In search of the orange yolk...

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by SunChick, Mar 18, 2007.

  1. SunChick

    SunChick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 23, 2007
    Bel Air, Maryland
    Since my RIR have started laying and lay they have almost 1/2 doz a day from 5 RIR and 1 banty, we compared the yolk color to the pics we have seen in our poultry mags. They don't have that beautiful orange glow. I am wondering if this is because our birds are not free range. They get a 16% layer feed and they get kitchen scraps. Anything in particular I can do to increase the color of the yolks? They are definitly tasty!
     
  2. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    I've found that there is a definite difference in yolk color between my hens that are allowed to free range versus the hens that have to be kept inside. Much more orange from the free rangers. I know there are things you can feed them to help the color but I don't remember what. Sure someone else here knows.
     
  3. Picco

    Picco Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 14, 2007
    NY
    Orange colored yolks come from greens and other plant materials that contain beta carotene. Hens allowed to free range or have access to pasture get a lot of beta carotene themsleves form eating grasss and weeds. if you cannot provide this for them you can always by grocery produce, grow it yourself in a graden, or pick them some weeds from your yard (pesticide free ofcourse) and give that to them. Here's a list of edible plants you can give to improve yolk color and make your hens really happy:

    dandelion greens
    kale
    young grass
    pumpkin
    squash
    cantaloupe

    These foods have a lot of that orange pigment. Other things to look for are greens, and any edible fruit/vegetable that is dark green or orange in color. I hope someone will come along with a longer list of edible plants for you.
     
  4. SpottedCrow

    SpottedCrow Flock Goddess

    I remember something about marigolds too, but I don't remember whether it was from a Jim Perdue commercial:rolleyes:
     
  5. Barnyard Dawg

    Barnyard Dawg Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 7, 2007
    Northern California
    We have actually noticed that when we work in the garden and turn the soil the chickens gobble up the worms well the yolk is very orange and the egg production increases.
     
  6. roosterjack

    roosterjack Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 27, 2007
    My local country feed store owner told me to give my chickens fresh grass clippings as I am not free ranging mine. He said they really like them. Only the fresh green clippings though.
     
  7. justusnak

    justusnak Flock Mistress

    Last summer.....when we mowed...we would rake up some cuttings. They went crazy for them...this year we are goig to try the free range in the morning thing....hope they all come in at night, I will be sooo worried!!
     

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