Originally Posted by Chris09
You can get a fish smell from feeding too much fish meal but I don't think the fish meal is the problem.
Not near enough in there feed. Now too much flax (linseed) will also cause a fish smell.
^ This is correct. Flax meal in excess of 15%, canola meal in excess of 10%, and also large amounts of wheat (excess of 50% in the ration) can cause this.
I'm not sure about the fishmeal causing a fishy smell. Most rations won't have more than 3-5% fishmeal in them. It might be possible, I am just not sure.
Originally Posted by HennaRose
My homemade mix had flax seed, and no fish smell or taste made it into the eggs. I'm thinking it may be a combination of flax, fish and crab, since the feed I buy now has all of those things. I know other folks don't seem to have this issue on the same feed and I can't account for our noticing it apart from higher sensitivity to the taste than others. I'm looking into other feed options that don't include crab meal but are still whole-grain and at least soy-free.
Fishy smell in the eggs is not directly relative to the chicken eating something fishy. It is actually a genetic disposition in only certain breeds of chickens that can trigger this, and only with certain feed ingredients. IIRC, they designate the gene as the FM03 gene in certain breeds. Your chickens might not have that gene. The gene has been bred out of a large portion of the popular layer breeds.
The fishy smell is caused by a bacterial fermentation of choline in the chicken, that is increased with the digestion of certain ingredients. Most notably, flax and canola.
The fishy smell is not transferred by the chicken. It is actually created by the chicken.