Best source of protien to get high Omega 3 eggs

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Scotty from BI, Jan 1, 2017.

  1. Scotty from BI

    Scotty from BI Chirping

    Aug 26, 2015
    I have 10 one year old Wyandottes, all very healthy and productive layers. I feed the best Layer feed I can find which for me is Modesto Mills Soy/Corn Free pellets. I liked Scratch and Peck Soy Free Layer but was throwing away too much fines from the S&P. I was supplementing their feed with vegetable greens every day in the belief that they would increase the Omega 3 in the eggs.

    After doing some research, I found that this was not the best approach. Chickens are in nature Omnivores and seek out both animal and vegetable sources of protien. So I wondered why all the mass produced chicken feeds were only grain based. I also wondered why most people recommend feeding vegetable scraps to increase Omega 3's when vegetable protien has only ALA Omega 3 which is poorly utilized in humans. We (people) benefit most by intake of Omega 3's from animal source protien such as fish especially salmon or high fat fish and organ meats such as liver, heart and brain, although cholesterol is more of a concern with these sources. (Now science is saying this may not be true, but that is another discussion for a different time).

    So I began looking around for other sources of high Omega 3 to supplement my chicken feed with instead of vegetables. It seems the best source I could find without feeding raw fish which is both expensive and difficult to store and feed because of the mess. I found what I think is a good solution and would love some feedback from people here.

    I have started adding dry cat food to their feed. The problem wit cat food is that there are a wide spectrum of what is available from outstanding to really bad. I decided on a brand available near me called Orijen. I mixed the fish and meat variety's together and supplement about 5% of their diet. It has no added sodium, about 40% protien from a variety of fish and organ meat from animal sources and about 2% Omega 3 which is DHA which is better for us and should result in a healthier egg. I have been doing this for about a week with no loss of production and the droppings are healthy (no diarrhea).

    I think I may continue doing this all year and would love the hear comments of either approval or dissaproval with some reasons why. Should I only do it during cold months or during molt and not all year? If I add this form of Omega 3 should I stop feeding vegetable scraps since the feed is all grain based with vegetable protien? Is the cat food bad for chickens in some way I am not aware of? It is a high quality cat food with no added sodium, but still it is cat food and feels a bit wierd.

    Do you agree with this or disagree. Thanks for your responses.
  2. Howard E

    Howard E Songster

    Feb 18, 2016
    Purina spikes their layer feed with flax seed oil:

    You could also use flax seed alone, but not too much, else you may get off flavors in your eggs.

    Option B is fish meal. Apparently the Asian carp that are causing so much trouble in Midwest rivers have great potential as fish meal for animal feed, but to my knowledge isn't being used as such.

    But these are mostly cold weather supplemental solutions. In warm weather, if the birds have access to green plants and bugs, they get their Omega 3 from those.
    Bobby Basham and Folly's place like this.
  3. Yvonne1

    Yvonne1 In the Brooder

    Jan 10, 2016
    Western PA
    I bougth a bag of ground flax seed from a local bulk foods store (we are in W PA so we have Amish stores) and add ~1/2 tsp to their yogurt my 6 girls get every 3rd day.
  4. Weehopper

    Weehopper Songster

    Feb 26, 2015
    There is a chicken food made that is advertised for making eggs high in Omega 3. I "think" Purina makes it. But am not sure (big help, eh?). You can check in the forums on feed and feeding, and also in the Purina section.
  5. Noreaster Egger

    Noreaster Egger Chirping

    May 22, 2016
    Not sure if you have a grocery store near you that carries these. My local Market Basket in NH carries these from time to time.

    Bexx Frozen whole small sardines for only $5 a bag...

    I thaw a handful out for my 11 birds and they go wild. The sardines have all of the organs, eyes, scales, bones, etc. They eat almost the entire thing up. The first thing to go is always the eyes.
  6. idealfriends

    idealfriends In the Brooder

    Jan 1, 2017
    I make my own feed I add all these grains in equal quantity (white corn,yellow corn,wheat grain,Millet grain,scratch) and these are with 10% ratio of major grains (seasame seed,flash seed,rice) and oats half ratio of major grains .
    Is these ingredients are ok to feed or not
  7. centrarchid

    centrarchid Free Ranging

    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    Does anyone know of a study that looks at the omega-3 content of totally free-range chickens. My bet is that can give insight into what that can provide and possibly what can by managed to represent more of the chickens diet, at least under free-range conditions. Limited studies I have seen did not even consider items I consider important in a free-range setting when you ignore the grain-based or even fishmeal based feeds.
  8. Chicken feed eaten by commercial broiler chickens likely still has animal protein in it. The reason that the chicken feed that you're forced to feed your chickens is lacking in animal protein is the simple fact that there are certain groups out there who don't want us to have chickens in our backyards nor do these groups believe in keeping any animal, not even you faithful loving pet dog. To these groups keeping a pet dog or a pet chicken is Zoo-slavery. So these outfits have maintained a public relations misinformation campaign to convince some of us that animals are good but that meat is bad.

    This works because most of us don't have the time, the desire, or the ability to find the truth out for ourselves. This isn't lost on the feed mills either because now they can sell you an inferior vegetarian chicken feed for more moo-la than the good stuff because the public has been brain washed into believing a lie.
    Bobby Basham and eatwhatyougrow like this.
  9. Folly's place

    Folly's place Free Ranging

    Sep 13, 2011
    southern Michigan
    There's this fantasy that chickens should be/ are vegetarians, not omnivores; it's about marketing to the folks who think that food grows in styrifoam in the grocery store. Also, animal protein is more expensive than vegetable protein in the feed. Chicken feed is supplemented with the essential amino acids that the birds need from animal proteins, so it's fine to feed anyway.
    I think that there is at least one study that shows that eggs from free ranging chickens (eating what?) are higher in Omega 3's. Those eggs certainly look better to me!
    Purina makes a layer feed that's advertised as promoting higher Omega 3 in the eggs, supported by research. I use an all-flock feed instead so don't use it
    My flock free ranges in a varied environment which helps a lot, but not so much now that we have snow.
  10. Chickassan

    Chickassan Free Ranging

    May 23, 2017
    Chia seeds/sprouts or hemp seeds add omega 3. Chia would be the more cost effective solution. Birds do tend to enjoy them more when they've been sprouted.

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