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MM 19

Yellow Yolks

by | Aug 25, 2020 | Meyer Moment

Let’s take a Meyer Moment to talk about yellow egg yolks! Many people believe that eggs with dark yellow or sunset orange yolks, taste richer, and are healthier for you. While there isn’t much scientific research available, that supports this theory, most of us can’t deny the fact that “fresh is best” when it comes to our eggs. Do you know, what it takes, to get those darker yolks?

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Hey everyone! Welcome back to The Coop with Meyer Hatchery – where we talk all things poultry in hopes of inspiring crazy chicken keepers and educating future flock owners. Each week we like to take a Meyer Moment to cover relevant happenings. 

Let’s take a Meyer Moment to talk about yellow egg yolks! Many people believe that eggs with dark yellow or sunset orange yolks, taste richer, and are healthier for you. While there isn’t much scientific research available, that supports this theory, most of us can’t deny the fact that “fresh is best” when it comes to our eggs. Do you know, what it takes, to get those darker yolks?

The color of egg yolks is directly related to your flock’s diet. Carotenoids are the compounds responsible for the yellow or orange color in your yolks. Carotenoids can be found in a variety of fruits, vegetables, and even flowers. 

Flocks allowed to free-range on open pasture will naturally eat more grass and other plant materials, causing the deeper color in farm fresh eggs. However, egg yolks can be manipulated in caged, commercial hens by feeding them additional carotenoid sources. 

It’s illegal to add artificial colors to a hen’s diet but they can add supplements like dried calendula or marigold flowers to boost the yolk colors and compete with farm-raised eggs. 

So what can you feed your flock at home to boost their nutrients and carotenoids? Treat your backyard flock to leafy greens like kale, spinach, leaf lettuce, and broccoli leaves. During summer, red fruits and vegetables like tomatoes, raspberries, strawberries, and beets make a sweet treat. 

Yellow or orange flowers such as calendula, marigolds, buttercups, and goldenrod make a yummy supplement to your feed. And in the fall try providing a range of orange vegetables like pumpkins, squash, sweet potatoes, and carrots. 

As always, remember to keep a balanced diet for your flock. Provide your regular layer feed ration, with the above items as occasional treats. 

Your yellow yolks will always range in color depending on what your hens eat on any given day. You may notice your less active foragers have a pale yellow yolk, while your most active birds may have orange yolks. Seasonal changes and weather can also affect eating patterns. For instance, if you have a stretch of rain that keeps your flock inside, you may notice paler yolks than on those sunny summer days. 

Now you know, what to feed your hens, to develop deep yellow yolks!  And that’s your weekly moment with Meyer. 

Enjoy the rest of your week and as always, thank you for listening to The Coop!

Hosts & Guests

Kendra + Jeff
From Meyer Hatchery

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