Pale Yokes...!!

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by andreajp, Apr 19, 2008.

  1. andreajp

    andreajp In the Brooder

    Jun 3, 2007
    Adelaide, Australia
    Hi all,

    This has probably been asked a million times but can somebody please help..!!
    I buy my chickens the best organic layer pellets, they have lots of fresh veg & fruit as well as free ranging around my back yard. BUT the yokes are terribly pale. Didn't realise how pale until I had given some eggs to a work collegue & he had them hard boiled in a salad.... Big mouth walked passed & commented "they are definately not my eggs.... they look sick" Unfortunately they were mine.......

    What am I doing wrong or what are my girls lacking in....??
    Hope somebody can help.

    Cheers Andrea
  2. Nichole77

    Nichole77 Songster

    Jul 14, 2007
    Interesting. I haven't seen this. Do you have any pics? From what I have learned on the boards yolk color is determined by what they eat. I just switched top organic feed and it seems bland. No color, little smell, you know. I wonder if that is the cause. I have read that commercial chickens are fed certain things to brighten the yolks. It wasn't anything bad I believe it was some plant. Good luck and post a pic so we can see please, I'm interested.
  3. justusnak

    justusnak Flock Mistress

    Feb 28, 2007
    South Eastern Indiana
    Im no expert....but this is what works for us.
    I have several pens, that have no plant matter at all! ( thank you chickens [​IMG] ) I too noticed thier yolks were pale. I switched to Purina Layena pellets. Its not organic..but it has dandylion added to it. Thier yolks are very orangy now..and thick. Im thinking the Dandylion has alot to do with it. Im not sure what chemical is in the dandylion that helps...but it does.
  4. hoosier

    hoosier Songster

    I have heard that some commercial layers are fed marigolds for yolk colour. During the winter, I sometimes add a few alfalfa pellets to their feed. It seems really strange that yours have pale yolks if they are eating fresh greens.
  5. Interesting.

    What type of hens are you feeding? Typically the clorophylls and beta carotenes found in the plants hens consume during foraging will result in very dark and firm yolks. It is true that commercial layer feeds use marigolds, as marigold extract, to aid in keeping yolks dark. When I had my layer feed custom manufactured I included 200 lb/ton of dehy alfalfa since my hens were cage free, but not free range.

  6. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    AFAIK, dark leafy greens play a real big role in yolk color, so if by any chance the produce you're feeding is mostly other things and not so many dark leafy greens, that might be a factor.

    Otherwise, dunno.

    Good luck,

  7. scgamecock

    scgamecock Songster

    Jan 18, 2008
    Conway SC
    Actually a feed with a high corn content will darken the yolks but you need to make sure they are getting everyhting else they need.I use a fresh ground laying mash that my feed store makes from locally grown grains and also turning the them out for a few hours a week in the late afternoon will get them the green they need to make the yolks dark.Free range chickens will always have the darkest and best tasting yolks by far.
  8. wynedot55

    wynedot55 Songster

    Mar 28, 2007
    your not doing anything wrong.the feed your feeding is formulated to make the yolks light colored.freeranging an corn will put color in your hens freerange,an they dont get much if any their yolks are a bright yellow/orange.
  9. scgamecock

    scgamecock Songster

    Jan 18, 2008
    Conway SC
    BTW I have feed some Layena at times and the yolks were bright orange but I can't afford to feed all my layers on it,cause it's almost $5 per 50lbs more.
  10. hooligan

    hooligan Songster

    Aug 20, 2007
    Purina Layena is a non-animal ingredient food, which is what I feed and its the marigolds in it that cause the yolks to be yellowy-orange.
    I feed my chickens lots of extras like fruit/veggies etc and they have a nice rich yellow yolk.

    ETA: I get Layena for $11.95 a bag and the girls love it.
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2008

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