Without much added cost or effort, today's poultry producer can do som

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by ChicksinBoise, Aug 12, 2007.

  1. ChicksinBoise

    ChicksinBoise Songster

    Jun 14, 2007
    I thought this was some great wisdom I found on lionsgrip.com and thought others could benefit:

    1. Add dried wild fish meal to the feed mix. Or better yet, free-choice it along with the usual mix. Then, get a test done, and let your customers know how much omega-3 you have in your chickens and eggs, and what kinds of omega-3's you have. The fish meal produces much better omega-3's than flax seed does.

    2. Reduce the amount of corn, and increase other grains such as wheat, oats, millet, and others.

    3. Stop using pelletized grains and begin using only whole, living grains, tumbled together. The mill cost will be greatly reduced, since grinding and pelletizing will not need to be done at all. Or you can get an old cement mixer and mix your own. Include several kinds of grains, and let the chickens pick and choose.

    4. Include dried legumes (beans, peas, lentils, etc.) with the grains, to balance out the B vitamins, proteins, and other profiles.

    5. For salt, only use dried kelp, which you keep tacked up inside the coop in convenient places. At first, they'll eat a lot of it, because they've been missing all the minerals in the kelp. After a few days or weeks, they'll taper off.

    6. Use alfalfa pellets for much of the vitamin A, potassium, and other requirements. Use Fertrell's Nutribalancer or other Fertrell products to keep the vitamin levels the way you want them. Vitamin A is the most important vitamin to watch out for. Never use synthetic vitamin A ("irradiated"). Vitamin A in your feed can come from green things (alfalfa), liver, insects, whole small fish, or fish liver oils.

    7. Stop using anything with any added oils or fats, to eliminate the health-destroying trans-fats and re-processed oils that are often added to feeds. In 2006, all trans-fats will have to be identified on all U.S. food labels, so start getting good sources now, ones that have zero trans-fats and zero re-processed fats of any kind.

    8. Use only 100% organic products, getting assurance that they are classified 100% organic, not certified by allowing a small percentage of non-organic stuff included (1% can be a LOT of toxic matter). There are many different "Organic" certification agencies, with differing criteria.

    These steps may not give you an omega-3 chicken or egg, but they will give you a highly healthful product nonetheless. The consumer can get omega-3's from other sources besides chicken.

    We're just beginning to be aware of our omega-3 problem. Looking at the omelettes in the menu at Denny's recently, I asked the waiter if they had Omega-3 eggs. He thought a moment and said, "Sure, we can make it three eggs."​
  2. eggcetra_farms

    eggcetra_farms Songster

    Jun 26, 2007
    San Antonio, TX
    Very interesting!
  3. SandraChick

    SandraChick Songster

    Freerange chickens lay naturally high omega 3 laden eggs....

  4. allen wranch

    allen wranch Crowing

    Jan 11, 2007
    San Marcos, TX
    Interesting, but not very many people have the supply resources to mix their own feed.
  5. Zenbirder

    Zenbirder Songster

    May 3, 2007
    New Mexico
    do you know of a reference for this? I have always thought they must be higher, but I would love to show my Mom some study. Thanks!
  6. SandraChick

    SandraChick Songster

    There was an article in a homesteading type magazine, but don't actually remember--it may have been mother earth news?

    I have an anectodal story though. My best friend's husband would not eat my chicken eggs because he bought organic, omega -3 eggs at the health food store. We tried to convince him that my property is managed organically, and that the chickens had a more natural varied diet and thus the eggs were even better than the "vegetarian- feed" chickens (mother nature does better than humans I think).

    Well, he ran out of "his eggs" and his wife cooked him up some of my eggs. He said they were yellower, weren't as runny, and better tasting. He had read up about characteristics of omega three eggs, and mine beat the store ones! Now he can't wait to hear my voice on the message machine saying I have some extra eggs for them!!!!

  7. Zenbirder

    Zenbirder Songster

    May 3, 2007
    New Mexico
    I found this from the Greenwood Farms site:
    USDA studies show that compared to eggs from grain-fed hens (even those fed organic grains)

    eggs from grass-fed hens have:
    10% LESS FAT
    CAROTENES LUTEIN & zeaxanthin

    Eggs from free-range hens contain 400% more omega-3 fatty acids
    than eggs from hens fed and all grain diet.
    Omega-3s are called "good fats" because they play a vital role in every cell and system in your body. For example, of all the fats, they are the most heart-friendly. People who have ample amounts of omega-3s in their diet are less likely to have high blood pressure or an irregular heartbeat. Remarkably, they are 50 percent less likely to suffer a heart attack.1 Omega-3s are essential for your brain as well. People with a diet rich in omega-3s are less likely to suffer from depression, schizophrenia, attention deficit disorder (hyperactivity), or Alzheimer's disease.2

    Another benefit of omega-3s is that they may reduce your risk of cancer. In animal studies, these essential fats have slowed the growth of a wide array of cancers and also kept them from spreading.3 Although the human research is in its infancy, researchers have shown that omega-3s can slow or even reverse the extreme weight loss that accompanies advanced cancer and also hasten recovery from surgery.4,5

    Omega-3s are most abundant in seafood and certain nuts and seeds such as flaxseeds and walnuts, but they are also found in animals raised on grass. The reason is simple: Omega-3s are formed in the chloroplasts of green leaves. Sixty percent of the fatty acids in grass are omega-3s and this is transferred to the eggs produced by free-range hens.6
    In a recent study, one group of chickens was confined indoors (the conventional system) and another was allowed to free-range. Both groups were fed the same commercial mixed diet. The chickens that were able to add grass to the menu produced eggs that that were higher in omega-3s and alpha-tocopherol (vitamin E.)6
    Egg yolks are the richest known source of lutein and zeaxanthin,
    essential vitamins not found in your multi-vitamin tablet
    Eggs are gaining new respect from nutritionists, partly for their abundance of two carotenes --- lutein and zeaxanthin. These antioxidant vitamins are essential for the protection of the macula, an area of the retina that provides our best central vision. Eggs are the richest known source. "Macular degeneration," the term for damage to this area of the retina, is the leading cause of blindness in people over 55 years of age. Lutein and zeaxanthin protect the macula from the destructive effects of light. The deeper the yellow-orange color of yolks, the more lutein and zeaxanthin they contain and the more eye-protection they offer.
    There is also new evidence linking lutein and zeaxanthin with a lower risk of colon cancer. According to a recent study, "Of all the carotenoids investigated, only lutein and zeaxanthin showed a protective effect against colon cancer, with an enhanced effect in younger people."
    Pastured Poultry Get a Bounty of Vitamin E from Grass
    Standard poultry feed is supplemented with small amounts of vitamin E, but it doesn't come close to the bounty of vitamin E that chickens glean from fresh pasture. An egg from a pastured hen has 30 percent more vitamin E than the kind you buy in the supermarket.7
    Researchers at the Centers for Disease Control recently determined the vitamin E status of 16,000 American men and women. Twenty-percent per cent of white Americans, 41 per cent of African Americans, and 28 percent of Mexican Americans were deficient in vitamin E.
    Vitamin E deficiencies have been linked with diabetes, immune disorders, AIDS, muscle damage in exercise, Parkinson's disease, eye diseases, and lung and liver diseases.

    1. Siscovick, D. S., T. E. Raghunathan, et al. (1995). "Dietary Intake and Cell Membrane Levels of Long-Chain n-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids and the Risk of Primary Cardiac Arrest." JAMA 274(17): 1363-1367.

    2 Simopolous, A. P. and Jo Robinson (1999). The Omega Diet. New York, HarperCollins. My previous book, a collaboration with Dr. Artemis P. Simopoulos, devotes an entire chapter to the vital role that omega-3s play in brain function.

    3. Rose, D. P., J. M. Connolly, et al. (1995). "Influence of Diets Containing Eicosapentaenoic or Docasahexaenoic Acid on Growth and Metastasis of Breast Cancer Cells in Nude Mice." Journal of the National Cancer Institute 87(8): 587-92.

    4. Tisdale, M. J. (1999). "Wasting in cancer." J Nutr 129(1S Suppl): 243S-246S.

    5. Tashiro, T., H. Yamamori, et al. (1998). "n-3 versus n-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids in critical illness." Nutrition 14(6): 551-3.

    6. Lopez-Bote, C. J., R.Sanz Arias, A.I. Rey, A. Castano, B. Isabel, J. Thos (1998). "Effect of free-range feeding on omega-3 fatty acids and alpha-tocopherol content and oxidative stability of eggs." Animal Feed Science and Technology 72: 33-40.

    7. Lopez-Bote et al, "Effect of free-range feeding on omega-3 fatty acids and alpha-tocopherol content and oxidative stability of eggs." Animal Feed Science and Technology, 1998. 72:33-40.
  8. nccatnip

    nccatnip Songster

    Aug 5, 2007
    Piedmont area NC
    Has anyone had any experience using the kelp? And if so, where did you find it?
  9. SandraChick

    SandraChick Songster


    nice article!!!!

    There are some on this board that use kelp, but I'm not one of them. You'll probably have better luck asking as a new topic with the word kelp in the title.

  10. me&thegals

    me&thegals Songster

    Apr 30, 2008
    We're having our eggs tested by my BIL at the research facility he works at. The preliminary tests show 1/10th the cholesterol, 31 times the omega-3s and 7 times the lutein/zeaxanthin compared to USDA studies!!!

    He's wondering what on EARTH we feed them [​IMG] They have 24-hour pasture access, soybean/corn/mineral/vitamin feed in the barn when they want, lots of treats like veggie scraps, fruit and sunflower seeds.

    Any ideas on why these are so crazy nutritious? I mean, the Mother Earth News studies didn't come up with anything even close to this...

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