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#9152 - 05/08/04 12:26 PM high omega-3s in winter?
Anonymous
Unregistered


Hello. There was some discussion recently about how to get more omega-3 fatty acids from your flock's eggs, and most people agreed that grass was best. Living in northern Indiana, grass/free-range is not an option during the winter months, so our eggs do not benefit from pasturing or garden refuse and are noticeably less fabulous. Someone named Sally posted that she feeds alfalfa and rabbit pellets for this purpose in winter, and I'm wondering what the group thinks of this as a way to get many of the benefits of pastured poultry in the winter. Also, I have read that it's not just the grass, but the insects consumed by free-range birds that contributes to the favorable omega acid profile. Have you heard this? And do you think that adding earthworms in winter would be a good substitute? Thanks!

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#9153 - 05/08/04 02:44 PM Re: high omega-3s in winter?
CJR Online   content
Coop Master

Registered: 07/16/02
Posts: 8490
Loc: Montana
I think that for the number of eggs that most people eat, looking for omega-3 fatty acids in eggs is not a relevant search or discovery. Grass is good food for chickens, but there are many grasses and soils that produce the grass. Without continual analysis of eggs and grass (bugs, too vary all over the country by season and natural climate) that it may just be a witch-hunt, interesting, but not really relevant to our production of eggs. Sales and consumption of foods has gotten to be an ADVERTISING skill, especially as so many people in the U.S. have a very wide choice of foods anyway, and just choose what what they like and what is in the news. IMHO , CJR

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#9154 - 05/08/04 03:31 PM Re: high omega-3s in winter?
Rogo Offline
Coop Keeper

Registered: 12/05/03
Posts: 469
Loc: Arizona
Friends in snow country and those out in the desert feed 17% alfalfa rabbit pellets. Not for the omegas, but because the birds need greenery. It also keeps their egg yolks orange. The omegas are just a bonus.

Two parts chook feed to one part pellets.

Wonder what the next fad will be for humans! :^)

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#9155 - 05/08/04 03:46 PM Re: high omega-3s in winter?
Anonymous
Unregistered


In the recent posts you refer to, there was also discussion of flax seed adding to the omega 3 content of the yolk. I haven't found a cheap source for the stuff in my area, but I remember other posters saying that it worked for them.

Although, I wonder how they know...? Did they get their eggs tested for chemical make-up and who, besides a food-chemist, could provide the average hobby farmer with such a service. Which leads me to also support the idea of the omega 3 issue being a recent fad... But hey, if it sells more eggs - go for it!

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#9156 - 05/08/04 06:28 PM Re: high omega-3s in winter?
Anonymous
Unregistered


I might want to try the alfalfa pellets. Keeping the yolks yellow-orange in winter makes me really happy, for the aesthetic appeal as much as for the vitamin A (which I think is what the color indicates the presence of. . . . I have no way of finding out the other nutritional info . . . I do know that color and omega 3s is not the same thing!). And as for omega3 fatty acid content in eggs? Hey, I'm kind of a health nut/experimentalist, and I love eggs and I love giving them to family members. I like to get a LOT of healthy protein in my diet, and farm eggs seem a very economical way to accomplish this. And finally, I have read up on studies in either Greece or Italy where the poultry that ate significant amounts of purslane (it's a tasty vegetable AND a weed, folks!) had lots of omega 3s in their eggs. This vegetable is a high source of those same fatty acids, but I know lots of picky anti-veggie people who wouldn't care for it, plus I believe it has a lot of oxalic acid (like spinach) which can be harmful in large quantities.

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#9157 - 05/09/04 03:49 AM Re: high omega-3s in winter?
Rogo Offline
Coop Keeper

Registered: 12/05/03
Posts: 469
Loc: Arizona
I've had a terrible time with the equine's hooves since moving to the green grass of Texas. In the Arizona rocky desert, the hooves were gorgeous, but not here. I tried all kinds of products for 6-8 months at a time and as a last ditch effort, before the hooves came close to falling off, I tried Omega Horseshine. It's flaxseed based. Eight months later and working with a good shoer (he just trims; my guy goes barefoot), the hooves are finally back to normal. I will have to continue to use this product until I move back to Arizona. A 5 month supply for the one critter was $30.

They also make a poultry supplement that you may be interested in if you're looking for the omegas:

http://www.enreco.com/enreco/Products/poultry.htm

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