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Gaining the Deep Golden Yolk

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by dgermanshepherd, Nov 18, 2013.

  1. dgermanshepherd

    dgermanshepherd Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 9, 2013
    Manheim, PA
    I have a free range flock of different breed chickens and lately the yolks have been lacking in the deep golden orange color. I have hens just coming into their laying and older hens that vary between 3-6yrs old and plenty of roosters. They are all just about out of their molt and are on layer mash with the addition of various vegetables. Any ideas?
     
  2. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 True BYC Addict Premium Member

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  3. dgermanshepherd

    dgermanshepherd Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 9, 2013
    Manheim, PA
    Thanks for the links!!! Excellent information. What type of alfalfa do you recommend? Tried soaked pellets with no luck. Right now they have free choice access to Layer mash, cabbage, carrots, broccoli, BOSS and cracked corn. Does age ever play a factor?
     
  4. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 True BYC Addict Premium Member

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    Mine like soaked alfalfa cubes pretty well, the hay is in slightly larger pieces and they seem to eat it better. Eating it is learned to some extent so it might take them awhile to get into it. Mixing/soaking it with something they eat like corn seems to give them the idea pretty fast.
    They do say that the pigment concentrations in natural feed stuffs (like the corn/alfalfa we usually use) can vary widely, which is why most commercial producers use man made ones to help guarantee the egg color they want.
    http://www.worldpoultry.net/Broiler...oids-on-yolk-and-skin-pigmentation-WP010752W/
    These have mg/lb of feed for various things to feed to get the desired color, problem would be figuring out what there is in what you want to supplement with.
    http://www.ksre.ksu.edu/bookstore/pubs/EP127.pdf
    http://www.lohmann-information.com/content/l_i_24_article_4.pdf
    I don't remember reading age would play a factor, but would think it probably does, older hens just don't metabolize stuff as efficiently from calcium on down, so would guess the same with the color pigments. I do think it is breed/genetic to some extent, have a fair number of breeds and some breeds just always have darker colored yolks, might be behavioral in they eat more of certain foods free ranging or picking around, ie eat more alfalfa even in winter.
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2013

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