If you see any unusual eggs in your hen’s enclosure, never associate them with roosters. Those poor guys can’t lay anything, you know.
Can male chickens lay eggs?
No, they can’t. Male chickens don’t have the reproductive organs that hens use to lay eggs. Even the rooster eggs that you see are the responsibilities of female chickens.
However, while male chickens cannot lay eggs, female chickens need them to fertilize the eggs.
Your hen won’t need a rooster to lay eggs, but if you ever want the egg to develop into a live chicken, you’ll need to drop a rooster or two into the flock.