Do some breeds lay higher nutrition eggs?

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by SharkmanDan, Mar 22, 2015.

  1. SharkmanDan

    SharkmanDan Songster

    Before moving to the country, and deciding to raise our own flock of birds, both for eggs and meat, my wife and I noticed that when we had bought "organic free range eggs", at a small farmer's market in SoCal, the eggs had yolks that were far more golden, in color, and creamier and richer in flavor. I did some reading, and found out that what I had deduced, was pretty true. When chickens eat a natural diet, of the food nature intended for them to eat, they produce more nutritious eggs. It was then, that we decided, once retired, and we moved to the country, we would have our own chickens, so we could always have those delicious, beautiful, golden yolks.
    Enough background.
    We are now a full year into raising our own moderately large flock, in rural Oklahoma. Most of our girls have started laying very well, since the winter slowdown (boy, was it slow) and we find ourselves with more eggs than we can even give away to friends and neighbors (most folks around here, have their own chickens), or hatch out. So, last night, I hard boiled 90+ eggs, to mix in to the feed, and feed it back to the chickens. In doing so, I noticed quite a few of them, that were quite bright yellow, a deep golden color, like we fell in love with, at that farmer's market. But many, were light yellow. So, I began paying attention. I have many different breeds, and can usually tell the eggs of one breed from the eggs of another, fairly well, by their color, shade, shape, size and sheen or lack thereof. While I can generally identify the Australorps, Jersey Giants, Dominikers, and Euskal Oiloas, pretty readily, from any others, the rest are pretty generic looking,mand difficult to say if it's from a black or red or gold sex link, or a Delaware, or an Orpington, or any of the several other breeds I have. The easily identifiable eggs, typically don't ever get hard boiled, as they either get eaten, or incubated. But, some of those that did get boiled, were more golden that others, and each of the more golden ones had the same traits. Telling me, that they likely came from the same breed.
    Now, my birds ALL have access to the same food. They eat high quality 20% protein supplemental food, in addition to their natural organic diet, from free range sources. None of them really ever stray very far from the coop, staying within 300' most all of the time, and much of that time, it's even closer.
    This leads me to believe that maybe some breeds convert their feed, more efficiently, into higher quality eggs.
    So, with that lengthy statement made, is anyone familiar with any study, or research, that proves, or disproves, my thoughts? Have any of you, experienced similar, and wondered?
    I grew up, and lived 53 years in Pomona, CA, the home of California State Polytechnic University-Pomona. It has a big AG program there. I wonder if it might be a worthwhile endeavor, to contact them, and ask if they know of any studies, on breeds, if we don't have that information here.
    Or, am I just plain nuts?
  2. madamiec

    madamiec Chirping

    May 4, 2013
    Roann, Indiana
    There have been recent studies showing that free range eggs are indeed more nutritious and what you feed makes a difference but I have never heard of a study of different breeds of chicken, just the difference between duck, chicken, turkey, etc. Interesting.
  3. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Free Ranging

    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    Chickens are homebodies and usually don't stray out of sight of the coop or at least out of sight of where they know the coop is.

    The pigment of the egg shell is breed specific. The inside of the egg is based on diet.

    The dark yolk is from carotenoids that chickens consume. It passes into the blood stream and is deposited in the yolk. This was discovered in a study in 1915.
    Yellow corn is the primary ingredient in poultry feed, not only because it is an excellent source of energy for poultry but also for the carotenoids deposited in the yolk. About the only source in commercial poultry.
    In Africa, white corn is fed and the hens, in spite of being very healthy, lay eggs with yolks that are so light they're off white.
    Since yours are on pasture, they're getting some in their diet. Some of your birds may be eating more greenery than others.
    So to answer your first question, no.
    Read the side bar "Dye Job" in the second link.

    The flavor of the egg comes from a natural diet and being fresher.
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2015
    1 person likes this.
  4. SharkmanDan

    SharkmanDan Songster

    I did kind of know that the diet will determine the richness of the flavor. More bugs and protein, more richness to the flavor. BUT, I had apparently erroneously equated that with the yolk color.
    Thank you. You really clarified it for me. Maybe what it comes down to is, that one breed, or the other, is more prone to forage for greenery, where others prefer to lazily peck for pelletized feed. That makes complete sense now, because I know that some of my breeds DEFINITELY PREFER to scratch the leaves, instead of eating the feed scatteded around.

  5. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Free Ranging

    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    Yeah. The propensity to forage can be breed specific.
  6. Michael OShay

    Michael OShay Crowing

    May 14, 2014
    X2 on the above. :eek:)

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