How To Get Rich Orange Yolks, Without Freerange

LUVMY5HENS

In the Brooder
9 Years
Sep 19, 2010
13
0
22
We would like to let our girls free range, but worry about predators. They get lots of table scraps, veggies, fruits, etc. How do we get the yolks a rich orange color without free range? What is it that they get from the yard that does that? Protien from bugs, grass? I give them grass clippings.
 

Imp

All things share the same breath- Chief Seattle
11 Years
Sep 7, 2008
14,453
180
318
The Emerald City
My Coop
My Coop
A lot of people recommend leafy greens, like kale, spinach, collards, mustard etc. The grass clippings are good too.

Here's some further info:


Yellow to orange yolks

Seaweed meal (algae),
dehydrated alfalfa meal, corn
gluten meal, flower petal meal,
dried chili peppers, powdered
African red peppers, dried sweet
potatoes, dried carrots, corn oil
products, food grade fat soluble
dyes, etc.

Feed recommended levels of xanthophyll bearing
materials for desired egg yolk color.
Yellow =13 mg of xanthophyll per lb of feed

Medium orange = 23 mg of xanthophyll per lb of feed

Orange = 34 mg of xanthophyll per lb of feed.

Maximum color will be present 10 days after the
hens are placed on feeds for yolk color.

Imp
 

7L Farm

Songster
9 Years
Jul 22, 2010
4,635
85
231
Anderson, Texas
I'm no expert. I would think its a combination of grass & bugs. But I also think it has to do with consistency. In other words day in day out.
 

Dixiedoodle

Songster
12 Years
Apr 14, 2007
2,147
12
211
Last winter, I fed my hens a five gal bucket full of greens from our patch--some even had bugs on them since we don't use pesticide products--everyday.. From Nov. to April--- About a week after,I finally ran out of greens-- I noticed a decrease in the bright orange color== not back to yellow but it wasn't nearly the rich orange it had been..
 

Boo-Boo's Mama

Songster
9 Years
Mar 21, 2010
1,189
8
149
Western Edge of Central Texas
Quote:
I began feeding alfalfa pellets soaked in water or yogurt about 5 days ago. My egg this morning at breakfast was a very deep orange!
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One day I cooked 1# of blackeyed peas and used 1/2 of them to soften the alfalfa pellets that day. I have also been adding Crushed Red Pepper flakes and have had several hold-out hens begin laying. DH is going to Sam's when he goes back to work tomorrow to see about buying beans or peas in bulk. He called feed store and they wanted $80 for 50# bag of blackeyed peas that were treated (for planting)...that was all they had.
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kla37

Songster
9 Years
Apr 18, 2010
2,162
29
173
Hillsborough, NC USA
We don't have eggs yet, but we don't have black-eyed susan flowers, marigold flowers, or daylilly flowers anymore either. My son picks them as soon as they bloom and feeds them to the chickens! They seem to like them. Will that make yolks more yellow?
 

New Hatcher

In the Brooder
9 Years
Jul 21, 2010
72
0
39
Central Alberta Canada
Hubby and I had just been talking about this because we have a few hens not free ranging and at breakfast the eggs were a pale yellow. We really like the orange yokes so I'll be trying all this to keep them going in winter.
thumbsup.gif
thank you for this post.
 

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