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30 May 2007

Stupid nature question: Do you need a rooster to get an egg from a hen? [More:] It really seems like you would, but it also seems slightly possible that some eggs could be unfertilized (maybe?).
As an aside,I love the phrase "going broody."
posted by drezdn 30 May | 10:56
Hens lay eggs with or without roosters around. You only need a rooster for fertilizing. None of the eggs that hens lay will produce chicks unless a rooster's around - they'll all be edible. Are you getting some hens? My parents had a roost for a was awesome. I've thought about having some hens myself. They're fun, and relatively quiet. It's the rooster who makes all the racket.

Hens are happier if there's a rooster around, by the way. One rooster for every 3/4 hens.
posted by iconomy 30 May | 11:00
People always ask whether my hens can have chicks without a rooster. It used to make me laugh, but it's an incredibly common question.

One way to look at it is that most female animals (including women people) ovulate whether a male is around or not. Takes the male to fertilize the egg. Birds are no different.

As for going broody -- broody hens are a pain in the ass to deal with. There's a reason that the word has come to mean sullen or pensive when applied to people.
posted by mudpuppie 30 May | 11:05
Hens are happier if there's a rooster around

But people may not be. Their reputation for getting up early and crowing is well deserved.
posted by Miko 30 May | 11:06
Right, that's why I said that it's the rooster that makes all the racket.
posted by iconomy 30 May | 11:10
posted by mike9322 30 May | 11:30
My god, I had no idea that pathenogenesis happened in vertabrates! How fascinating!
posted by Specklet 30 May | 11:45
posted by Specklet 30 May | 11:45
First Citizen Premier's duck nightmare now this. Is it Poultry Day? Just let me know and I'll shake my tailfeathers and peck at stuff.
posted by jonmc 30 May | 11:46
There was a recent article about a virgin birth by a shark. Baby shark only lived a few hours but DNA tests showed only female DNA. Sadly it was attacked by a jealous octopus.
posted by Wilder 30 May | 12:07
I have to say I really went off eating eggs when I heard someone describing them as "chickens' periods".
posted by essexjan 30 May | 13:06
Mmmmmm, menses benedict
posted by mike9322 30 May | 13:17
The clucking of the chickens next door sound like an old man laughing in slow motion. I'm not sure what to make of that.
posted by cmonkey 30 May | 13:47
*makes chicken noises at mudpuppie*
posted by Specklet 30 May | 14:24
Assrace. || Pippy the begging cat.