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Flax seeds??

post #1 of 53
Thread Starter 
Watching modern marvels on the history channel about eggs the other day... They claimed omega 3 heart healthy eggs are the result of feeding your chickens flax seed or fish oil... I figure it wouldnt hurt to mix flax seed in with my chicken food mix (cracked corn, layer food, oats) ... When i get around to it we will be adding sunflower seeds... We also free range daily tho with cold coming bugs are scarse... Would it be worth the time to bother with the flax seeds?? Im not aiming to sell "heart healthy" eggs... But i figure if there is an easier way to make my family egg intake more healthy i should... My question is is there a reason not too???
Edited by Hillschicks - 11/18/12 at 12:33pm
1 Rhode Island Red Rooster (Oscar), 1 Rhode Island Red (Rouge), 2 Gold Sex links (Mom and Pearl), 3 Easter Eggers (Peggy, Doofy and Cookie), 2 Barred Rocks (Barbara and Saddlebags), 2 Black Sex Links (Brownie and BB), 1 Leghorn (Bianca), 1 Blue Andalusian (Blue), 1 Speckled Sussex (Star), 1 Blue Cochin (Keisha), 1 Black Jersey Giant (Merle), 1 Buff Orphington (Orabelle), 1 Delaware (Zelda) 1...
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1 Rhode Island Red Rooster (Oscar), 1 Rhode Island Red (Rouge), 2 Gold Sex links (Mom and Pearl), 3 Easter Eggers (Peggy, Doofy and Cookie), 2 Barred Rocks (Barbara and Saddlebags), 2 Black Sex Links (Brownie and BB), 1 Leghorn (Bianca), 1 Blue Andalusian (Blue), 1 Speckled Sussex (Star), 1 Blue Cochin (Keisha), 1 Black Jersey Giant (Merle), 1 Buff Orphington (Orabelle), 1 Delaware (Zelda) 1...
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post #2 of 53

Omega 3s are great.  Flax is good enough, I suppose.  I was feeding flax seed to my chickens a few years ago.  It went straight through my chickens whole even though they were eating their granite grit.  (I noticed a few months later when cleaning the chicken house.)  So I started grinding the flax in the coffee grinder and adding it to their morning treats, but then found out that the oils start to go rancid within just a few seconds or minutes.  Of course, those sources were found a few years back, but you could probably still do an internet search on "rancid oil" or something like that.  "grinding flax"

 

So at that point, I decided that we humans might as well eat the flax seeds (whole or ground) and get our Omega 3s that way.  Why run the flax seeds through the chickens just we could eat their Omega 3 eggs?

 

Studies say, those that I read back then, that Omega 3s from fish are much better than plant Omega 3s.  hu.gif 

 

If you want your layers to get Omega 3s, other sources might be less expensive and a more sure way to get them.  You can grow purslane.  Even just grass has Omega 3s, right?

 

NOTE:  Maybe my chickens were just throwing the flaxseed out of their feed instead of eating it and it going right through them un-utilized.  There's no way to know now.
 


It's hard to explain puns to kleptomaniacs because they always take things literally.

 

I laugh in the face of "Recommended Serving Size."  The bag is too big to eat just 14 corn chips.

 

A little bit of summer's what the whole year's all about.  ~John Mayer

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It's hard to explain puns to kleptomaniacs because they always take things literally.

 

I laugh in the face of "Recommended Serving Size."  The bag is too big to eat just 14 corn chips.

 

A little bit of summer's what the whole year's all about.  ~John Mayer

Reply
post #3 of 53
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the thoughts on the flax seed... If there is no reason not too do it i might as well smile.png ... Im not worried about the cost as my 10 chickens dont eat that much... If they eat it and seem to like it they'll get more, if not we wont be any worse off than we are today smile.png
1 Rhode Island Red Rooster (Oscar), 1 Rhode Island Red (Rouge), 2 Gold Sex links (Mom and Pearl), 3 Easter Eggers (Peggy, Doofy and Cookie), 2 Barred Rocks (Barbara and Saddlebags), 2 Black Sex Links (Brownie and BB), 1 Leghorn (Bianca), 1 Blue Andalusian (Blue), 1 Speckled Sussex (Star), 1 Blue Cochin (Keisha), 1 Black Jersey Giant (Merle), 1 Buff Orphington (Orabelle), 1 Delaware (Zelda) 1...
Reply
1 Rhode Island Red Rooster (Oscar), 1 Rhode Island Red (Rouge), 2 Gold Sex links (Mom and Pearl), 3 Easter Eggers (Peggy, Doofy and Cookie), 2 Barred Rocks (Barbara and Saddlebags), 2 Black Sex Links (Brownie and BB), 1 Leghorn (Bianca), 1 Blue Andalusian (Blue), 1 Speckled Sussex (Star), 1 Blue Cochin (Keisha), 1 Black Jersey Giant (Merle), 1 Buff Orphington (Orabelle), 1 Delaware (Zelda) 1...
Reply
post #4 of 53
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the thoughts on the flax seed... If there is no reason not too do it i might as well smile.png ... Im not worried about the cost as my 10 chickens dont eat that much... If they eat it and seem to like it they'll get more, if not we wont be any worse off than we are today smile.png
1 Rhode Island Red Rooster (Oscar), 1 Rhode Island Red (Rouge), 2 Gold Sex links (Mom and Pearl), 3 Easter Eggers (Peggy, Doofy and Cookie), 2 Barred Rocks (Barbara and Saddlebags), 2 Black Sex Links (Brownie and BB), 1 Leghorn (Bianca), 1 Blue Andalusian (Blue), 1 Speckled Sussex (Star), 1 Blue Cochin (Keisha), 1 Black Jersey Giant (Merle), 1 Buff Orphington (Orabelle), 1 Delaware (Zelda) 1...
Reply
1 Rhode Island Red Rooster (Oscar), 1 Rhode Island Red (Rouge), 2 Gold Sex links (Mom and Pearl), 3 Easter Eggers (Peggy, Doofy and Cookie), 2 Barred Rocks (Barbara and Saddlebags), 2 Black Sex Links (Brownie and BB), 1 Leghorn (Bianca), 1 Blue Andalusian (Blue), 1 Speckled Sussex (Star), 1 Blue Cochin (Keisha), 1 Black Jersey Giant (Merle), 1 Buff Orphington (Orabelle), 1 Delaware (Zelda) 1...
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post #5 of 53
I read the same thing about flax seed. I decided to go ahead and bite the bullet and pay a little extra for the flax seed. I wasn't sure whether the chicks were even eating it as i had seen the seeds on the floor of the coop like "spangled" did. But then i started watching the chickens a little bit more and realized that while some of the flax seed gets knocked out of the feeder, the chickens will come back around and snack on it.
I personally like the fact that my eggs are healthier because i'm feeding the chickens the flax seed. My son is really particular on what he eats, this way he eats healthier and he doesn't even know it. Also, if I do have someone else eat my eggs it is something I can brag about, how my eggs are as good or even better than the expensive eggs in the store.

chickens - 7 BCM, 7 Ameraucana, 1 SLW,2 Blue Andalusian, 2 Wellsummer, 3 RIR, 4 Black sex link, 2Serama, 3 Blue Cochins, 4 Barred rock, 2 Sicilian Buttercups, 1 Light Brahma, 2 Porcilean D'uccles.  Ducks - 2 Buff, 2 Jumbo pekin, 2 golden 300 hybrid, 1 Magpie, 1 Magpie/runner mix. oh and a daughter & son

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chickens - 7 BCM, 7 Ameraucana, 1 SLW,2 Blue Andalusian, 2 Wellsummer, 3 RIR, 4 Black sex link, 2Serama, 3 Blue Cochins, 4 Barred rock, 2 Sicilian Buttercups, 1 Light Brahma, 2 Porcilean D'uccles.  Ducks - 2 Buff, 2 Jumbo pekin, 2 golden 300 hybrid, 1 Magpie, 1 Magpie/runner mix. oh and a daughter & son

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post #6 of 53

When looking at the long term affect of feeding flaxseed to poultry the cons out weigh the pros.

 

Some studies have shown that feeding flaxseed over a long period of time can lower chicken weight, chickens tend to eat less, hens have over all smaller eggs with less yolk, chicken had liver hemorrhages  

 

 

Chris

 

NPIP # 31-516
Society for the Preservation of Poultry Antiquities http://sppa.webs.com/

Breeding Large Fowl Single and Rose Comb Rhode Island Reds to APA Standard


"I know of no pursuit in which more real and important services can be rendered to any country than by improving its agriculture, its breed of useful animals, and other branches of a husbandman's cares." – 

George Washington

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NPIP # 31-516
Society for the Preservation of Poultry Antiquities http://sppa.webs.com/

Breeding Large Fowl Single and Rose Comb Rhode Island Reds to APA Standard


"I know of no pursuit in which more real and important services can be rendered to any country than by improving its agriculture, its breed of useful animals, and other branches of a husbandman's cares." – 

George Washington

Reply
post #7 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hillschicks View Post

Thanks for the thoughts on the flax seed... If there is no reason not too do it i might as well smile.png ... Im not worried about the cost as my 10 chickens dont eat that much... If they eat it and seem to like it they'll get more, if not we wont be any worse off than we are today smile.png

 

You may want to check on inclusion rates.  Most of the testing in the literature I saw was done around the 4% - 15% level.  Of course, it's obvious, but maybe not to everyone reading along a few years later, that we can't just fill up their feeder with flaxseed.  Flaxseed is just a small part of their diet.  I can't remember how much I was adding per batch of feed.  I think it was only 1%, and I'm sure it wasn't more than 4%.

 

I guess sometimes it can cause loose droppings, but I think that was with the flaxseed meal which is what is leftover after the oil has been removed. 

 

One study indicated that egg production was higher for chickens when just 4% of their feed was flaxseed when compared with chickens not eating flaxseed, but I'm not seeing how much higher production was.  At 4% no negative effects on shell quality or interior quality of egg (yolk, albumin, size of both, etc).  And of course, the findings about Omega 3s are already well known. smile.png


It's hard to explain puns to kleptomaniacs because they always take things literally.

 

I laugh in the face of "Recommended Serving Size."  The bag is too big to eat just 14 corn chips.

 

A little bit of summer's what the whole year's all about.  ~John Mayer

Reply


It's hard to explain puns to kleptomaniacs because they always take things literally.

 

I laugh in the face of "Recommended Serving Size."  The bag is too big to eat just 14 corn chips.

 

A little bit of summer's what the whole year's all about.  ~John Mayer

Reply
post #8 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris09 View Post

When looking at the long term affect of feeding flaxseed to poultry the cons out weigh the pros.

 

Some studies have shown that feeding flaxseed over a long period of time can lower chicken weight, chickens tend to eat less, hens have over all smaller eggs with less yolk, chicken had liver hemorrhages  

 

 

Chris

 

Were all these detrimental effects from eating flaxseed or flaxseed meal or some other flaxseed (linseed) product altogether. 

 

At what rate were these chickens fed the flax product that you are referring to? 

 

Long term?  How long is "long term" or "long period?"  Usually chicken studies aren't done "long term," which would indicate that it might not take that long for these effects to occur.

 

Those are pretty drastic effects.


It's hard to explain puns to kleptomaniacs because they always take things literally.

 

I laugh in the face of "Recommended Serving Size."  The bag is too big to eat just 14 corn chips.

 

A little bit of summer's what the whole year's all about.  ~John Mayer

Reply


It's hard to explain puns to kleptomaniacs because they always take things literally.

 

I laugh in the face of "Recommended Serving Size."  The bag is too big to eat just 14 corn chips.

 

A little bit of summer's what the whole year's all about.  ~John Mayer

Reply
post #9 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spangled View Post

 

Were all these detrimental effects from eating flaxseed or flaxseed meal or some other flaxseed (linseed) product altogether. 

 

At what rate were these chickens fed the flax product that you are referring to? 

 

Long term?  How long is "long term" or "long period?"  Usually chicken studies aren't done "long term," which would indicate that it might not take that long for these effects to occur.

 

Those are pretty drastic effects.

 

 

Quote:
Were all these detrimental effects from eating flaxseed or flaxseed meal or some other flaxseed (linseed) product altogether.

The test used Flaxseed and not a Flaxseed Meal

 

 

 

Quote:
At what rate were these chickens fed the flax product that you are referring to? 

There were 4 test groups, 

Group 1 fed a feed with no flaxseed

Group 2 fed a feed with 4% flaxseed

Group 3 fed a feed with 8% flaxseed

Group 4 fed a feed with 10% flaxseed

The feed for a test birds was relatively the same in all test except for the amount of flaxseed. 

 

 

 

Quote:
Long term?  How long is "long term" or "long period?"  Usually chicken studies aren't done "long term," which would indicate that it might not take that long for these effects to occur.

The test ran 25 weeks, Test birds was started at 28 weeks of age and the test ran until 53 weeks of age.

 

Chris

 

NPIP # 31-516
Society for the Preservation of Poultry Antiquities http://sppa.webs.com/

Breeding Large Fowl Single and Rose Comb Rhode Island Reds to APA Standard


"I know of no pursuit in which more real and important services can be rendered to any country than by improving its agriculture, its breed of useful animals, and other branches of a husbandman's cares." – 

George Washington

Reply

 

NPIP # 31-516
Society for the Preservation of Poultry Antiquities http://sppa.webs.com/

Breeding Large Fowl Single and Rose Comb Rhode Island Reds to APA Standard


"I know of no pursuit in which more real and important services can be rendered to any country than by improving its agriculture, its breed of useful animals, and other branches of a husbandman's cares." – 

George Washington

Reply
post #10 of 53

Thanks for your follow up, Chris.

 

I'm wondering if you're giving results from a couple of different studies.  I can find the long-term study, but am not finding the study where the hens were fed 0, 4, 8, and 10% flax seeds.  No matter.

 

The "Long Term" (25 weeks) study was done in Ontario.

http://ps.fass.org/content/82/3/388.long or http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12705398

Additionally, it claimed that only yolk size was affected, but nothing else regarding egg size was affected.  So, while the time factor and liver hemorrhages are the same as you indicate, the other stuff you mention isn't.  Is there another study you are looking at?  Must be.

 

Regardless, and I'm guessing you would think me foolhardy, but I am not afraid to feed my chickens flax seed at a rate of 1-2% and would do it if I felt like it.  I tried it; didn't like it, and now I just don't feel like it.  I'd rather keep the high Omega 3 foods for myself.  I don't sell eggs, so I don't need it as a selling point (though it would be a good one).  A chicken foraging with access to grass and forbs will have a good Omega 3 to Omega 6 ratio anyway.  As to the OP (original poster), I don't feel comfortable making any suggestions to you.  And I guess I really haven't suggested much more than looking up inclusion rates and to see how quickly flax goes rancid once it's ground.  I surely wouldn't want your chickens to be anything other than in fit as fiddles.

 

The first study #1 mentioned above was done in Ontario.  Study #2 done about 3 years later also in Ontario (Canada not California for those living in LA (Los Angeles not Louisiana)), indicates that a lot of flocks in Ontario have a genetic predisposition (for lack of better term) to Hepatisis E which can be the cause of the liver hemorrhages.  So maybe the reason why so many of the chickens in Study #1 that were *not* eating any flax seed were also experiencing liver hemorrhages is that lots of chickens in Ontario have "weak livers" (for lack of a better term).  Granted, my logic leap, is just that a leap.  However, it's a reasonable leap from my limited perspective.

 

Additionally, there are many studies that have not turned up any liver issues with regard to layers ingesting flax seed.  So.  hu.gif  I guess it's another case of we can find a study to support whatever it is we want to believe or whatever management or feed practice we want to implement.


It's hard to explain puns to kleptomaniacs because they always take things literally.

 

I laugh in the face of "Recommended Serving Size."  The bag is too big to eat just 14 corn chips.

 

A little bit of summer's what the whole year's all about.  ~John Mayer

Reply


It's hard to explain puns to kleptomaniacs because they always take things literally.

 

I laugh in the face of "Recommended Serving Size."  The bag is too big to eat just 14 corn chips.

 

A little bit of summer's what the whole year's all about.  ~John Mayer

Reply
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