Feeding linseed meal to layers

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Deuthfarm, Nov 30, 2012.

  1. Deuthfarm

    Deuthfarm New Egg

    2
    0
    9
    Nov 30, 2012
    Being that we live in a cold northern climate here in Wisconsin, I have been considering the effects of my hens losing their free-rangeing foraging capabilities during the winter. I do feed vegetable and fruit scraps, but balk at the beef scraps, as I thought I heard something about feeding animal products causing hens to start egg-eating.

    Anyway, I was thinking about supplementing with linseed meal (flaxseed), mixed into their mash, in order to keep up the high omega 3 content of our eggs during the winter. I could just buy Purina Sunfresh, but have you checked out the cost on that? My little 9-year-old egg gatherer isn't going to be getting any funds for is college savings on that stuff, unless I tell our customers we have to dramatically increase the price..So, I found a guy from a local feed mill who would order 100 lbs. for me at $15. However, I am getting over my head in research concerning whether adding 4-15% would be good, and if I need to add other nutrients to stabilize the possible ill effects of what has been considered to be a harsh ingredient for chickens by some people. Anybody have an analysis for me in layman's terms...like, sure, go ahead and add 10%, and add some antioxident-rich "blank" to make the chickens all happy? :)

    Thanks much for any advice!
     
  2. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    Flaxseed meal goes rancid VERY quickly.

    I would feed the flaxseeds themselves instead of meal, as the gizzard grinds them up. I wouldn't go over 4% of the total feed, though. If you feed too much a fishy flavor in the eggs can happen.
    My chickens don't really like flaxseeds all that much. I used to feed them and they do eat them, but not in great quantity. I have bought organic chick starter with flaxseed meal as an ingredient and it smelled rancid even new.

    Health food stores refrigerate flaxseed oil because it goes rancid THAT fast.

    http://animalscience.ucdavis.edu/avian/pfs21.htm

    You can buy a bale of alfalfa hay for $17 and chop it up into 2-3 inch segments and feed that to them. That would be excellent for them. (Be careful of longer segments due to risk of impacted crop but I have gotten away with just putting a bale in there for them. They LOVE to eat the leaves.)

    There is alfalfa meal but my chickens acted like that wasn't even edible and I ended up putting it around my fruit trees.
     
    1 person likes this.
  3. Deuthfarm

    Deuthfarm New Egg

    2
    0
    9
    Nov 30, 2012
    Thanks--that was really helpful. I will look into the alfalfa hay. If I might venture one more question: why does it matter if the linseed meal goes "rancid?" Haven't people fed linseed meal to livestock for years with no ill effects?
     
  4. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    I don't know that it would harm chickens but I prefer for them to use their gizzards and get a freshly ground seed. If it is a huge cost issue I can see how you would want to go that route.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by