Yes, chickens lay eggs without the presence of a rooster. However, the eggs will not be fertile and therefore will not develop into chicks.
An egg starts to develop into a chick when it gets to the temperature of 86 degrees. Most chickens’ temperature is 102 degrees.
Female chicks are born with thousands of ova, each which will become a yolk in her eggs as she reaches maturity and begins to lay. Hens will have multiple stages of eggs developing in her all the time.
Hens may lay an egg every 25 hours, but usually will not lay in the dark.
Pigment is the last part of the egg to be developed. It’s just a quick paint job at the end!
Hens with white ears will lay white eggs. Hens with brown ears will lay brown eggs.
Sperm will stay viable in a hen for three or four weeks fertilizing multiple eggs. A hen has the ability to reject semen if she doesn’t like the rooster. Roosters have girlfriends… and there are some that get no attention as well.
Yolks’ color is based on what hens eat. Most people believe it is the yolk that develops into a chick, however, it is the yolk that feeds the developing chick.
Hens will often sing an “egg song” before or after they lay an egg.
To stop a hen being “broody”, her body temperature needs to be lowered. Most people dunk them in water, but since it’s hovering around zero, I took her out of her nest box, and held her in a snow bank to cool her breast area, then let her stay out in the snow for a while. Two sessions and she was cured!