Leg Pigment

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by R.M. Hens, Aug 8, 2011.

  1. R.M. Hens

    R.M. Hens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 27, 2011
    Pearl River, LA
    Someone told me that the yellow pigment on the legs of my chickens mean that they are going to continue to lay for awhile. And once the pigment goes away, the hen will stop laying until more pigment is produced. This sounded kinda far fetched for me, but I am a new to chickens, so I thought I would ask the BYC experts. [​IMG]
  2. ddmiddle7

    ddmiddle7 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 8, 2011
    Indianapolis, IN
    I'm no expert but I believe that the leg color is in relation to its breed. I have 7 pullets, 5 different breeds and the breeds all have different color legs. My EEs have a slate/greenish color legs. My BO and my PR have pale yellow, almost white legs. My BSL has black legs and my BRs have yellow and black legs.
  3. RedDrgn

    RedDrgn Anachronistic Anomaly

    May 11, 2011
    West Virginia
    My Coop
    I don't think leg pigment has anything to do with it, especially the color (yellow) of the pigment. If it does, I'm definitely in trouble since I've got one chicken with black legs/feet, one with slate legs/feet, and two with yellow and black legs/feet...leaving only one with yellow legs/feet. I'd be so up the creek without a paddle. [​IMG]

    Perhaps the pigment reference is in regards to it being a potential indicator of the chicken's health/age. I've heard that pigment tends to fade as they age and/or change if they are unwell. Those two things definitely affect laying ability, so maybe that's the correlation.
  4. Scott Allen

    Scott Allen Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 31, 2011
    A friend who has raised chickens all his life told me that leg color fade indicated that they were laying. Mine just started laying at 4 months and the first ones to lay had grayer looking legs than the others who hadn't started yet. BTW, mine have been laying for 15 days now and I'm getting 4-5 eggs a day out of six hens, but I think only 3 are actively laying so far.

  5. R.M. Hens

    R.M. Hens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 27, 2011
    Pearl River, LA
    Thanks for the replies. I wonder if its just a burst of hormones or something that causes the legs to fade when they are laying? [​IMG]
  6. ChickenCrazy8

    ChickenCrazy8 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 16, 2012
    Canada, Ottawa
    My Coop
    I have heard that there is yellow pigment in certain places, legs, around the eye, around their vent etc.. And every time your hen lays an egg they take some of that yellow pigment and put it in the yolk of the egg. So, for example, if your hen has laid well for a year and she had bright yellow legs at the beginning of the year near the end of the year her legs will be a bit yellow or almost white!!!!
    That is what I have heard, but I am actually going to do more research on this subject. Good luck with you're chickens!!!!
  7. debid

    debid Overrun With Chickens

    Jan 20, 2011
    middle TN
    I've read that as well (Storey's chicken book...) but I think it's a load of hooey. If it were true, white-skinned chickens would lay eggs with paler yolks than yellow-skinned chickens. Just goes to show you that you can't believe everything you read.
  8. Pele

    Pele Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 25, 2011
    Chickens do tend to fluctuate their skin color based on their health, so there IS a kernal of truth to this. A hen that has run her laying course is low on her body's resources, which is why she's stopped laying in the first place to take a break. Her comb will pale out, along with the rest of her skin (including legs).

    A healthy hen will return back to being flush with color all over, then start laying again once her body's resources have been replenished.
  9. BeulahBreezes

    BeulahBreezes Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 31, 2012
    Western NY
    ......My understanding of the color of their yolks is based on their diet....free rangers have a much more golden yolk than a cage raised chicken......~Beulah [​IMG]
  10. GroveChickerynz

    GroveChickerynz Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 7, 2012
    New Zealand
    On egg yolk pigment - I was under the understanding that the chlorofil in the grass that the chickens eat dictates the intensity of the yolk yellow. (Why dandelion is fed to commercial caged layers) Our chickens all free range for daylight hours, and we've just come into the end of spring here and the yellow yolks we are getting are so intense they are naturally making my lemon cake (uses 3 eggs) bright yellow as if I've colored it!

    On chicken legs, as with their combs, I've just heard color has to do with circulation. Poor circulation - less color. Iv'e heard the combs have more blood circulating before they lay, and so become redder.

    Does anyone else know anything different to what I've been told ... I'd be happy to know.

    - grove.

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