Light yolk color on freshly layed eggs???

cheryl98117

Songster
10 Years
May 13, 2009
2,482
0
181
Indianola Washington
Help me please...! What am I doing wrong? a month ago all my hens were giving me nice healthy looking eggs with rich colored yolks. Now the yolks are a pale yellow instead of the nice rich orange color that I am used to seeing. My hens get layer pellets, scratch "as a treat", lots of water, vegi scraps, and are free ranged. What am I doing wrong? What do I need to change, or add? Any input would be much appreciated!
 
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Minniechickmama

Senora Pollo Loco
10 Years
Sep 4, 2009
7,135
695
391
Minnesota
If they are free ranging still then they should be getting as much green as they want, I would think.
I know my egg yolks lightened when it got cold here last fall and they couldn't free range, but they were dark even when they were penned up and laying this spring and just eating lay mash.
Wish I could help you, but at least they are still laying.
 

cheryl98117

Songster
10 Years
May 13, 2009
2,482
0
181
Indianola Washington
They are still laying, and it has only been the past week or so that the color has been kinda washed out. If that makes any sence. Maby Ill try to give them more garden cuttings. They are let out to free range around 11AM or what ever time I happen to get home from work. And I lock them in their run at dusk. The drastic color change over the past week was just shocking to see. Made me wonder if their health is ok, but they all seem to be happy healthy talkative hens.
 

feathersnuggles

Songster
10 Years
Sep 4, 2009
1,120
14
151
Seattle
I've noticed the darker orange yolks come from my best foragers. And, conversely, the lighter yolks are from lesser foragers. Dont' get me wrong, they all have good quality, tasty yolks. All the hens seem to eat plenty of grass and weeds, but the darkest yolks are from hens that dig out and consume the most worms and insects -- the best foragers. I have thought the yolk color might be related to their more intense insect diet, with its extra protein and fat.

Here's a thought. Just as an experiment for 2 weeks, try giving everyone a bit more protein than what is in their layer feed. I'd use mealworms, fish or meat scraps, some hard cooked eggs, or some BOSS.

Another question. Is there plenty of variety in the wild grasses and weeds they are eating right now? I occasionally supplement my free-ranged hens with weeds that grow along an unkempt slope in our neighborhood. An armload, now and then, gives them stuff to eat they don't get, in our yard. It occured to me, my hens had slowed down on eating our yard weeds perhaps because they had maxed out. Giving them some new weeds sparks their appetite.
 

Taylor

Songster
11 Years
Dec 14, 2008
493
20
151
i have the same problem, my barred rock pullet hasn't been laying but only for 2 months, and her egg yolks are pale yellow and when you scramble her eggs they are white looking on the plate, she perfers laying pellets over scratch and she loves ranging over fresh green grass, she eats her wait in it everyday! can i give her something to make nice dark orange yolks????
 

cheryl98117

Songster
10 Years
May 13, 2009
2,482
0
181
Indianola Washington
Quote:I will deffinately try giving them more protien. As for the veriety of weeds... From what I can tell I have about 6 different weeds that are the most prominent, and a few different verietys of grasses. The do LOVE to peck at the ant nest that is in my driveway, plus they scratch in the rock driveway to get at the bugs. I am constantly filling scratch holes in my driveway. lol
 

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