The Difference a Quality Ration Will Make

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Fairview01, Oct 21, 2019.

  1. Fairview01

    Fairview01 Songster

    Jan 26, 2017
    Dallas, TX
    My exhibition show poultry are to valuable to become a varmints snack. The recent cold snap has generated a few eggs now and again. Side by side comparison of 2 of my eggs with store bought.

    And a pic of my cockerel shank color. 20191021_161708.jpg 20191021_161238.jpg
    TwoShepherds, Cyprus and sourland like this.
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Crossing the Road

    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    What is his leg color supposed to be?
    What you are seeing in yolk color is common. Store bought eggs come from birds that have no access to greenery, squash or anything else containing carotenoids will be much paler. Obviously your birds forage where they can have access to tender green forbs and other carotene containing substances.
    The only reason cage hens eggs have yellow yolks is because the primary feed ingredient is yellow corn. Feed in Africa is based on white corn. The result is yolks that are nearly white.
    Cage hens and others laying store bought eggs get a quality ration, it just usually contains no carotenoids other that that in yellow corn.
    In fact, I may suggest that cage hens get a better feed than what we provide out of bags. For one, it is way fresher. Bagged feeds are usually a month or even much more past the mill date. Cage hens and virtually all other commercially raised fowl get feed within a day or two of being milled.
    Temperature has virtually no impact on egg production.
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2019
    aart, TwoShepherds and getaclue like this.
  3. TwoShepherds

    TwoShepherds Songster

    Apr 4, 2019
    Southeast TN
    Beautiful eggs. What do you feed your hens, if you don’t mind me asking?
  4. Fairview01

    Fairview01 Songster

    Jan 26, 2017
    Dallas, TX
    I raise and show heritage large fowl cornish. There is no commerical over the counter ration that will meet their needs. Nothing has adequate protein levels or essential amino acids or animal sourced proteins. I make my feed.

    As mentioned above carotenoids are responsible for enhancing the color of skin and yolk. The specific carotenoids which weren't mentioned are lutein and zeaxanthin. Lutein contributes yellow while zeaxanthin contributes red. Corn is a low source of zeaxanthin so obtaining the golden red shank color or the blood red yolks is impossible using corn alone.

    Commercial operations do not rely on corn for color enhancement because corn contains empty calories. Corn for color enhancement purposes does not provide an adequate return for the dollar invested. Commercial operations use products such as Xamacol which is primarily non nutritive plant extracts that contain high levels of lutein and zeaxanthin. It is not available at our level.

    Give a man a fish he eats for a lifetime; teach him to fish and he will never go hungry. Lutein and zeaxanthin is what you need.
    TwoShepherds likes this.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: