Yolk color

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by horsewishr, Sep 14, 2007.

  1. horsewishr

    horsewishr Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 7, 2007
    West Michigan
    My son ate our first two pullet eggs this morning. I was thrilled to see that they had bright orange yolks.

    I have two friends with chickens. The friend whose chickens free-range have those same orange yolks. The other friend, whose chickens are kept in a run, gets yolks that look more like grocery store eggs.

    My chickens are in their run the majority of the time, but they get to free-range an average of 1.5 hours/day.

    I get "premium" food for my girls (I read and compared ingredient labels before buying). Is it the chicken food, the free-ranging, or the garden scraps that make my hens yolks so dark? I wonder if they'll get pale over the winter?

    Is there any correlation between yolk color and nutrient content?
     
  2. Heidi

    Heidi Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 18, 2007
    Northwest Michigan
    I was told that the more protein they eat the darker the yoke. Makes sense since you let them free range a bit and they can gobble up alot of bugs. [​IMG]
     
  3. cheeptrick

    cheeptrick Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 1, 2007
    New Hampshire
    You know...I was really expecting the bright orange yolks too. Mine free range on 2 acres. But they were not that bright at all and looked like store bought yolks. I was kind of sad to see the color was a yellow.
    Maybe I'll increase protein...will switching to a higher protein layer ration change that I wonder?
    [​IMG]
     
  4. gretchen

    gretchen Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 18, 2007
    A farmer at our local farmers market always claimed that his eggs had the deep yellow/orange color from his chicks free-ranging and eating cracked corn feed instead of crumbles. I'm doing organic crumbles, free range and they are eating all my compostables, so far my eggs have been golden yellow (definitely deeper that the grocery store) but not that deep orange that his eggs always were.
     
  5. Newchickenmom&kids

    Newchickenmom&kids Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 11, 2007
    Illinois
    What about those of you that feed the black oil sunflower seeds?? Do you guys get the darker yolks??
     
  6. Sabrinainmiss

    Sabrinainmiss Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 23, 2007
    Gothenburg, Nebraska
    I too have been getting the paler yolks and was a little disapointed. I feed mine the black oil sunflower seeds everyday and still pale yolks. I have been told if given cracked corn they will turn darker but because it has been a HOT summer and it produces body heat for chickens have not been feeding it to them.
     
  7. horsewishr

    horsewishr Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 7, 2007
    West Michigan
    My neighbor feeds cracked corn and his yolks are pale.

    I'm guessing that my yolks are so dark because my girls get LOTS of tomatoes from my garden. They also get zucchini, summer squash, grass, bugs, and recently got some butternut squash.

    I also feed a handful of BOSS every day.
     
  8. cheeptrick

    cheeptrick Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 1, 2007
    New Hampshire
    Could it also be layer feed that determines the color? I feed them BOSS< lots of veggies, fruits (been under my peach tree eating ALL the peaches that have fallen on the ground) etc. Maybe I'll try some cracked corn...just a handful a day or so and see if it helps?
     
  9. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    Interesting. I found that I have differences in yolk color too and all my birds get the same poultry feed. The only difference between my light yolkers and dark yolkers is that the light yolkers occur when I do not free range some of them (for breeding purposes). In my case, the difference in yolk color is just the free rainging.
     
  10. cheeptrick

    cheeptrick Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 1, 2007
    New Hampshire
    So could this be a breed characteristic?
     

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