Can what you feed effect shell colors?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by steffpeck, Apr 28, 2008.

  1. steffpeck

    steffpeck Songster

    Mar 25, 2007
    Erda, UT
    Can what you feed your birds effect their shell colors? I have a dominique roo and hens and some BO hen and their eggs look so similar, I was thinking of selling some of the dominique eggs, but really can't tell them apart from the BO eggs, could I feed the Dom's something to tint their eggs a bit to be able to tell the difference?

    I really don't want to seperate the roo and the hens from the coop, as I just barely got him back in the coop. The girls were beating him up badly and he was in the chicken hospital for a few days, and every time I tried to put him back they would clobber him. So finally after about a month, I was able to get him back in, and he is back to doing his roosterly duties. [​IMG]

    Thanks for your help!!
  2. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD

    Not that I know of, egg shell color is genetic.
  3. earthnut

    earthnut Songster

    Sep 18, 2007
    Seattle, Cascadia
    No, the tint is wholly genetic. However, if the hen lays less eggs the color can be darker, because there's been a "buildup" of color in her system. Also, as the hen ages, her eggs tend to become lighter. But I've never heard of a way to change the actual tint. I've never heard of the feed affecting shell color.
  4. Vamp-A-Billy Princess

    Vamp-A-Billy Princess Songster

    Apr 13, 2008
    I've heard that more greens will make them darker...may or may not be true. My babies aren't old enough to lay yet so I don't know but they eat grass everyday.
  5. steffpeck

    steffpeck Songster

    Mar 25, 2007
    Erda, UT
  6. HorseFeathers

    HorseFeathers Frazzled

    Apr 2, 2008
    Southern Maine
    Quote:*[​IMG]* It will make the yolks darker, not the shell. Shell color is purely genetic. *[​IMG]*

    Since we have a small flock (5 hens) we know instantly who layed which egg, not just the breed but the actual hen. In fact we have an egg checklist that has the name of the hen and whether they layed that day. Call me a crazy suburbian chicken owner, but it's really neat- the epidimy of knowing where your food comes from! [​IMG]

    steffpeck, the best thing to do is seperate each breed (if that is possible) and just collect the eggs the domoniqes lay. Good Luck! [​IMG]

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: