SystemShark. I agree with Natalie 100%. In my eyes the rooster is a MUST in a flock of chickens. He takes care of every need of the gals. I mean that in many ways. Chickens constantly have their heads down, looking at what they can muster from the ground, be it grass, bugs, anything food like. The roosters don't really eat all that much, with regard to bugging and grassing. Some of course, and of course food.
Their entire job in life is to look after their girls. Watch the skies, watch the area. When the rooster calls his warning, and it can be heard loud and clear, totally different than a crowing, it is likened to a siren. The hens run for cover, the ducks run for cover, the younger chicks (even though they have a separated pen right now) run for their lives. They all seem to know what the siren means. You will hear this sound and when you hear it, you will know what I am speaking about. All roosters have different sounds in their "siren" voice, but everyone in the chickenyard adheres and obey. They know that sound. I would never be without a rooster, unless I lived in an area where roosters are not allowed.
Recently in our great big city of Vancouver, there has been some new laws passed that city folk can have I think it is two or three hens, no roosters, but hens are allowed. They are encouraging people to get back to nature. It will be interesting to see what comes of this. CHickens are expensive and in huge demand right now. That is good for me actually, because I have 75 little day old chicks, smiling.
So, keep a rooster. He may save the life of the hens. The eggs, as Natalie said, one who is not trained to see the mark of the rooster, would never even know the difference. Unless, of course, a hen went broody and sat on the eggs, but collecting the eggs daily, or every other day, you would never know if they were fertilized or not.
I used to see a little tiny red dot in my eggs now and then. Until I understood more deeply what this was, I thought it was the mark of the rooster. It is not. When a chicken lays an egg, sometimes a bit of blood will get into the egg, this happens when a tiny blood vessel is broken as the egg travels through the chicken body. The sperm of the rooster is just a little white dot that is basically attached to the yolk and is just barely visible. The blood spots will not hurt you, but it kind of turns some people off when they see it. Me, I just treat it as a bonus and eat that egg, smiling. Hope these answers have helped you out with your quandry....beautiful days in this great life, great health. Cindi