Healthier eggs through healthier feed

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by j3707, Aug 19, 2011.

  1. j3707

    j3707 Songster

    Dec 29, 2009
    Pacific Northwest
    Don't know if this story has made the rounds here...

    Here's a study that shows better feed means better eggs...

    Eggs high in omega-6 fatty acids heighten cholesterol's tendency to oxidize, which forms dangerous plaque in our arteries. Dr. Shapira's research shows that eggs laid by hens with healthier feed can lessen oxidation of LDL (low density lipoprotein), the body's "bad cholesterol."


    There were vast differences in outcome among the treatments. Daily consumption of two industry-standard eggs, high in omega-6, caused a 40 percent increase in LDL oxidizability in participants. After eating two per day of the specially-composed eggs, with both high anti-oxidant and low omega-6 levels, however, LDL oxidation levels were similar to the control group eating only two to four eggs a week.

    What other studies, etc, showing health benefits of improved feed are you aware of?
  2. eggdd

    eggdd Songster

    Jul 12, 2011
    this isn't new news, but it's great to share and get the word out with each study saying a chickens diet not only impacts the bird itself (for all people eating chicken), but it impacts the egg as well. i recently starting raising chickens (i have eight three week olds, five two day olds). they are all on a seed based diet. no commercial feed - - which includes commercial organic. not only is soy found in a lot of feeds (even commercial organic), but it is heavily supplemented (even commercial organic). i mention this because the cost isn't significantly higher [financially]. if at all. and i mean that. that said, it requires more work as you're not feeding medicine to your birds. being clean is important. fresh water is important. etc, etc. of course, if you include your time as finance, then we start talking about expense. for me, though, that isn't a conversation i'm yet ready to have.

    this is my experience thus far. it's subject to change.

    i hope more people read the study. or studies.

    thanks for posting the link.
  3. PAJerry

    PAJerry Songster

    Mar 22, 2008
    Waterford, PA
    The study is common sense. I did find it interesting that sunflower seed (BOSS) is listed as a bad player. BOSS is high in omega-6 fats and probably shouldn't be part of a good feeding program. From my experience, it does give a nicer appearance to the chicken's feathers, if that's what you're after.

    My current flock of RIRs don't like BOSS at all, but go crazy for wheat and greens. Maybe THEY know what the really good stuff is better than we do. If they can make a healthier egg for me and my family, I'm more than willing to provide what they need.
  4. BellevueOmlet

    BellevueOmlet Songster

    Jul 10, 2010
    Thanks for sharing the article. It is common sense but it is still good to read and reinforces why it is important what is fed to our chickens and why is may be ok to feed chickens cat food and styrofoam as some do but it is healthier not to.
  5. saladin

    saladin Songster

    Mar 30, 2009
    the South
    The problem with such a study is the interpretation given to it by people. Especially those who have very little knowledge of farm-life or farm experience.

    Chickens are not vegans! They are true omnivores. Whether a chicken eating an animal protein based feed is best for humans or not, I do not know. What I do know is that an animal protein based feed is best for the health of a chicken.

    Projecting human values, morality, and emotions onto domesticated animals is not a practise I engage in or place any stock in.

    Always remember: A chickens FAVORITE food is chicken!
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2011
  6. kizanne

    kizanne Songster

    Mar 28, 2011
    Tallahassee, FL
    Quote:Wow that's alot of emotion in that response. I didn't see any even talking about not feeding animal protein feed.

    To OP I absolutely am not surprise that what they eat effects their eggs and how healthy they are for us. What we eat effects our bodies and if we were pregnant our fetuses. I try to give my girl free range time and tasty treats of all varieties from black fly larva to collards. I just recently discovered some of them love ants. Go figure. I think one of the keys is variety and making sure them have some choices.
  7. saladin

    saladin Songster

    Mar 30, 2009
    the South
    I don't know of any organic feeds that utilize animal protein. There may be, but I've not seen or heard of any. Those feeds were mentioned. Seed based feeds were also mentioned. No mention was made of animal based feeds.

    Of course, in a true free-range situation the birds will have access to 'animal' protein thru the insects, mice, snakes and other animal life they encounter to eat.
  8. Nambroth

    Nambroth Fud Lady

    Apr 7, 2011
    Western NY
    My Coop
    Quote:I don't know what all organic feeds are out there, but the first one that comes up when I searched for them is Countryside, which uses fish meal....
  9. j3707

    j3707 Songster

    Dec 29, 2009
    Pacific Northwest
    The general idea of healthy food leading to healthy eggs certainly seems like common sense, but without data it's pretty much assumption and hunches.

    I know from experience that free ranging my birds and feeding them table scraps increases the flavor of the eggs as well as making the yolks deeper colors of yellow/orange. It makes intuitive sense that these eggs are healthier for me, but that doesn't give me a nutritional yardstick to measure them by.

    Like PAJerry said already,
    If they can make a healthier egg for me and my family, I'm more than willing to provide what they need.

    Last edited: Aug 20, 2011
  10. rancher hicks

    rancher hicks Crowing

    Feb 28, 2009
    Syracuse, NY
    What I get from this article is.

    They designed a special food that is not nor will it be available to you or me. The point of her study is moot to the average backyard chicken farmer.

    There was no mention of Omega 3's and where this figured into the study. Whether it did or not.
    There are other things to consider than just the omega 6. Which I've never heard of til now.

    Considering the price of feed now, I wonder how much of an increase Organic feed has taken, if at all. Last I checked organic feed here was over $22 for 50#s. (I have 50 chickens and am going through approximately about 150#s A WEEK. )

    Were these test chickens ranged or in cages? Ranged chickens have a healthier egg than caged. Or am I wrong?

    Sunshine and fresh are and lack of antibiotic over load do account for something in the health of a chicken and it's eggs. Or am I wrong about this too?

    I'm just playing devils advocate here, but I'm only interested in what the average backyard flock keeper can handle and what's available to us.

    Chicken on Wayne , chicken on Garth


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