What do you supplement your layers with?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by newTexan2chickens, Jul 9, 2010.

  1. newTexan2chickens

    newTexan2chickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 15, 2010
    My original flock of birds I got full grown from a friend and they had really nice orange yolks. After an incident with a dog I had to acquire a new flock. My new birds are a different breed and I have noticed the yolks are not as dark. Can I supplement them to change this? Currently they get layer, a handful of scratch per day and they free range for a couple of hours per day eating bugs and grass.
  2. Wynette

    Wynette Moderator Staff Member

    Sep 25, 2007
    First off, it's always best to provide free-choice oyster shell, but that has nothing to do with the yolk color.

    Also, it's really not the best idea to give scratch during the heat of summer - the corn in it actually heats them up. Just an FYI there!

    The things that will make the yolks darker are very dark greens such as mustard greens, kale, etc. I get them from ther grocery stroe when they're in the bargain bin and have just barely begun to wilt. Also, carrots will darken yolks, but you will need to shred them before feeding. Another thing that works really well is alfalfa via cubes or pellets soaked in water, but mine aren't too keen on it. I typically will soak alfalfa pellets in water & mix it in when I'm giving treats such as oatmeal, yogurt, shredded cheese, or table scraps. That's the only way mine will eat it.
  3. twentynine

    twentynine Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 14, 2009
    Yolks will get darker as they get the scratch into their systems. Cracked corn will also turn yolks vibrant yellow.

    I give mine green grazing, layer pellets, flock raiser, any/all kitchen scraps, left over fish bait, a couple fish carcasses, and any other thing I think they'll process into eggs .
  4. newTexan2chickens

    newTexan2chickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 15, 2010
    Oops... should have mentioned they get oyster shell too.... tho can't tell they eat that much of it. I have a feeder with just oyster shell set up near the other 2 feeders. I knew the scratch would heat them up in the summer but dang they look so expectant and are so happy when I throw it down. Usually that is their treat when they all go back into the run at night (helps to round up the stragglers from the field).

    I can't get these bums to eat dark greens! Maybe that is the problem. My other chickens would... pulled all the brussel sprouts and cabbage from the garden and they went to town. These chickens are snobs!
  5. greenfamilyfarms

    greenfamilyfarms Big Pippin'

    Feb 27, 2008
    Elizabethtown, NC
    Oyster Shell or ground limestone is a must. Also, it helps to give them a vitamin/electrolyte packet in their water. We give some once a week - more in extreme temps.

    Oh, also - you can put DE in their food as a natural wormer. And apple cider vinegar in their water! There are tons of benefits to using ACV. I think there was a discussion about that on BYC somewhere.
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2010

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