do dark yellow or orange yolks mean they are healthier.

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Scotty from BI, Jan 7, 2019.

  1. Scotty from BI

    Scotty from BI Songster

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    I have been raising chickens for about 8 years. I have 10 hens now about 1.5 years old. They are confined to a partially covered dirt run and very spacious coop. The run is quite large about 90 feet by about 6-8 feet with plenty of perches and ladders for them to move around in and on. I clean inside and out twice a day and their food is organic layer pellets from Modesto Mills mixed with Scratch and Peck organic whole seed Layer with corn. I also throw out about a cup of dried grubs from Scratch and Peck daily along with about 2 cups of mixed green and yellow vegetables like carrots, kale, spinach, etc. that are mixed in a blender to make them easy to digest every other day or so. I can not let them free range due to circumstances but they are healthy and produce many eggs.

    So having said all that... Are my hens egg yolks as healthy as those free range chickens which have such dark orange yolks. I have read that the darkness or lightness doesn't really reflect how much omega 3 or nutrients are in the egg, but I have also heard that the darker the yolk the better. I am not sure what else I can do. My egg yolks are bright yellow not pale but definitely not dark or orange. I have tried feeding them marigolds, dandelions, kelp and more but can not seem to get that orange color.

    How much vegetables and bugs does it take to effect the color of the yolk? I don't want to over feed them bugs and cut vegetables and have them short on the balanced feed they need.

    comments and suggestions appreciated.
     
  2. Grits&Eggs

    Grits&Eggs Songster

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  3. FluffTheDuck

    FluffTheDuck Duck love is recognizable in any language

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    Usually, you get a bright-yellow egg yolk in markets unless it's local. Bright yellow egg yolks mean that all the person give them is food- they stay in little crates, and all they eat is food. So they're really fat. And if they only eat food, they aren't healthy, right? That's what I thought :plbb. Anyway, to get to the point, a darker yellow or even orange means your feeding the right diet to them and you should keep it like that.
    :)
     
  4. WindingRoad

    WindingRoad Songster

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    I'm feeding 22% protein, small amount of scratch for the winter to keep them warm and mealworms. Always have dark yolk closer to orange than yellow. Large to x-large eggs. BO, ISA and 2 SLW. The SLW just started laying. Cream colored egg. Nice colored yolk. Tasty. My birds won't eat anything mushy. No oatmeal, no scrambled eggs, no wet food. No watermelon, no banana, no tomatoes, they did limited free range this summer. Eggs have alway been up to par. IDK. What breeds do you have?
     
  5. Grits&Eggs

    Grits&Eggs Songster

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    I read somewhere that some commerical growers add food dye to the chicken feed to get a darker yolk. Mine aren't fat, and their diet didn't change, except for the marigolds and just that one change made the yolk change to a nice dark orange!!
     
  6. imnukensc

    imnukensc Crowing

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    Mine free range daily nearly all day, but are fed Purina layer pellets with occasional treats of mealworms, sunflower seeds, leftover veggies, etc. I think you can figure out which egg is store bought and which egg one of my chickens laid.
    IMG_2248.JPG
     

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  7. RoosterML

    RoosterML Songster

    It is all based on what they eat, don't think one is healthier than the other.
    For example I use to feed a layer feed that had alot of Marigold in it and got really orange color yolks, Marigold is normally found in layer feed. Now I feed an all flock product that does not contain nearly as much Marigold so the yolk color is lighter. Same thing some people feed starter/grower which most contain no Marigold in it. Which will produce much lighter yolks also. All birds are healthy and receiving healthy food but no additives that would change the yolk color so no I do not agree with someone who says healthier birds lay darker yolks.
     
  8. RoosterML

    RoosterML Songster

    I think you can contribute that nice orange color to the amount of Marigold in the Purina Layer feed.
     
  9. WindingRoad

    WindingRoad Songster

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    Ah that's the brand I'm feeding now except it's 22% protein. But I was feeding just layer feed this summer and fall. Dumoor I think. I've started using a small local feed store. Paris Farmer's Union. I think their feed is slightly cheaper than TSC. Eggs looked good earlier and they look good now.
     
  10. RoosterML

    RoosterML Songster

    Here is the info from Purina:
    • Added Marigold Extract for rich yellow yolks - A high level of xanthophyll, a coloring agent derived from marigolds, produces deep yellow egg yolks
     

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