Eggs on the sunny side

Your Chickens - - Ask Our Experts -

Is there any­thing that I can give my hens to make their egg yolks more or­ange? Friends of­ten com­ment how awe­some the colour is but at the mo­ment, their yolks are pale yel­low in colour. A Julie Moore says: The colour of the yolk re­flects what a hen has been eat­ing. The yel­low and or­ange hues of a yolk come from the carotenoids in a hen’s diet. Carotenoids are pre­lim­i­nary forms of vitamin A oc­cur­ring nat­u­rally in foods such as corn, al­falfa, grass, dan­de­lions, fruit, car­rots, pump­kin and green, leafy veg­eta­bles such as kale and spinach. The greater the quan­tity of these foods in a hen’s diet, the deeper the yolk colour. A diet high in wheat on the other hand, will pro­duce pale yolks as wheat is low in yel­low carotenoids. A freerang­ing hen, able to scratch around for her food with ac­cess to plenty of grass, weeds, bugs and sun­light will in­gest a nat­u­ral diet con­tain­ing yel­low and or­ange pig­ments. Eggs from free-rang­ing birds will show a greater range in yolk colour based on the plants and bugs they con­sume dur­ing any given sea­son and the de­gree to which this makes up their diet. If your hens con­sume a mainly com­mer­cial feed, the colour of the yolks will be fairly con­sis­tent through­out the year. How­ever, it’s pos­si­ble to change the colour of their yolks by sup­ple­ment­ing their ‘nor­mal’ diet with nat­u­ral foods high in var­i­ous carotenoids. For deep yel­low eggs, pro­vide your flock with deep leafy greens that can be hung in the run for your hens to peck at or add marigold petals to their feed. If you pre­fer darker, or­ange coloured eggs, give your chick­ens car­rot peel, toma­toes or pep­pers from the gar­den.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.