Is this too much to ask of my chicken feed?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by HennaRose, Feb 18, 2016.

  1. cavemanrich

    cavemanrich Overrun With Chickens

    Apr 6, 2014
    Melrose Park Illinois
    If you want designer feed, well it will be pricey for sure. On the subject of the fishy smell. It comes from the animal protein added which in your mix comes from fish and crabs. I know that you are trying to get the HEALTHIEST feed possible. Sometimes what may seem like a great formula may indeed be NOT SO GREAT. Do some research on fish and mercury content. I know that pregnant women should avoid eating too much tuna. I am not saying that your feed has mercury, but fish seem to have some. I do eat fish, from oceans and fresh water lakes. I can not possibly become pregnant. The fish smell reminds me of a story told to me by some elders. In Eastern Europe on collective farms, they used to raise chickens. The eggs and chicken meat did have a strong fish odor. They were fed whatever the government provided these collective farms. All the fish scraps available were ground up and mixed with whatever grains they could come up with. Very few people liked eating the poultry and eggs. When there was nothing else available,,,,, well they ate that regardless.
    I feel very comfortable feeding my chickens feed from the feed store. It is up to every individual to make their own choices.
  2. HennaRose

    HennaRose Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 22, 2014
    Price is a consideration, but not necessarily a breaking point (though I will admit, $100+ is too much to spend on feeding 8 chickens). I would just like to be able to feed the eggs to my kids without having to add a boatload of cheese to it to mask fish smell/taste.
  3. Chris09

    Chris09 Circle (M) Ranch

    Jun 1, 2009
    Are you sure that it is indeed the feed that your feeding, are they brown egg layers?
    For what little Fish and Crab meal that's in that feed I wouldn't think that you would be getting any fishy smell from it. Could your eggs be stored near onion type plants or even fish in the fridge, are you feeding a fermented feed, are you offering anything in there diet to up the omega fatty acids of the eggs? These are just a few things that can give eggs a fishy smell even if the hens are on a vegetarian diet..

    Might try reading this -- ISA News Letter Fishy taint in brown eggs sec.pdf
    1 person likes this.
  4. HennaRose

    HennaRose Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 22, 2014
    Two are brown egg layers (Rhode Island Red, Australorp), but the blue egg layer and the white egg layers all have the same problem. The eggs didn't taste fishy when the birds were on a homemade whole-grain feed, and I switched them before they started laying so I don't know how the eggs would have tasted on a crumble or pellet feed.

    The feed itself seems the most likely suspect. The eggs are stored on the counter, not near any onions (which I don't keep fresh; I chop and freeze them right away) or fish. I haven't started my vegetable garden so it isn't anything they're eating from the garden either. I only give them that feed and green leafy things and sometimes fruit that's too wilty or bruised to be palatable, no additional feed supplements. Plain water. I was feeding fermented for a while, and I noticed that the fishy smell/taste was stronger then, but it hasn't been fermented in about a month. While the fishiness has become weaker, it's definitely still there.
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2016
  5. junebuggena

    junebuggena Chicken Obsessed

    Apr 17, 2015
    Long Beach, WA
    Do you feed them flax seeds, by any chance? Flax can cause a fishy taste in eggs if you give too much, also some weeds can affect the taste.
  6. HennaRose

    HennaRose Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 22, 2014
    Not unless it's in the feed mix. They've scratched up and eaten all the weeds in their enclosure and the rest of the yard is mostly shade, so not many weedy plants grow in the first place. I don't pull up weeds for them often enough for it to reliably affect the taste of the eggs.

    ETA: Here's what the feed company says in in this mix:
    Organic Wheat, Organic Peas, Organic Barley, Organic Linseed Meal, Organic Camelina Meal, Limestone (Calcium Carbonate), Oyster Shell, Fish Meal, Crab Meal, Vitamin and Mineral Premix, Organic Vegetable Oil.

    Now, I know linseed and flaxseed are the same thing, so perhaps it's the flax and not the fish/crab, or the flax in addition to the fish/crab. Either way, I may need a new feed.

    ETA again: But as I recall, the homemade mix was heavy on the flax too, and the eggs didn't taste fishy then. So it may be the flax/fish combination.
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2016
  7. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Flock Master

    Nov 7, 2012
    We all feed what we deem best to our birds, given our particular circumstances and what we consider to be important. If you were willing to experiment, I'd suggest that you buy a single bag of layer or multi flock pellets, and give yourself a 1 month trial with this. See if it makes a difference. If it does, I'd suggest that perhaps it might be better to lower your feed standards a bit in order to increase the palatability of your eggs. Eggs that don't taste good enough to eat are counterproductive to all of your best efforts at providing good nutrition for your birds. Next, I'd suggest that if you want to get the best nutrition into your birds, you switch to fermented feed, and if their run is barren of vegetation, put down 6" of mulch in there. (lawn clippings, leaves, wood chips, garden debris, used stable litter, hay, straw... basically anything that would go into a compost pile for the carbon matter)
    1 person likes this.
  8. Chicken Egg 17

    Chicken Egg 17 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 11, 2015
    McVeytown PA
  9. Percheron chick

    Percheron chick Overrun With Chickens

    Apr 12, 2013
    Boulder, Colorado
    Your local TSC should special order in any feed they have access to. That would include organic whole grains. They might have a minimum but you have to ask. What was your protein source other than flax on your mix?
  10. HennaRose

    HennaRose Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 22, 2014
    The homemade mix? It had peas, lentils, wheat, oats, flax,sesame seeds, and some other grains and seeds that would change depending on the prices at the store. Sometimes it was millet, sometimes amaranth.

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