If you’ve ever had eggs from a backyard chicken, you know there’s a difference in taste between those and what you buy at the store.
But you might be wondering how to get those delicious eggs, with orange yolks and lots of flavor, from your chickens.
It’s easy. Here’s what to feed your hens for the best-tasting eggs.
The bottom line:
🐔 Giving your birds access to the outdoors is the best thing you can do to improve egg flavor. They’ll consume lots of greens and protein, both of which contribute to delicious eggs. If you can’t free-range your chickens, there are some more things you can do to improve your eggs: give greens and proteins as a treat and make sure your flock has plenty of fresh water.
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Chickens need plenty of fresh water to produce the best eggs, and it’s important to keep an eye on the quality of that water. Make sure to check your chicken coop’s water supply regularly and switch out the water if it starts to look dirty or get fouled. A professional chicken waterer is a great way to ensure your chickens always have access to clean drinking water, and you can also connect a drip system or automatic waterer to help keep things running smoothly.
If that’s not in the cards, make sure to change the water and clean their watering jug daily.
🦗 High Protein
If you’re looking for a high-protein diet, you should consider feeding your chickens wheatgrass. This feed is rich in protein and can help give your eggs a nutritional boost. I’ve also added alfalfa and hay to their diet in winter, which helps keep them healthy and provides them with the protein they need.
But the very best protein source for your flock? Bugs! Lots of bug-eating is one of the biggest benefits of free-ranging your chickens.
Chickens that are allowed to roam freely produce eggs that have better flavor and nutritional value. This is because they are able to forage for seeds, wild berries, and insects in their yard. Additionally, backyard chickens that have access to a large area or the ability to roam free are healthier than those who don’t.
If you would like your flock of chickens to have free range, you should fence off brightly colored produce such as tomatoes and other vegetables. By doing this, you will protect your chickens from eating something poisonous (or destroying your hard work!) while still giving them the opportunity to find food on their own.
☘️. Herbs and Other Extras
When it comes to chicken feed, there are a number of things you can do to improve the taste and smell of your eggs. For example, adding herbs like calendula, lavender, roses and chamomile can have a positive impact. There are also studies that show oregano and garlic have anti-disease properties for chickens.
In addition to herbs, oatmeal is necessary to break down the digestion of food in chickens. Adding alfalfa, garlic, oregano to chicken feed can eliminate the need for artificial antibiotics. Wheat grass is another great option for chickens–it helps them produce richer golden yolks.
All of these extras help keep chickens healthy and disease-free. Oregano and garlic help prevent infections in hens with antibiotic properties while the oatmeal provides a source of fiber in an easy-to-break down form.
🐚 Calcium from Shells
Giving your chickens eggshells is a great way to provide them with the calcium they need. Not only does this help their bones stay healthy, but it also boosts their immune system and can even lengthen their life span! Be sure to crumble the shell prior to adding it to food so that your chickens don’t associate their eggs with diet. And if you ever see a broken or spoiled egg, it may be time for your hens to take a break from eating shells.
It’s important to be careful about what you are putting into your chicken’s mouths, as some calcium pills can be unsafe for animals. That’s why oyster shells make such a great choice – they’re a healthy, sustainable way to supplement calcium without putting your flock at risk.
Adding ground oyster or ground eggshells to the feed mix is an easy way to bolster egg production and maintain a healthy level of calcium in your flock.
🧹 Clean nest boxes
Good housekeeping is important when it comes to keeping your eggs clean. If you provide plenty of covered nest boxes for every four hens, they will be more likely to lay their eggs in the box instead of on the floor. The nest boxes should be easy-to-clean and lined with non-toxic wood shavings to cushion the eggs and absorb droppings.
Nest boxes should be cleaned out regularly to help reduce the risk of bacteria. Different types of insects can make nests in nest boxes so different types need specific cleaning methods.
Do not let your birds get in the habit of sleeping in their nesting boxes! They will poop while they sleep.
You’re basically indirectly eating what the chicken eats. If your chicken eats only corn feed, that’s what you’re consuming too.
In the end, the best way to ensure great-tasting eggs is by giving your chickens a healthy and varied diet. This will ensure that they get all the nutrients they need, which will then be passed on to their eggs.
Yes, but it takes a lot of a certain food to affect egg flavor. Too much garlic and onions can do this, and so can foods with a high sulfate content. Foods like eggs, dairy, and meat can cause an unpleasant odor when digested which leads to broken eggs in the chicken pen. Make sure you’re providing your chickens with plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables instead!
An orange egg yolk means that the hen was fed a diet high in beta-carotene, which is why the yolk is orange.
The color of an egg yolk is determined by the hen’s diet. A diet high in green vegetables will produce darker yolks, while a diet with mostly yellow and orange foods will result in eggs with lighter yolks.
Foods that are rich in green vegetables give eggs with naturally darker yolks. This includes items like spinach, broccoli, and kale.
📖 Related Articles
- Contrary to what some (incorrect) people will tell you, a hen’s diet does not change their eggshell color. Here’s how to get pretty colored eggs from your backyard chickens.
- If you have baby chickens hatching at home, you’ll have roosters. Here’s how to decide whether to eat them.
- Give your flock leftover veggies and table scraps to vary their diet. You’ll love this printable list of what you can and can’t feed your chickens.
In short, if you can free-range your flock, you’ll have the best tasting eggs. Since that isn’t an option for everything, try feeding them bugs and greens as an alternative.