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Light colored egg yolks, Why?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by raimnel, Apr 9, 2010.

  1. raimnel

    raimnel Chillin' With My Peeps

    I have 11 hens who all lay, 1 of them lays an egg with a very very light colored yolk. I was wondering what is up with that? she has been laying about 2 months. It's been so long since I've seen a store bought egg yolk, but was wondering if the light yolk is because she mostly eats feed and the rest mainly forage. (she not a very bright bird) ???
     
  2. alicefelldown

    alicefelldown Looking for a broody

    Aug 18, 2008
    Quote:This is most likely the cause. Without knowing more about your chickens, and their diets it's hard to be definitively sure.
    http://www.ochef.com/455.htm :

    Natural yellow pigments, going by the catchy name of xanthophylls, are responsible for the color of the egg yolk. Xanthophylls are not produced by animals, though, so they get to the hens by way of the dinner plate, and are then deposited in the yolks.

    If hens are fortunate enough to be fed mashes containing yellow corn or alfalfa meal, they produce eggs with medium-yellow yolks.

    If their feeds are based on wheat or barley, they produce lighter-colored yolks.

    To get orange yolks — which to many people imply farm eggs or free-range eggs or fresh eggs or tastier eggs or "healthier" eggs — marigold petals or other naturally orange plant matter may be mixed in with light-colored feeds. (inc. corn)

    It is even possible to produce nearly colorless egg yolks by feeding hens white cornmeal or other pale grains.

    Outside the chicken pen, xanthophylls are seen when the leaves turn yellow and orange in the fall, once the bossy green chlorophyll ceases to dominate the leaves.​
     
  3. A.T. Hagan

    A.T. Hagan Don't Panic

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    Quote:That would be it.

    It's green feed that puts the color in the yolk.

    There always seems to be one in every flock that won't eat her veggies...

    .....Alan.
     
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2010
  4. Tala

    Tala Flock Mistress

    wondering if the light yolk is because she mostly eats feed and the rest mainly forage. (she not a very bright bird) ???

    That would be it.

    If it were MY flock, I'd let the feeder run empty for an afternoon.....just long enough for her to figure out that where the GOOD stuff really is! If she follows the examples set by the rest of the flock, she'll learn fast and get full, but if by chance she doesn't learn to forage properly you can fill the feeder up before they go to roost so she doesn't go to bed hungry.​
     
  5. gallusdomesticus

    gallusdomesticus Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Greens will darken the egg yolks but any carotonoids will also (i.e. carrot peelings, colored vegetables, kelp, etc). I supplement my girls food will brown kelp and it darkens the yolks considerably.
     
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2010
  6. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

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    My Coop
    Yup, it's the greens. Mine particularly love broccoli plants (when they're done growing I pull them up and they pick it clean), carrot tops, spinach, chard and clover.
     
  7. Olive Hill

    Olive Hill Overrun With Chickens

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    Apr 19, 2009
    Quote:That would be it.

    If it were MY flock, I'd let the feeder run empty for an afternoon.....just long enough for her to figure out that where the GOOD stuff really is! If she follows the examples set by the rest of the flock, she'll learn fast and get full, but if by chance she doesn't learn to forage properly you can fill the feeder up before they go to roost so she doesn't go to bed hungry.

    I would be inclined to do the same, though I'd do it for a good week -- not just one day. I'd measure out their feed at night and feed them just enough, leave the feeder empty otherwise. As long as there is forage available they'll be fine. One day might not be enough to motivate her to get off her duff and find some food, but a week should be plenty to do the trick.
     

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