How To Get Better Tasting Eggs From Your Backyard Chickens

Backyard chicken eggs have the potential to be more delicious and more nutrient-dense than those you can get from the grocery store. But, did you know that with just a few adjustments to your chickens' diet, they can produce richer, tastier eggs?

With a few exceptions, store bought chicken feed is not as effective and nutritious as a thought-out diet for your chickens. Here are some ideas for better eggs:

Protein
Remember, protein is basically what eggs are composed of.  However, chickens don't manufacture their own amino acids in their guts. (Amino acids build protein.) You want to provide the best sources for your chickens to create the best eggs. The right protein sources can increase your eggs' taste and nutrition. It can also add depth to the yolk's golden color.  Try these sources of protein:
- wheat grass (obviously non-GMO and organic is ideal)
-alfalfa (specifically helps with darker yolk pigments)
-grass hay
-meal worms
-earth worms
-fish meal
-flax seed (also adds good omegas-3 and 6) *Keep at less than 10% or it will affect the flavor of the egg.
Protein should make up about 16-18% (1) of your chicken feed.

Greens/Veggies
The right balance of the right vegetables is key to great eggs.  A good rule to follow is to make sure you don't give them veggie scraps that take the chickens more than 20 minutes to pick through and eat. Try sources like:
-tomatoes
-cabbage
-spinach
-grass clippings
-weeds
-table salad scraps

Fiber
Carbs are an important part of a chicken's diet. Just make sure you are feeding your chickens nutrient dense carbs with a decent fiber content. Spread whole grains on the ground so the chickens can scratch and pick. Great, fiber-rich grains are:
-oatmeal
-alfalfa
-rye
-barley

Calcium
For strong shells chickens need about 4%  (2) of added calcium to their diets. You can add oyster shells and cooked chicken egg shells to their feed. You must cook the chicken egg shells so it changes the smell of the shells and chickens don't associate their own eggs with food.

The right diet for your chickens can produce the best eggs for your family. Just a few additions can improve your eggs significantly.

 

 

 

 

 

References:
(1)http://www.poultryhub.org/nutrition/nutrient-requirements/nutrient-requirements-of-egg-laying-chickens/
(2)http://www.mofga.org/Publications/MaineOrganicFarmerGardener/Summer2003/Chickens/tabid/1481/Default.aspx

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