YUCK, the egg I had for breakfast tasted FISHY!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by r4eboxer, May 31, 2012.

  1. r4eboxer

    r4eboxer Crooked Creek Poultry

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    I eat eggs every morning and have been eating 2-4 (depending on egg size) every morning for the past 4 months. This morning I got fishy eggs. They tasted terrible and I sell and give away eggs.

    I did a search on fishy tasting eggs but didn't get much info. I know the eggs came from either buff orphingtons, RIR or Barred rocks. My chickens free range and get a supplement of country acres chicken feed but not a whole lot of it. I do put my scraps in the compost pile but don't put any meat due to unwanted rodents. All that goes in the compost is veggie scraps, pasta type dishes.

    I'm almost afraid to eat any more eggs. The eggs were not old they were only in the fridge for a week. I use an extra fridge and the only thing that was in it was about 13 dozen eggs, water, cans of soda, a potato salad and macaroni salad I had made for Memorial day picnic. I think it must be something on free range but what?
     
  2. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude

    Do you give them lots of flax seed? That would do it.
     
  3. r4eboxer

    r4eboxer Crooked Creek Poultry

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    I remember cleaning out my cupboards a few months ago and I did throw out a few bags of flax seed. It had gotten moths in it, but that was a few months ago. Shouldn't the fishy taste had shown up before now? I have been thinking about what they are eating and I keep going back to the compost pile. We take care of my husbands parents/property and they live in a house on the same acreage. My FIL put a really rotten bunch of compost on the pile and of course the chickens ate every morsel. That was a few weeks ago too though. I am afraid to eat eggs and I also sell them and give them away to friends. Gosh I sure hope no one else got an egg that tasted like that one. EWW I will lose customers for sure.
     
  4. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude

    Well, of course, chickens should not eat rotten or moldy food. That can literally kill them by causing sour crop. I'm not sure how long it would be that the flax would cause fishy tasting eggs.
     
  5. BoltonChicken

    BoltonChicken Songster

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    Do they have access to cat food? That would do it.
     
  6. LaynaDon95

    LaynaDon95 Songster

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    If the compost is causing the taste, I'll be surprised. Mine get into the compost bins all the time at my house. Who knows what they eat in there? Rotten veggies, chicken poop, bunny poop, whatever. I wouldn't worry about it. I have no idea what could have caused that though.
     
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  7. scott6150

    scott6150 Chirping

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    I have the same problem, but I think it's only one hen, b/c most eggs taste great. All they eat is Purina Layena Plus, and a little corn. I noticed on the bag that it contains flaxseed, which somebody on here said can cause it, and Omega 3 which was also mentioned. But again, MOST eggs taste wonderful. Ideas, anyone?
     
  8. Ugadano

    Ugadano Chirping

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    I know this is an older thread, but in case some other poor soul is searching like I was, here's what I found tonight, along with my fishy egg woes! I posted this in another 'fishy egg' thread, so I'll just copy and paste it here too.

    Dragon 16 posted this: "I've had the same problem. In doing research, it's a genetic defect in a brown egg laying hen that causes the "fishy" smell and taste. It's called trimethylamine and it's when the hen ingests, canola, flaxseed or rapeseed. Choline chloride which is in most feed will not produce the fishy smell.(or at least diminish it) . I give my dogs the fishy eggs and they don't seem to mind. :) Rhode Island Reds and Barred Plymouth Rocks may have tis defect."
    (thread link https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/635753/fishy-smelling-egg#post_13960542 )

    I wonder if it is something like ragweed or pigweed, lamb's quarter or what? Here's my post from another thread, just copied and pasted here as my experience with fishy eggs:

    So frustrating having that smell/taste and not knowing what to do about it. I ask every chicken person I come to, even the county extension agents, nobody knows. We had chickens years ago, kept them in the next neighbor's old henhouse across the fence and free ranged in our yard and the pasture. Every year during the growing season, we'd get a couple of hens laying fishy eggs. I mean picked up fresh-laid same-day, not even hot days, and bring them in to crack in the pan and the smell would nearly blow you away! We had to have 3 bowls out. One to crack into then pick up and smell of it. At one point I couldn't smell the fishy unless I forked the yolk and smelled of it that way, and that's not good if you wanted them fried sunnyside up. 2nd bowl on hand for if the first one received a stinky egg, because even the remaining moisture from the white of the first would taint the next one. At that point, 1st bowl became the dump bowl for 'fishy'. 2nd bowl would have to be thoroughly rinsed out if it got a fishy egg. 3rd bowl for putting 'safe' eggs in to scramble or for mixing in baked goods recipe. The fishy egg would ruin a cake or pancakes!

    After the growing season ended, no more fishy eggs until next late spring. I thought there must be some bug in the henhouse litter that they were getting, but never found anything, and finally decided there must be some weed growing that they were eating. But all my hens free range in my large yard, and I would only have 2 or maybe 3 out of over a dozen hens with that fishy smell. If even one egg was fishy, it would ruin a dozen in the scramble pan. I peeled a hardboiled egg the other day and the white tasted fine but I couldn't eat the yolk due to the fish taste. I am not afraid of their safety, as I know my eggs are fresh, but I had customers in the past and I would warn them to crack in separate bowls and smell them. I would make them good next time if they got fishy eggs. But after a while it's embarrassing and customers drop off. At this point with my hens, none of my green shells have been fishy, only a brown, so I think it's my production reds, and when one went broody and stopped laying, we didn't get any more fishy for quite some time.

    The fishy egg has no visible difference, no cloudy appearance, but in some you can smell it as soon as you crack the egg. In others, as I mentioned before, it would have no odor until I broke the yolk with a fork, and even a hint of fishy would ruin the scrambled dozen if it got in there without me noticing! I have eaten them before, forced myself with picante or something to mask the odor because I was so reluctant to waste anything, no problems with an intestinal nature, but I just can't do it again!

    I am not feeding them onion or garlic, fishy smell occurred long before I bought oyster shell, which doesn't stink, and they ALL eat that. I feed milo and whole oats and they free range. My family has corn allergy which is why we don't feed that and why we wanted our own chickens. I used to feed wheat that was grown just down the road, but not with my latest bunch of chickens We went probably 6 years without our own chickens and have started back with them again, now we have our own small henhouse in our yard and the hens don't go across the fence. Whatever it is they are getting, it's in my yard.
     
  9. Glenda Heywoodo

    Glenda Heywoodo Songster

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    Glenda Heywood
    Soy Free Diets For Poultry
    James Hermes, OSU Extension Poultry Specialist
    Publish Date: Summer 2010
    VolNo: Vol. V No. 3
    In recent years, there has been interest by small scale poultry producers to not feed soybean meal to their chickens. The reasoning behind this trend varies but most producers have health concerns regarding soy for both their birds and humans eating poultry products, meat and eggs, from birds fed soy. In addition, there is concern that most soy produced in the US is a “genetically modified organism” (GMO); most soy has been genetically manipulated so that it is resistant to Roundup, a widely used herbicide. And finally, many are concerned that soy is not locally grown, most is grown in the Midwest and transported to the Pacific Northwest by rail car. This is of particular concern for those who consider themselves “localvores”, individual that prefer to only consume products produced close to home.
    Why is soybean meal a major ingredient in poultry feed (about 30%)? For decades, soy has been known to be an excellent feed ingredient for poultry and other livestock; this is why it will be produced at levels expected to exceed 3.5 billion bushels in 2010. It is a high protein feedstuff (>45% crude protein) and it contains high levels of linoleic acid, an essential nutrient that is required in animal diets. Since it is so useful and available, the poultry industry has little interest in finding alternatives. Therefore there has not been a lot of work on other ingredients that may be adequate substitutes for soy. The question then arises, what is an adequate substitute.
    First, an adequate substitute must have an adequate supply, have the proper nutrient levels and be affordable. So, what is available in the Pacific Northwest that is an adequate soy substitute?
    In the past, animal products such as, fish meal, meat meal, meat and bone meal, blood meal, and poultry by-product meal have been used successfully in poultry diets. They are all high in protein and other nutrients; however, the supply has been reduced in recent years because feed mills that make feed for ruminant animals, cattle and sheep, can no longer use these products due to the potential of “Mad-Cow disease. Poultry are unaffected by this problem. Other issues with animal products include food safety and the potential of receiving contaminated product. And finally, organic production doesn’t allow the use of animal products in diets.
    Cereal Grains
    Cereal grains are typically low in protein, between 7% and 12%, and generally high in fiber. The energy level (starch) varies from very low (oats) to quite high (corn). Some cereal grains such as wheat and barley contain compounds that are not well digested by poultry and may need supplemental enzymes added to the feed to aid digestion if fed in levels above 10 or 20% in the diet.
    Legume grains
    This group includes the dry beans, peas, and lentils. Since soy is a legume these would appear to be an obvious choice. However, compounds including, tannins, oligosaccharides, and enzyme inhibitors that are found at high levels in most of these grains severely affect growth in poultry, especially in beans, with peas providing adequate growth at 30% in the diet or less. Since soy is processed with heat, these compounds are virtually eliminated as a problem. So with some processing, beans and peas may become a useable ingredient, more work is needed.
    Other
    Canola and Camilina, are relativelyPoultry new as a poultry feed ingredient but show some promise, however they are not without problems too. They are related to mustard and cabbage and as such they include compounds that can cause problems when fed to poultry. Canola, when fed at amount higher that about 10% in the diet, cause eggs produced by many brown egg layers to smell and taste fishy, and Camilina has a similar property and is only approved to be fed to broiler chickens as a level of less that 10%.
    Conclusion
    Poultry feeding is heavily dependent on soy as an ingredient. It will take some time to identify adequate substitutes that are locally produced and will support poultry growth and egg production. Unlike ruminants, which can thrive on forages, poultry require a balanced diet. Therefore, poultry diets must contain proper ingredients at the proper levels for productive chickens.
    .
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    Soy Free Diets For Poultry | Small Farms Programs
    n recent years, there has been interest by small scale poultry producers to not feed soybean meal to their chickens. The reasoning behind this trend varies but most producers have health concerns regarding soy for both their birds and humans eating poultry products, meat and eggs, from birds fed soy...
    smallfarms.oregonstate.edu



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    Glenda Heywood Most inormative please read: In the past, animal products such as, fish meal, meat meal, meat and bone meal, blood meal, and poultry by-product meal have been used successfully in poultry diets. They are all high in protein and other nutrients; however...See More
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    Glenda Heywood Canola, when fed at amount higher that about 10% in the diet, cause eggs produced by many brown egg layers to smell and taste fishy, and Camilina has a similar property and is only approved to be fed to broiler
     

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