The earliest documented instance of a “rooster” laying an egg occurred in Basel, Switzerland, in 1474. The “rooster” was sentenced to death for the “unnatural crime of laying an egg.” A similar event took place, again in Switzerland, in 1730. In the United States, in 1922 a brown Leghorn “rooster” in Madison, Wisconsin, began laying […]Continue Reading
Can Eggs Hatch Without a Rooster?
Most chicken keepers know that a hen will lay eggs whether or not a rooster is present. But a rooster is needed in order to get fertile eggs that will hatch. Less well known is that eggs can hatch without a rooster. Virgin Birth Virgin birth, or parthenogenesis, is the process whereby an unfertilized egg […]Continue Reading
Why Does a Rooster Have Wattles?
A rooster’s wattles come in flexible pairs that dangle beneath the beak, while its comb is a single structure prominently affixed to the top of the head. Researchers have determined that hens base their choice of mates, in part, on characteristics of the comb. But when it comes to wattles, they scratch their scholarly heads […]Continue Reading
How to Trim a Rooster’s Spurs — and How Not To
A chicken’s spur is an outgrowth of the leg bone, consisting of soft tissue covered with a protective sheath made of the same tough keratinous material that makes up the chicken’s claws and beak. The spur starts out as a little bony bump. As the chicken matures, the spur grows longer, curves, hardens and develops […]Continue Reading
What to Do with Unwanted Roosters
It’s a problem every chicken keeper eventually faces: What to do with unwanted roosters. If you purchase chicks, or hatch your own, you’ll have this problem sooner rather than later. Even sexed chicks that are sold as pullets (young hens) almost invariably include one or more cockerels (young roosters). If you end up with more […]Continue Reading
How Long After Mating Does a Hen Lay Fertile Eggs?
When a rooster mates a hen, his injected semen is stored in numerous sperm storage tubules (SSTs) located in the area where the hen’s uterus joins the vagina. That is, provided the hen likes the rooster. If she doesn’t, she can squirt out the semen to avoid hatching his offspring. Assuming the hen approves of […]Continue Reading
Can You Stop a Rooster From Crowing?
Here’s a common scenario: You cannot legally keep a rooster in your area, so you got sexed chicks that were supposed to be all female. By the time one of them started crowing, and you realized he was a rooster, he had become a beloved member of your family flock. What to do? It’s hard […]Continue Reading
Why Does a Rooster Have a Comb?
One of the most outstanding features of a rooster is his comb — that fleshy crownlike protrusion on top of a chicken’s head. So why do roosters have such ornate combs? At about 3 to 8 weeks of age, depending on the breed, baby chicks start developing reddened combs. A cockerel’s comb will gradually become […]Continue Reading
Rogue Rooster Evades Capture in Pittsburgh
Roosters are strictly forbidden by Pittsburgh’s city code, but that hasn’t stopped one rooster from taking up residence in the Steel City. Now known as Rudy, the rooster began squatting on the property of 69-year-old Henry Gaston a few years ago. He was originally accompanied by two other roosters, but they have since been apprehended […]Continue Reading
Do You Need a Rooster in Your Roost?
Wondering if you need to add a rooster to your backyard coop? The short answer is no, you don’t need to add a rooster into the mix to keep your hens occupied or to keep enjoying those tasty backyard eggs. But, there are some benefits that you’ll enjoy with a rooster that you might be […]Continue Reading