FAQ: How do you get eggs without a rooster?

One of the most frequent questions I’ve been getting when people hear about the Great Chicken Adventure is: How can a hen can lay eggs without a rooster?

I admit that I had the same question when I started. That, and how do I know I’m not going to open an egg for an omelete and find a partially formed chick in my frying pan? I thought there was some science to picking which eggs were for eatin’ and which were for hatchin’.

Turns out that a hen will lay an egg with or without a rooster. It’s part of their reproductive cycle. If the rooster fertilizes the egg via … well … chicken intercourse, I guess … then the egg has the potential to turn into a chick.

I still have no idea how they know which eggs are fertilized and which aren’t, but since we won’t have a rooster we won’t have to worry about that.

I confess that when you think about eggs for what they are – part of a hen’s ovulation cycle – it can become a bit unappetizing. But people have been eating eggs for thousands of years (or so I guess) and I guess I’d rather eat an egg than one of my chickens.

So there you go. Chicken biology 101.

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