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#7807 - 05/09/04 07:55 AM Re: omega3 eggs how does Bo do it?
BC Breeder Offline
Coop Keeper

Registered: 07/16/02
Posts: 434
Loc: Canada
OK, the information needs clarifying, IMO. This isn't to say that grass fed or free ranged isn't good, it is. It just is not Omega 3 "enriched" as is being suggested here.

First, there is a big difference between a food item containing an ingredient naturally and it being "enriched" with that ingredient. For example, consider the current fad with "calcium enriched" milk. Now we all know that milks contain calcium, so what's the diff with calcium enriched and regular? Well calcium enriched contains elevated calcium to augment diets lacking in calcium.

Well the same goes for eggs that contain "omega 3s" and eggs that are enriched with omega 3s. The enriched eggs have far more omega 3 than the natural eggs and are therefore better able to compensate for the other parts of our diets that are lacking in omega 3s. Whether this is important is dependant on one's overall diet and health concerns. For anyone to suggest that grass fed is of equal or better omega 3 quality is wrong.

Now the easiest ways for north americans to "enrich" their eggs is to feed flax seed or certain fish oils to their birds. There are pros and cons to both that I won't bother going into here, but a search on this topic and my name should dig up some relevant links to get you started. However, the notion that flax seed wasn't the best source was accurate, there are better sources of omega 3 enrichment and Caveny mentioned one, chia. Hemp seed is another. Both don't have a negative dosage effect like the flax seeds and fish oils do, therefore allowing greater enrichment.

Finding reliable availability of chia or hemp seed in north america wasn't easy, so I compromised and use flax seed to enrich my free ranged (grass and bug fed) birds. I use an 18% feed (layer or grower) and mix in 10% flax seed and a sprinkle of vitamin E. Vitamin E counteracts the toxic effect of the flax seed and as a side bonus, enriches my eggs with vitamin E. This is why most omega 3 eggs are also vitamin E enriched. But with only 10% flax seed, one would probably be safe without it. If one wanted to increase their omega 3 enrichment past that (people with heart and/or weight loss concerns), they would need to do their homework and learn specific dosages to keep their chickens healthy. Warning though, I've read that excess flax seed can make your eggs taste fishy, so even with vitamin E addition, there is a practical limit.

Buying the flaxseed can be problematic because there is much misinformation out there amongst the feed dealers. The most common one is that they try to get me to buy ground flax instead of whole flaxseed, saying that the birds can't digest the whole grain. I guess they forget that natural birds have rocks in their crops or maybe what those rocks do. I usually just laugh at the stupidity and suggest that I've never seen whole flax seeds in the droppings of my birds. However, you do want to avoid ground flaxseed as the ground flaxseed has a poor shelf life and the last thing you want to be doing is feeding rancid flax meal to your birds. I usually pay $25Can per 50 pound bag of flaxseed, which after it is spread out over 10 bags of feed, works out to pennies per dozen eggs. Or a couple bucks per turkey, a cost easily recouped with the higher price that omega 3 enrichment demands.

Another precaution is that to be effective, the omega 3 enrichment needs to be consistent. It can take a couple weeks to build up the omega 3 levels in the eggs, but only a couple days to loose it. So each time you fail to feed your birds enriched feed, you are basically starting over. A bit of a pain, but the health benefits are well worth it, IMO. Good luck and healthy eating!
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#7808 - 05/10/04 07:26 AM Re: omega3 eggs how does Bo do it?
Anonymous
Unregistered


Disagree with what another poster says by being specific and offering sound alternatives. Suggesting that other readers are not doing their homework or need a chemistry lab doesn't really advance the discussion. Characterizing other readers as uninformed, stupid, or in need of education will generally bring on editing and deletions. Please disagree with points made, not with each other. Thanks.

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#7809 - 05/13/04 06:45 PM Re: omega3 eggs how does Bo do it?
Jo Jo Offline
Flock Leader

Registered: 04/14/04
Posts: 309
Loc: Massachusetts
The man I am hatching these eggs for cited a very recent article to me about omega3 in eggs, and one of our professors was somehow involved with/quoted/referenced/? in the article. I will get an actual reference to the article and post it tomorrow, but basically he said to feed the chickens ALGAE. eek
This person is very wary of heavy metals in foods, especially farm raised fish, but likes his omega3, so was excited to learn ways to increase it in the eggs. Off the shelf codlliver oil has plenty of omega3, but also likely has heavy metals. Pharmacy grade cod liver oil is too expensive to use...
Anyway, I will post the link to the algae article tomorrow.
-jo

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#7810 - 05/14/04 02:23 PM Re: omega3 eggs how does Bo do it?
Jo Jo Offline
Flock Leader

Registered: 04/14/04
Posts: 309
Loc: Massachusetts
Unfortunately, he didnt keep the link to the article, but did think it was on NYTimes.
Sorry - he didnt even know the name of the article.

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#7811 - 05/14/04 07:36 PM Re: omega3 eggs how does Bo do it?
Rogo Offline
Coop Keeper

Registered: 12/05/03
Posts: 469
Loc: Arizona

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