Fish Oil

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by gmc, Dec 16, 2007.

  1. gmc

    gmc Songster

    Nov 24, 2007
    Clay City, KY
    I have heard that fish oil is very good for chickens. Does anyone use this or by what product? My chickens currently are a bit dirtly from all the water and thought this my help.
  2. panner123

    panner123 Songster

    Jan 15, 2007
    Garden Valley, ca
    I have never heard of anyone using fish oil for chickens and I have been around them for over 50 years. What I do know about fish oil is, if you use it yo will have every coon, cat and other small preadtor around your chickens. I would not use it if I was you. I may be wrong about it, but I would be wrong for the safety of my chickens.
  3. SeaChick

    SeaChick Songster

    Apr 25, 2007
    Southern Maine
    We use Avia Charge 2000 in our waterer every other time we fill it. It is made with fish and kelp meals/oils.

    I imagine fish oil adds a lot of Omega-3s to their diets and therefore the eggs. Probably great for them.

    I have added Flax Seed Oil to treats that I gave them (like cooked oatmeal). Probably could do the same with fish oil.

  4. Barnyard Dawg

    Barnyard Dawg Songster

    Feb 7, 2007
    Northern California
    We feed our chickens the head and shells from shrimp and give them fish parts.
  5. glib

    glib Songster

    Dec 8, 2007
    Pardon me, but fish oil is absurdly expensive for chickens. The cheapest bulk source of Omega 3 is flax seeds. We keep a coffee grinder just for flax, and the chickens will get some of the daily grind we get(there is a small difference between the ALA in flax and the DHA/EPA in fish oil, but the chicken or human body can convert one into another). Note that chicken farms, now making money by selling "omega 3 eggs" for twice the cost of regular, will not give more than 20% flax to their chickens, presumably because more is not so good for them. Surely they would give more if they could, since the Omega 3 is the selling point.

    Further, a chicken that has plenty of greens will typically be Omega 3 balanced, since most vegetation is naturally balanced in the omega 3 - omega 6 ratio (yes, there is not a lot of fat in grass, but they and us only need about 1% by calories). And of course greens will provide other nutrients that fish oil won't provide (calcium, vitamins...). For example egg yolk is the greatest provider of lutein amongst common foods, and I can guarantee that the yolk of free-ranging chicken has several times the lutein of a store egg.

    Likewise, all bugs and earthworms that eat that vegetation will be balanced, since they inherit the fat ratio from their feed. So, free-ranging is good for the chicken and good for you as the eggs consumer. Numerous scientific tests have shown that free-range eggs have ten to twenty times more Omega 3 than store eggs. This is actually true for virtually every free ranging, grass eating farm animal, whether it is grassfed beef, grassfed milk, or free range pigs.

    Even in winter, with no grass, there are ways to keep them healthy. I have hoophouses over my garden, and eat greens from it year round, but in the winter, with so many heads burned by freezes, the amount of discarded greens is actually larger than in summer. I keep carrot tops in the freezer for making stock, and after they can go to the chickens. There are other cheap ways to give them high omega 3 feed. But stuff that costs 20 bucks a pint?
  6. eggzettera

    eggzettera Songster

    I have hoophouses over my garden, and eat greens from it year round, but in the winter.

    So Glib, what zone are you in? I have wanted to try this here in Utah, but have not had the courage yet. Thought I would try more a cold frame set up (hay bales & glass roof), but being a Canadian I am leary/nervous (not totally convinced) that this would work.

    I keep carrot tops in the freezer for making stock, and after they can go to the chickens.

    Can you explain more please? Are you saying that you actually use the carrot tops in the stock and then when you strain you give your chickens the discard? And what do carrot tops taste like?

    Alot of good info there, thanks​
  7. CovenantCreek

    CovenantCreek Chicks Rule!

    Oct 19, 2007
    Franklin, TN
    Quote:You may have fish oil mistaken for fish meal. Fish meal is a very good supplement for chickens, adding protein and some essential fatty acids to their diet. I usually offer it free choice to my girls and they can't get enough (it's also in their layer mash).
  8. eggzettera

    eggzettera Songster

    I wondered the same thing about oil vs. is the fish meal that I use in the garden the same as I should feed the chickens? And yes I am talking the pellet form not the fish emulsion, which would bring any critter 10 miles around......
  9. CovenantCreek

    CovenantCreek Chicks Rule!

    Oct 19, 2007
    Franklin, TN
    Quote:No, the fish meal that I'm talking about is a powder. I believe it's produced by Fertrell's but not always sold under a brand name. I got mine from Murray McMurray, though I'm looking for a less expensive source this time around.
  10. eggzettera

    eggzettera Songster

    Thanks, good to know.

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