Feed Marigolds to Chickens for Darker Yolk Color...

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by vfem, Jan 16, 2009.

  1. vfem

    vfem Yoga...The Chicken Pose

    Aug 4, 2008
    Fuquay Varina, NC
    ...stories I've heard are true! Who knew! They really do feed Calendula (Marigold) petal extracts to chickens by mixing it with their feed. They are heavy with betacaratine too! I just read about these because I am planting them in my garden this spring. I found the leaves and pollin help with inflammatory and pain, skin disorders and such. Decided this would be nice so I could bath in them for my psoriosis (sp). Now I can add the petal to their feed, and I can eat the leaves to salads as well. Best of all the are pretty and I can plant them in pots and in the yard in all my garden areas.

    Just thought it would be a good thing to bring up to anyone else interested.



    These are the two types they suggest to use.

    I know everyone is looking for ideas for feed, and selfsustainment ideas... plus a lot of people want to garden for their own uses.
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2009
  2. tcal

    tcal Songster

    Dec 31, 2008
    Sweet Home Alabama
    who woulda thunk it! [​IMG]
  3. AngieChick

    AngieChick Poultry Elitist

    Neat! I am planning on planting some in the garden this spring as well, now I know to feed them to my girls.
  4. GaDawg

    GaDawg Songster

    May 16, 2008
    North GA
    I thought you plant them by the garden to help keep the bugs away....?
    1 person likes this.
  5. AngieChick

    AngieChick Poultry Elitist

    Quote:I do. It looks like the have a dual-purpose.
  6. vfem

    vfem Yoga...The Chicken Pose

    Aug 4, 2008
    Fuquay Varina, NC
    That's why these got me so excited. I have the organic variety so I can replant my own seeds, no hybrid changes made.

    They keep away bugs too?!!?!? WOW! These freebies turned out WAY more awesome then I could have hoped.

    I have info about my spring gardening and what I've learned and what I'm doing (including these) here:

  7. It works well for garden pests. I plant a row around the perimeter of my veggie garden each year and it does cut back on the amount of pests. I also plant a row in between my special crops (corn, tomatoes, and squashes are particularly difficult for me to harvest what with all the bugs...thus to me, special) and it keeps them at bay.

    I am happy to know I can feed them to my girls!!
    1 person likes this.
  8. xapikleia

    xapikleia In the Brooder

    Jan 15, 2009
    So Cal Suburbs
    good to know!
  9. digitS'

    digitS' Songster

    Dec 12, 2007
    ID/WA border
    It is easy to confuse marigold (Tagetes erecta) and marigold (Calendula officinalis) because of the names.

    Calendulas are called "pot marigolds," I believe because you can put them in the pot. Then you can eat them and their flowers and expect them to taste good!!

    Tagetes are sometimes called Mexican marigolds and they are the ones we use to keep the bugs out of our vegetable gardens and they are the common bedding plant in our flower gardens.

    Calendulas make nice garden flowers too but they are not related to Tagetes marigolds. You can read that right at the top of your Wikipedia page, Vfem.

    Now here's what Wikipedia says about lutein - "Lutein was traditionally used in chicken feed to provide the yellow color of broiler chicken skin. Polled consumers viewed yellow chicken skin more favorably than white chicken skin. Such lutein fortification also results in a darker yellow egg yolk. . . . As a food additive, lutein has the E number E161b and is extracted from the petals of marigold (Tagetes erecta)."

    I don't know if Wikipedia is mistaken about the use of Calendula for poultry feed or not. It is certainly edible and I'd far rather eat it than those smelly marigolds that brighten the yard or drive off the bugs.

    I do however know that Tagetes marigold flowers (those smelly ones) are used in layer feed. So, maybe you've got a choice . . .

    edited to add lutein link.
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2009
  10. TillinWithMyPeeps

    TillinWithMyPeeps Waiting for Spring...

    Aug 22, 2008
    I would really like to know if I could feed either the Tagetes variety or Calendula variety safely and still get the good colored yolks.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: