Question about color feeding chickens...

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Kelly G, Aug 3, 2008.

  1. Kelly G

    Kelly G It's like herding cats!

    This may be a really stupid question, but I raised canaries for years, and I was wondering if you can (or need to) add beta-kerotenes to the chickens' diet to enhance the red color? I notice that a lot of hens and roosters wattles and combs are very faded - almost not red anymore...and I wondered if that was because this was missing from their diets - so I'll know what to add to my chickens diets if they fade.

    Thanks for your time!
  2. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Crowing

    May 8, 2007
    Young pullets normally have more of a pinkish comb and wattles. As they mature and get ready to lay, they turn a deeper red. When mine go broody and quit laying, they usually get less red and more pink again. That might be what you are noticing when you look at pictures here. There are a lot people with young chickens on this forum.

    Commercial chicken feed should have all the vitamins your chickens need. Mine also free range and get lots of extra beta carotene from all the vegetation they eat.
  3. spook

    spook Songster

    Apr 21, 2008
    North Central Florida
    Quote:Hey fellow canary person! I too raised Canary's and still have one left from all the years of babies. Chickens are a breed all of their own, I do not believe they will color change like a canary and their combs, ears and stuffs would be like feeding a yellow the red. Its not going to do anything. I have found that when your birds combs are brightest, they are either hot, laying an egg in a short time pre or post, or just in a mood. There really is no rhyme nor reason to it, but some claim that feeding olive oil will cause thermogenic results...give it to yourself vs hen.
    I also raised Red-factors, Yellows and greens. I like the fat bottomed yellows the best, although the other colors are easier to breed, they have just enough finch in them to make them fertile yet not enough finch in them to be nasty!
    Take care and you will enjoy your big birds equally!
  4. injunjoe

    injunjoe Songster

    Jun 1, 2008
    Pasco county, FL.
    Hello and welcome.
    You are just down the road from me!
    Don't know much about your question but just wanted to say hello! [​IMG]
  5. Kelly G

    Kelly G It's like herding cats!

    Hi, Guys! Thanks so much for the information and taking the time to share it! I'm glad I asked....WoodlandWoman- I'll be sticking to Purina [​IMG]

    Spook - Hello! I loved my canaries, and I miss them every day. But, now, we have two cats who'd wreak havoc on my hobby & I don't have a spare bedroom anymore (darn kids! [​IMG] ). I had red factors, yellows, whites, and Glosters (crested). I bred and bred and bred (I sold them to a local pet store) and had more fun with all of it. I would have loved to have had one of your fat bottomed yellows! I miss their lovely songs...but I do not miss the molting! I cleaned up feathers for MONTHS!

    Injunjoe - Hi, Neighbor! We're closer than I represent...I actually live in Wesley Chapel, just north of Tampa! I just say "Tampa" as everyone knows where it is [​IMG] We are just off of 54 close to Chancey Rd.

    I placed my order last night for 8 Silver Laced Wyandottes and 1 White Crested Black Polish - all are females. It looks like delivery will be in late August. And they will not be color-fed [​IMG]

    Thanks, again, guys!
  6. Alaskan

    Alaskan The Frosted Flake

    I have read recently that if you color feed it will change the color of the YOLK!

    Might be fun to play around with. [​IMG]
  7. Kelly G

    Kelly G It's like herding cats!

    Now THAT would be interesting! I could charge extra for colored yokes!

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