Flax seed

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by woodmort, Nov 8, 2010.

  1. woodmort

    woodmort Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My DW's informed me today that she is starting a diet that requires Omega-3 eggs. Given we're getting 2 dozen eggs a day I'll be darn if we're going to buy eggs so I promised I'd go back to feeding flax seed. What are your experiences with this supplement? Last time I did it I set up a separate feeder and let them eat it free choice. This time I figure on mixing it in with their layer.
     
  2. HeritageHens

    HeritageHens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Orygun
    Did you know that kale is very high in Omega 3?

    I'm not getting eggs yet so I can't comment on that aspect but my girls do get flax meal as part of a daily homemade scratch treat. I don't know if it's true for chickens but I've read that flax needs to be ground to be easily digestable by people. I coarsely grind the flax, wheat, rye, barley, corn, and whatever other grains I have (which is a LOT as I have food storage) and feed it with the other leftovers or freshly harvested veggies from the garden.

    I was buying the flax seeds from Bob's Red Mill (25 pound bag ~$35) but discovered that a local feed source has flax seeds for about 1/2 of that cost. You might seed if a mill has them at a reasonable cost.
     
  3. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    I have just started mixing flax seed into my homemade mix. They love it. I'd be afraid of offering a whole hopper of it at once! [​IMG]
     
  4. HeritageHens

    HeritageHens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I did a quick search about the whole vs. meal part of flax and found a link to this great article:

    http://www.gov.mb.ca/agriculture/livestock/poultry/bba01s04.html

    Among other things, it says:

    "It is recommended that you feed the flaxseed to your hens as whole seeds instead of grinding it up."

    They also say:

    A suggested laying hen ration that will increase the omega-3 fatty acids in the eggs from your hens:

    Wheat 40 kg
    Oats 15 kg
    Layer Supplement 25 kg
    Flaxseed 10 kg
    Limestone 8 kg
    Canola oil 2 kg
    ----------
    Total 100 kg

    And this:

    "...Consult your feed supplier for the exact proportion of grain, supplement and limestone (or oyster shell). You must feed this diet for three weeks before omega-3 fatty acids will increase substantially in the eggs....Overfeeding flaxseed can cause problems for your hens because flaxseed contains sticky compounds that stop the hen from digesting some of the nutrients in her diet. Flaxseed also contains a compound called linoline that may increase the birds' vitamin requirements. Feeding too much flaxseed can cause production drops, small egg size, reduced body weight gain and thin egg shells. Including 10% flaxseed will increase the omega-3 fatty acids in your eggs and not cause problems for your birds...."
     
  5. Akane

    Akane Overrun With Chickens

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    You can also use any type of nut and fish meal. Lots of people add fish meal for extra protein as well and if you can find it should be a lot cheaper than flaxseed. Adding flaxseed, nuts, and fish to your own diet also goes a lot farther to give you omega 3 than trying to get it into the eggs.
     
  6. Chris09

    Chris09 Circle (M) Ranch

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  7. woodmort

    woodmort Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks for the info. I have a good source for flax seed at a fairly reasonable price so that's not a problem. I knew too that I shouldn't grind it--the bird's gizzards would do a much better job than I could. The link was great HeritageHens, thanks. Hopefully I can convince her that if she needs more O-3 the best way would be to eat more fish and take fish oil supplements. My DW has some health problems that arise from food allergies and she tries various diets to try to combat them--currently it is the Paleo Diet.
     
  8. CMV

    CMV Flock Mistress

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    Quote:Quick question- does adding fish meal give a funky flavor to the eggs? I love fish, but not in my eggs. [​IMG]
     
  9. Akane

    Akane Overrun With Chickens

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    If you add too much fish, flaxseed, or any other source high in omega fatty acids you can end up with fishy tasting eggs. It's not the fish specifically that does it. It's the omega fatty acids you are increasing.
     
  10. HeritageHens

    HeritageHens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:My source:

    Linseed Meal (Flax) 50# $23.00
    Flax Seed 50# $24.00

    It's kinda hard to acurately compare since one is meal (lighter; more volume) and the other one is seed (heavier; more dense). Given the price is virtually identical, I'll stick with the whole meal that I grind a little at a time to stay fresh or can leave whole and let them grind it up internally. Humm. Just saw that they also carry Brewers Yeast. Gotta get me a bag for those B supplements.
     

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