Fishy tasting eggs

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by scott6150, Aug 16, 2013.

  1. scott6150

    scott6150 Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 12, 2013
    Brown's Point, WA
    I've got at least one hen laying eggs that taste like fishy, not fresh fish! They are in a run, and all they eat is Purina Layena Plus, and a little corn, but most eggs taste fantastic! The bag says the feed contains flaxseed, which I read on here can cause that. thoughts???
     
  2. ASimon

    ASimon Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 27, 2013
    Winona Minnesota
    Wow, that's really gross (I hate fish). I have read that you should avoid allowing chickens to get into your chives, onions, etc. because their diet can affect the flavor of the yolk. I feed organic layer feed and supplement calcium (along with garden scraps). We have 4 Buffs - awesome critters. Not helpful, huh. Maybe it has to do with breed and how they process the food? Or perhaps there is a bird that is more dominant and is eating a larger portion of the food? Just stabs in the dark....
     
  3. scott6150

    scott6150 Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 12, 2013
    Brown's Point, WA
    Hi, ASimon. Thanks for the info. I did some further research, and decided today to switch to regular Layena. The Plus contains Omega3, which may be fish based. The guy @ the feed store said maybe one of my hens is sensitive to it. BTW...How can you live in MN. and not like fish? lol I grew up in Little Falls, and moved to WA. about 30 years ago. Anyhoo, I started the new feed today, and hopefully the prob. will be solved in a week or so. I'll post my results soon. Go Vikings!
     
  4. ASimon

    ASimon Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 27, 2013
    Winona Minnesota
    I loved fish until my second pregnancy.... Minnesota rocks! Good luck with your feed!
     
  5. Ugadano

    Ugadano Out Of The Brooder

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    I know this is an old thread, but in case some poor soul like me is searching, I'm posting what I found tonight on here, along with my (yawn) extensive experiences with my own fishy eggs!

    Dragon 16 posted this: "I've had the same problem. In doing research, it's a genetic defect in a brown egg laying hen that causes the "fishy" smell and taste. It's called trimethylamine and it's when the hen ingests, canola, flaxseed or rapeseed. Choline chloride which is in most feed will not produce the fishy smell.(or at least diminish it) . I give my dogs the fishy eggs and they don't seem to mind. :) Rhode Island Reds and Barred Plymouth Rocks may have tis defect."
    (thread link https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/635753/fishy-smelling-egg#post_13960542 )

    I wonder if it is something like ragweed or pigweed, lamb's quarter or what? Here's my post from another thread, just copied and pasted here as my experience with fishy eggs:

    So frustrating having that smell/taste and not knowing what to do about it. I ask every chicken person I come to, even the county extension agents, nobody knows. We had chickens years ago, kept them in the next neighbor's old henhouse across the fence and free ranged in our yard and the pasture. Every year during the growing season, we'd get a couple of hens laying fishy eggs. I mean picked up fresh-laid same-day, not even hot days, and bring them in to crack in the pan and the smell would nearly blow you away! We had to have 3 bowls out. One to crack into then pick up and smell of it. At one point I couldn't smell the fishy unless I forked the yolk and smelled of it that way, and that's not good if you wanted them fried sunnyside up. 2nd bowl on hand for if the first one received a stinky egg, because even the remaining moisture from the white of the first would taint the next one. At that point, 1st bowl became the dump bowl for 'fishy'. 2nd bowl would have to be thoroughly rinsed out if it got a fishy egg. 3rd bowl for putting 'safe' eggs in to scramble or for mixing in baked goods recipe. The fishy egg would ruin a cake or pancakes!
    After the growing season ended, no more fishy eggs until next late spring. I thought there must be some bug in the henhouse litter that they were getting, but never found anything, and finally decided there must be some weed growing that they were eating. But all my hens free range in my large yard, and I would only have 2 or maybe 3 out of over a dozen hens with that fishy smell. If even one egg was fishy, it would ruin a dozen in the scramble pan. I peeled a hardboiled egg the other day and the white tasted fine but I couldn't eat the yolk due to the fish taste. I am not afraid of their safety, as I know my eggs are fresh, but I had customers in the past and I would warn them to crack in separate bowls and smell them. I would make them good next time if they got fishy eggs. But after a while it's embarrassing and customers drop off. At this point with my hens, none of my green shells have been fishy, only a brown, so I think it's my production reds, and when one went broody and stopped laying, we didn't get any more fishy for quite some time.
    The fishy egg has no visible difference, no cloudy appearance, but in some you can smell it as soon as you crack the egg. In others, as I mentioned before, it would have no odor until I broke the yolk with a fork, and even a hint of fishy would ruin the scrambled dozen if it got in there without me noticing! I have eaten them before, forced myself with picante or something to mask the odor because I was so reluctant to waste anything, no problems with an intestinal nature, but I just can't do it again!
    I am not feeding them onion or garlic, fishy smell occurred long before I bought oyster shell, which doesn't stink, and they ALL eat that. I feed milo and whole oats and they free range. My family has corn allergy which is why we don't feed that and why we wanted our own chickens. I used to feed wheat that was grown just down the road, but not with my latest bunch of chickens We went probably 6 years without our own chickens and have started back with them again, now we have our own small henhouse in our yard and the hens don't go across the fence. Whatever it is they are getting, it's in my yard.
     
  6. Croston

    Croston New Egg

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    Mar 21, 2016
    I have a buff and her eggs were great until I switched to purina layer food, her eggs became too stronge, the taste was nasty. I know for a fact that this product makes
    her eggs taste terrible. I have a Rhode Island Red that lays brown eggs, she eats the same food but it does not affect her eggs. My Buff lays light eggs and it does affect the taste. Sometimes more expensive food is not always the best
     
  7. ChickenMomma14

    ChickenMomma14 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 23, 2016
    Riverside, California
    Purina feed is know to not be the best no matter what the bag says... it most likely has to much fish oil. I would cut that feed out and replaced it then put black sunflower seed in the feed or use them as a snack. The oil in the sunflower seeds will replace the fish oil and will not change the taste of you eggs. It will also help you flocks feather quality! Hope this helps a little
     
    1 person likes this.
  8. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Funny....I've always used purina products for years and never had any problems......
    .....not fishy tasting eggs anyway, did have a grain mite problem in the Flock Raiser tho.
     
  9. Glenda Heywoodo

    Glenda Heywoodo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 19, 2016
    Cassville Missouri
    Glena Heywood
    Maysgest tis aticl
    IE: Canola, when fed at amount higher that about 10% in the diet, cause eggs produced
    by many brown egg layers to smell and taste fishy, and Camilina has a similar property
    Soy Free Diets For Poultry
    James Hermes, OSU Extension Poultry Specialist
    Publish Date: Summer 2010
    VolNo: Vol. V No. 3
    In recent years, there has been interest by small scale poultry producers to not feed soybean meal to their chickens. The reasoning behind this trend varies but most producers have health concerns regarding soy for both their birds and humans eating poultry products, meat and eggs, from birds fed soy. In addition, there is concern that most soy produced in the US is a “genetically modified organism” (GMO); most soy has been genetically manipulated so that it is resistant to Roundup, a widely used herbicide. And finally, many are concerned that soy is not locally grown, most is grown in the Midwest and transported to the Pacific Northwest by rail car. This is of particular concern for those who consider themselves “localvores”, individual that prefer to only consume products produced close to home.
    Why is soybean meal a major ingredient in poultry feed (about 30%)? For decades, soy has been known to be an excellent feed ingredient for poultry and other livestock; this is why it will be produced at levels expected to exceed 3.5 billion bushels in 2010. It is a high protein feedstuff (>45% crude protein) and it contains high levels of linoleic acid, an essential nutrient that is required in animal diets. Since it is so useful and available, the poultry industry has little interest in finding alternatives. Therefore there has not been a lot of work on other ingredients that may be adequate substitutes for soy. The question then arises, what is an adequate substitute.
    First, an adequate substitute must have an adequate supply, have the proper nutrient levels and be affordable. So, what is available in the Pacific Northwest that is an adequate soy substitute?
    In the past, animal products such as, fish meal, meat meal, meat and bone meal, blood meal, and poultry by-product meal have been used successfully in poultry diets. They are all high in protein and other nutrients; however, the supply has been reduced in recent years because feed mills that make feed for ruminant animals, cattle and sheep, can no longer use these products due to the potential of “Mad-Cow disease. Poultry are unaffected by this problem. Other issues with animal products include food safety and the potential of receiving contaminated product. And finally, organic production doesn’t allow the use of animal products in diets.
    Cereal Grains
    Cereal grains are typically low in protein, between 7% and 12%, and generally high in fiber. The energy level (starch) varies from very low (oats) to quite high (corn). Some cereal grains such as wheat and barley contain compounds that are not well digested by poultry and may need supplemental enzymes added to the feed to aid digestion if fed in levels above 10 or 20% in the diet.
    Legume grains
    This group includes the dry beans, peas, and lentils. Since soy is a legume these would appear to be an obvious choice. However, compounds including, tannins, oligosaccharides, and enzyme inhibitors that are found at high levels in most of these grains severely affect growth in poultry, especially in beans, with peas providing adequate growth at 30% in the diet or less. Since soy is processed with heat, these compounds are virtually eliminated as a problem. So with some processing, beans and peas may become a useable ingredient, more work is needed.
    Other
    Canola and Camilina, are relativelyPoultry new as a poultry feed ingredient but show some promise, however they are not without problems too. They are related to mustard and cabbage and as such they include compounds that can cause problems when fed to poultry. Canola, when fed at amount higher that about 10% in the diet, cause eggs produced by many brown egg layers to smell and taste fishy, and Camilina has a similar property and is only approved to be fed to broiler chickens as a level of less that 10%.
    Conclusion
    Poultry feeding is heavily dependent on soy as an ingredient. It will take some time to identify adequate substitutes that are locally produced and will support poultry growth and egg production. Unlike ruminants, which can thrive on forages, poultry require a balanced diet. Therefore, poultry diets must contain proper ingredients at the proper levels for productive chickens.
    .
    [​IMG]
    Soy Free Diets For Poultry | Small Farms Programs
    n recent years, there has been interest by small scale poultry producers to not feed soybean meal to their chickens. The reasoning behind this trend varies but most producers have health concerns regarding soy for both their birds and humans eating poultry products, meat and eggs, from birds fed soy...
    smallfarms.oregonstate.edu

    and is only approved to be fed to broiler chickens as a level of less that 10%.
     

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