What to feed for really yellow egg yolks?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Mr Hen, Oct 17, 2012.

  1. Mr Hen

    Mr Hen Out Of The Brooder

    May 28, 2012
    Southern Missouri
    I know your supposed to feed them lots of things with beta carotene to get extra yellow eggs, but greens are running short now that fall is coming. It seems that everyone tries to judge eggs by the color of the yolk even if it's not really all that significant, so I'm willing to cheat a little. Could I get some bulk turmeric and start shoving that in their feed? Would that hurt anything besides covering everything in yellow powder?
  2. Some Layer feeds (Purina Layena and Nutrena's) have Marigold Extract. That's all mine get and they have really orange yolks. But they also have 7 1/2 (even if they only use 2) acres to free range, so that might also make a difference. What are you feeding them?

    ~~Ms.B :)
  3. K-9Dog

    K-9Dog Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 23, 2012
    I swear by the Nutrena natriwide layer formula. Good stuff in it! very natural!
  4. off-grid hen

    off-grid hen Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 1, 2011
    Upstate NY
    Depending on how strong the flavor of the spice is, it might make the eggs taste funny. For the best yolks, grass and bugs are the way to go. If they can't have that, then you can feed squash, cabbage, vegetable scraps, cooked carrots, peaches, etc.

    Last winter I had a deal with the girl that worked the produce section of the grocery store. If she couldn't sell a cabbage or other produce, she would box it up and let me have it. My girls got some fresh-ish produce in the winter, and it helped the yolks stay orange. I wish I could have talked her into giving me the yogurt that was me day past the sell-by date, but she wasn't allowed. This year she can't get rid of the produce that way, it's against store rules. My chickens are going to be very sad. :(
  5. Mr Hen

    Mr Hen Out Of The Brooder

    May 28, 2012
    Southern Missouri
    We live in the woods with foxes and bobcats, so free ranging is a weekend thing when we are home. They've been getting pretty gutsy in going into the woods lately too. They have been getting OO brand layer feed. Lately though, some of them have started losing feathers so, on someone's suggestion, I went to Pen Pals Game Bird Breeder with oyster shell added. Given the price, I won't keep that up much longer. We feed them plenty of veggie scraps, that would be a lot of scraps to take care of 20 chickens. Maybe I can pick up some marigold extract. For that matter, we have a few marigolds in front that are about to die for the winter.
  6. TurtlePowerTrav

    TurtlePowerTrav T.K.'s Farm

    Jul 29, 2012
    Oregon City, OR
    My Coop
    If they are molting, you only need to increase protein for about a month, then go back to normal feed. Hopefully that won't cost too much $$$
  7. Cindy in PA

    Cindy in PA Overrun With Chickens

    Jul 8, 2008
    Fleetwood, PA
    Just feed a feed that includes alfalfa meal or something that is actually nutritious & makes yolks yellow. I have to question a company like Purina adding marigold petals to make the yolks look better. If you can't get feed with alfalfa, buy some alfalfa hay, cubes or pellets to supplement your chickens if you don't have something else green.
  8. mickey328

    mickey328 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 4, 2012
    Northern Colorado
    It's not just the color; I find that the more gold the yolk, the better flavor it has too. Greens, with beta carotene, are the best and healthiest. Maybe check with a small, family run store; they may be more amenable to letting you have the cuttings from things like spinach, chard and kale. If you have a cold frame, you can grow them too for most of the winter; they're cold weather crops. Dried greens will work too so if you have any grass clippings or trimmings from your own garden, you can save them and give them back in the winter. We cut our clover and dried it in bunches in the garage; parsley too.

    They do often need extra calcium when they're laying. If oystershell is too pricey for you, save the eggshells, whirl them in the food processor till they're fine but not powder, and make that available for them.

    Extra protein definitely helps with replacing feathers after molting, egg production and overall health. It can be fairly inexpensive to add. Ours get all meat scraps (as long as they're not too salty), cooked or raw. I cook pinto beans (dried ones are very cheap here) for them, give them any cheese we have that's old or crusty (I cut off any mold) and make yogurt for them. I use the dried milk for that, so it's not too pricey.

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