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Color of egg yolks

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

So, we got our girls this spring.


They free roam for the better part of the day, and have layer feed in their coop (which they only seem to go into at night), so i suspect that the majority of what they eat is what they find in the yard, and that's probably made up of about 75% crickets (we seem to have the perfect ecosystem for crickets), plus grass and whatever else they find. We throw a few handfuls of corn into their run each morning as well.


Getting into this, I was expecting that eating a mostly 'wild' diet, that they'd have deep yellow yolks like the omega-3 eggs you get at the store. The eggs we get are delicious, but the yolks are very consistent with 'regular' eggs - maybe just a bit more yelllow (but that might be my imagination).


Any thoughts on yolk colors and what influences them?

post #2 of 10
That's very interesting. Our eggs have a bright orange color. If I remember correctly, the brighter orange they are, the more nutritious.. But it sounds like they have the perfect diet. You cracked a store bought one with your fresh egg side by side to see any difference?
post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 

No - we haven't bought eggs since they started laying, but I'm pretty sure (90%) we're much closer to commercial eggs than to the dark orange omega-3's. And ALL of our eggs, from 6 birds, are quite consistent in yolk color,


I was just wondering what others' experiences were.

post #4 of 10
Not sure if this helps...
I was also told that them eating darker leafy plants can create more vibrant yolks...
Also giving plenty of leftovers could create vibrant yolks..
post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 

it's funny - they love their grass, but they barely touch any green leafy veggies......leftover cooked carrots, potatos, turnips, are all is corn-on-the-cob.......squash......they won't even look at bread.....but they like bananas!

post #6 of 10
The orange is a higher level of beta carotene, so they need dark greens like grass, clover, parsley, chard, spinach, kale to produce dark orange yolks. Also, cantaloupe and pumpkin are high in beta carotene as well.

If they are free ranging on grass, your yolks should be dark. Do you have a picture?

Breeding Welsummers and Barnevelders.


Having an Icelandic in the coop is like having a 2 year old in the house - they are into everything and don't follow the rules.

Join us for the 7th Annual Easter Hatchalong!


Breeding Welsummers and Barnevelders.


Having an Icelandic in the coop is like having a 2 year old in the house - they are into everything and don't follow the rules.

Join us for the 7th Annual Easter Hatchalong!

post #7 of 10

My girls are in a pen and when I cut the grass I give them the clipping and its gone in 5mins

I have no eggs yet they are too young...

how long can you have eggs at room temp before they go bad?

I know nothing of doing chickens other that I cant wait to eat their eggs

I feed them dumar feed and grass they basically eat anything I throw in their pen

post #8 of 10
Thread Starter 

I'll try to take's not that they are unusually light....I was just expecting them to be unusually dark.....they do have good color......I'm just comparing them to the first omega-3 egg I cracked, and went "Holly crap that's orange!".......i'm just not getting the "holy crap' effect.


if someone here has a good comparison photo of one of their eggs next to a commercial egg, I'd love to see it.




post #9 of 10

The center of the yolk is darker, not red but noticebly darker. 

post #10 of 10

Ok,, here's the scoop.   First of all,,, stop confusing high level omega 3 eggs with deep orange yolk color.  You can have a very high omega 3 level in your eggs but still have pale yellow yolks.  The two things come from completely different sources.

Omega 3 fatty acids come from sources like fish or flax seeds and the oils derived from them. Both are superb sources of omega 3 that transfer easily to a chickens egg while she is producing. Both are used extensively in boosted amounts in the omega 3 egg industry. However,, no matter how much of these things added to your birds diet will make the yolks any darker.

To add the nice dark orange color to your yolks requires high levels of beta carotene,, As others have stated, things like spinich and chard and other leafy (not grassy) greens are primary sources for this. However, there is an old trick that farmers have used for a long, long time to make nice orange yolks and it is used extensively by the specialty egg producers like the omega 3 farmers.  And that is the addition of marigold petals to the birds feed.  Marigold petals have high levels of xanthophyll, a natural orange pigment that transfers easily to egg yolks. Before anyone hits the panic button though, xanthophyll is good for you and contains powerful anti-oxydents, which is an added benefit.  

Is it morally or ethicly right, making customers think that dark yolks mean higher omega 3 content?  Probably not,, but on the other hand,, the higher anti-oxydent level is good for you as well, and they are not lying about the high amounts of omega 3s in their eggs.  So you be the judge.

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