can you taste what your hens eat?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by technodoll, Nov 16, 2009.

  1. technodoll

    technodoll Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 25, 2009
    Quebec, Canada
    If you feed garlic to your flock, will the eggs "taste funny"?

    What about meat, dinner leftovers, etc?

    If you change layer feed brand, can you notice a difference in the egg taste?

  2. Princess Amri

    Princess Amri Is Mostly Harmless

    Jul 16, 2009
    best coast
    I haven't tasted much difference. Even the time when they ate coffee grounds.
  3. JLS

    JLS Love my feathered babies!

    May 29, 2009
    My Coop
    When I spoke to a person at Stomberg's hatchery regarding this question several months ago, she told me that the eggs will taste different if the birds eat strong tasting foods such as garlic. She said "They are what they eat". So I have tried to keep those foods away from my girls. I personally will not feed my girls meat but I know that I am in the minority.
  4. technodoll

    technodoll Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 25, 2009
    Quebec, Canada
    so is the question then "how much of a certain food"?

    will a little bit of garlic to help with parasite control, for example, be OK and not end up in the eggs?

    so much to learn!

  5. Plain Old Dee

    Plain Old Dee Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 30, 2009
    Seminole, OK
    I never really worried about what my hens ate. Most of the "taste effects" we encountered were wonderful!

    The more bugs and greens the hens ate, the richer and more flavorful the eggs were.
    The eggs from the chickens that ate my ornamental peppers had and excellent flavor - but I wouldn't call it spicy - so it may have been something else that made them taste so good. We just get more laughs talking about the hens that ate the hotter than %!$% peppers!
    The eggs from the hens that ate the cottonseed meal looked horrible, but tasted really buttery and rich.

    I haven't known the hens to eat anything that made the eggs taste bad.
  6. A.T. Hagan

    A.T. Hagan Don't Panic

    Aug 13, 2007
    North/Central Florida
    Fish, shrimp shells, and the like can affect egg flavor in a nasty way. Oily fish in particular. It's great protein, but too much in a short period of time is going to flavor the eggs.

  7. feathersnuggles

    feathersnuggles Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 4, 2009
    I feed salmon or other fish scraps to them, nearly every day and get rich, orange, thick yolks that taste WONDERFUL. I mean my neighbors, my co-workers, and our family & friends all beg for those eggs! We never have enough for everyone who wants them. I also feed my flock raw garlic, about once a week. And cod liver oil, once a week.

    Maybe other breeds handle those flavors differently? I just know our eggs don't taste like slugs, insects, spiders, worms, dirt, fish, garlic, weeds, etc. [​IMG] Ever accidentally eaten a spider while eating a grape? I have. Very bitter!
  8. digitS'

    digitS' Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 12, 2007
    ID/WA border
    Take a look at this article:

    Garlic Perfumes Poultry Houses

    The Clemson University researchers used a 3% garlic powder feed formula for their laying hens. That would have been 1.5 POUNDS of garlic powder to a 50 pound bag of feed !

    I used garlic powder in the feed during both 'o8 and 'o9 when the smell issue became a concern during late summer. A 3 ounce bottle of garlic powder lasts thru 30 pounds. I used a generous one-half teaspoon of the powder for every 2 cups of feed. That's about .5% of their feed. This is quite a lot of garlic in the diet. Imagine a half teaspoon of garlic powder in every 2 cups of your food!

    For reducing the coop smell, it really worked well. The eggs tasted fine.

    Here's what the Clemson folks found out, taste testers ". . . preferred the eggs produced by the garlic-eating hens." Remember, that's garlic at 3% of the hens' diets!!

    If you want to try this, it was garlic powder and not garlic salt. Or, use the cloves.

  9. Akane

    Akane Overrun With Chickens

    Jun 15, 2008
    My chickens have been molting so not many fresh eggs. Along with 2 fresh eggs from this fall I ended up hard boiling some eggs from late summer. The yolks of the eggs from summer tasted like bugs. [​IMG] Seriously. Don't ask me how I know what bugs taste like but they tasted just like a grasshopper. The other eggs were fine. I think my chickens caught a little too much of their own protein toward the end of the summer and I barely went through any poultry feed for about 2months. I wondered why my sugar gliders (partial insectivores) liked the last batch of their food so much. It was made with those eggs. Plus the yolks were just perfect with a deep orange and firm. I was looking forward to eating them only to find I might as well be eating grasshoppers.

    Other than that none of my eggs have tasted weird and my chickens have gotten all kinds of leftovers including quail carcasses when we butchered the 200 quail I raised this year. I had some little bantams indoors last winter that got to eat lots of leftovers from tv dinners and failed cooking experiments (my cooking is the source of many jokes) and their eggs tasted fine. Not quite as strong as free range eggs but nothing strange.
  10. technodoll

    technodoll Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 25, 2009
    Quebec, Canada
    I am so trying the garlic powder in their morning breakfast - thanks for the tip!

    As for the grasshopper flavored eggs... [​IMG]

    Scary mary!

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