In search of the elusive dark orange yolk

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Hholly, Nov 18, 2015.

  1. Hholly

    Hholly Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Is it possible to get the dark, rich yolks when the birds are in a run and can't free range? I've been supplementing alfalfa to their diet as well as some kitchen scraps, to no effect. The eggs are indistinguishable from commercial eggs. They are on Purina Flock Raiser until they all start laying. Then I plan to try Layena, since I've heard it might help.

    Does anyone have a secret ingredient that helps?
    TIA!
     
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  2. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Overrun With Chickens

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    I forget the persons handle here but the use paprika and cayenne pepper mixed into the feed. From photos I think it's beyond orange and moving into red.

    There are feeds that use marigold extract. That give the orange color. In greens I can't remember the big ones that gives best coloration. Kale might be one, I don't really know.

    I have a movable coop and run so don't have a need to retain that knowledge. Get good coloration, kitchen scraps and leftovers aid in winter but sure enough they still turn pale by winters end. As soon as spring has sprung and they're back to a portable run the vibrant color comes back.
     
  3. ChickenMammX4

    ChickenMammX4 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Our hens don't free range but have bright , dark yellow yolks. They do get a lot of fresh veggie from our garden in the summer as well as fresh pumpkins this time of year. My SIL brought a big bag of turnip greens this week, which they loved! We pick fresh grass for them everyday. Plan to supplement with alfalfa this winter since the fresh stuff will pretty well go away.
     
  4. MeepBeep

    MeepBeep Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dark egg yolks come from xanthophylls, they are carotenoids...

    You will find some of the highest levels of xanthophylls in these easy to get dark leafy vegetables like kale, spinach, collards, broccoli, zucchini, as well as in other vegetables...

    Treat you birds with those types of veggies and the yolk should darken...
     
  5. Hholly

    Hholly Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks for the input y'all! :thumbsup
    I'm going to try some of the greens suggested.

    Also, maybe the paprika/cayenne. Any ideas on how much to feed of these? Do chickens enjoy spicy foods?
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2015
  6. MeepBeep

    MeepBeep Chillin' With My Peeps


    The more you feed the darker the egg yolk will become up until a certain point where it maxes out, experiment until you are happy with the color...

    What is spicy to us with 10,000 taste buds isn't all that spicy to them with 30 taste buds...
     
  7. Hholly

    Hholly Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ah, makes sense. Just don't want to burn their innards, lol. I know how my hands feel after dicing chili peppers. Thanks!
     
  8. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    Any food stuff that provides carotenes can make the yolks darker.
     
  9. RonP

    RonP Chillin' With My Peeps

    I once threw in a bushel full of unsalable red bell peppers in the run...

    Chickens loved them, especially the seeds.

    I soon learned very quickly all about carotenoids and the effects on egg yolk color.

    I'll admit, I originally thought there was blood involved, their yolks were beyond orange.
     
  10. Hholly

    Hholly Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks! Good to know![​IMG]
     

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