Roosters can be good protectors and they don't always fertilize eggs (though not for lack of trying). I agree with you though, if you don't need a rooster to protect from predators, don't bother.
Buying laying hens from a local livestock auction or farm is also the perfect way to do it. The morning after you bring them home, you have eggs. For the slow, stinky and hassle ridden raising chicks experience, it's best to find a local feed store or TSC in the spring and buy some healthy chicks.
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