How To Get Rich Orange Yolks, Without Freerange

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by LUVMY5HENS, Oct 10, 2010.


    LUVMY5HENS In the Brooder

    Sep 19, 2010
    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.

  2. pips&peeps

    pips&peeps There is no "I" in Ameraucana

    Jan 18, 2008
    Newman Lake, WA
    A bit of alfalfa hay will work.
  3. Imp

    Imp All things share the same breath- Chief Seattle

    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.

  4. AKsmama

    AKsmama Songster

    Jun 20, 2010
    South Carolina
    I believe greens help with orangey yolks- grass, cabbage, spinach, kale, etc.

  5. 7L Farm

    7L Farm Songster

    Jul 22, 2010
    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.
  6. Dixiedoodle

    Dixiedoodle Songster

    Apr 14, 2007
    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..
  7. 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! [​IMG]

    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. [​IMG]

  8. kla37

    kla37 Songster

    Apr 18, 2010
    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?
  9. Beekissed

    Beekissed Free Ranging

    Cracked corn will give deep orange yolks. I feed alfalfa in the winter to supply my free rangers with their normal greens and this tends to keep them nice and orange.

  10. New Hatcher

    New Hatcher In the Brooder

    Jul 21, 2010
    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.
    [​IMG] thank you for this post.

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