flaxseed for omegas in eggs

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Ann Mary, Dec 17, 2004.

  1. Ann Mary

    Ann Mary Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I am feeding flaxseed to my chickens to bring up their omegas in their eggs but do I need to be grinding it up first or can I give it to them whole? I know they "process" seeds differently than other animals and so does that mean they get the good stuff out of the flaxseed without it being ground up? Thanks for the help!
     
  2. Mrs_stuart

    Mrs_stuart Well-Known Member

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    Well, in my personal opinion only, you would have to feed those chickens a heck of a lot of flax seed to get the omegas hight enough to make any difference in them. The cost seems like it would be too high to bother with...!!! It seems like the flax seed would do more good if you ate them yourself insted of giveing the to your chickens.

    But for your real question, If i were feeding my chickens flax seed, i would feed them whole, they would be hard to comsume if ground because they are already small. I would assume that the gizzard would do a fine job of crushing up those little seed.

    Belinda
     

  3. Cyngbaeld

    Cyngbaeld In Remembrance Supporter

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    Chickens can be fed grass for boosting the nutritional content of eggs. Make sure the grass is lush and fresh, not dry or stringy. You can also offer a little alfalfa hay, well chopped or garden greens. And if you want to feed flax seed, grind it a little at a time in your blender and mix with the feed, it goes rancid very rapidly, once ground.
     
  4. westbrook

    westbrook In Remembrance

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    Ann Mary,

    Their gizzards will do a fine job grinding whole flax seed up. The problem comes with what you are feeding them. Whole or cracked grains or crumbles are much larger then the Flax seed and it tends to be left in a feeder. Grind up everything together. It mixes well whole with mash.

    I find an old concrete mixer works great for blending and mixing feed.


    Belinda,

    You only need to feed flax at a ratio of 10% Flax to 90% feed for it to raise the Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids in chicken eggs.

    Also you are then label your packaging with Omega 3 and Omega 6.

    I add 10% flax to all my grains for all livestock. I add whole seed to my bread, grind it up and add it to yoghurt, feed flax to the dogs.

    Has a nice nutty flavor.
     
  5. rainesridgefarm

    rainesridgefarm Well-Known Member

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    Be carefull how much flax seed you put in. I have been told by a organic egg producer that you can shut down egg production with to much. 10% should be max.
     
  6. Mrs_stuart

    Mrs_stuart Well-Known Member

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    Westbrook,
    My point was just that i thought that the flax seed cost was out weighed by the benifits of feeding it to your chickens and that in small amounts, it would do the person more good to just eat the flax...Then again, i do not feed flax seed and have not priced it here. What sort of cost do you find when you purchase and feed at a 10% ration for chickens, and do you think that the cost is justified?? The reason i ask is because i have been doing some research on the "labeling" of eggs and the cost...what is the difference and is the cost justified? Do you know what the difference will be in the omegas with and without the flax seed? Does anyone else feed flax seed in a 10% (or less) ratio to their chickens? I would be interested in knowing. Thanks.

    Belinda
     
  7. Sarah J

    Sarah J Well-Known Member

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    I feed linseed meal at 12% ratio...same objective, MUCH cheaper, but it's for family use only. I have a completely ground and mixed feed ration.

    -Sarah
     
  8. westbrook

    westbrook In Remembrance

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    I pay $18 for a 50# bag of organic flax from Canada. If I bought a ton at a time the price would drop to $15 a bag.

    Here in California where people are so very health conscious and organic, free range and the Omegas are a big deal. It doesn't cost me but a few cents to produce a dozen eggs and my returns are greater then my cost. People are willing to pay $3-$3.50 for a dozen eggs. Eggs are expensive here due to New Castile and Exotic New Castle disease.

    The best outlet is health food stores where people demand organic and free range. Where they can and will pay higher prices for quality products. I also know that some restaurants are purschasing more higher quality products to use in their recipes.
     
  9. Ann Mary

    Ann Mary Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Thank you for your reply! I found thorugh the research I could find from the universities that 5 % is what some recommend and that is what I feed. I found the #50 flaxseed at a local feed store and is $27 but for the 12 or so chickens I have I figure it may last a year or more. Also, I checked with my egg customers and they WANTED me to add the flax to the menu and were happy to add .50 per dozen to cover my cost. I am probably earning more per dozen this way than I was at the $1 a dozen before I added the flax! Also, in the winter when it is hard to get them the greens and bugs I feel the flax will help add "good stuff' that will benefit them.
     
  10. Ann Mary

    Ann Mary Well-Known Member Supporter

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  11. Mrs_stuart

    Mrs_stuart Well-Known Member

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    Ann Mary,
    Do you know how much more omegas are in the egg with the 5% flax feed verses no flax...of course i mean approx (we can never really be exact) I cannot find it out there on the www anywhere, do you know of any website that has that info on it??? Thanks.

    Belinda
     
  12. Becky H.

    Becky H. Well-Known Member

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    Try sticking this over in the poultry forum as well. It is hard to find anyone knows anything about flax to tell you honestly even in the large poultry forums. the info I have is because I studied myself and came to find some other poultry lovers that did so as well, but I am not a flax or chicken expert. I haven't seen discussion on this one in months. Maybe there are some people that have answers in that forum more informative than mine. Good luck.

    there is much to learn beforehand before giving flax. flax spoils quickly so caution what quantity and how it is stored. Do not give flax all at once, it should be a gradual change in diet. It will increase for the need of water and other slow absorbing minerals and a careful examination of the hen's diet is in order because of that. It will block the intestines in any animal that eats large quantity and could kill them. Additional caution on old hens so if you have any then please let me know. Here are the links. It looks like a 10 percent ratio hen diet is the best bet. Without flax in the hen diet, another way to counteract would be to make a tuna/egg sandwich or eat more fish. Answer to original question, yes the chickens can eat the flax seed whole.

    Here is spam of flax links, some better than others, Good luck!:

    http://www.flaxcouncil.ca/flaxpd7.htm
    http://www.gov.mb.ca/agriculture/livestock/poultry/fatty.html
    http://www.askdrsears.com/html/4/T041700.asp
    http://www.goaskalice.columbia.edu/1317.html
    http://www.extension.umn.edu/distribution/nutrition/DJ0423.html
    http://www.eco-vie.com/ecovie/flax_facts.html
    http://www.enreco.com/enreco/Products/poultry.htm
    http://www.enreco.com/newlibrary/SAFETY.html
    http://www.enreco.com/newlibrary/FLAX.html
    http://www.iffo.org.uk/tech/d5.htm
     
  13. Ann Mary

    Ann Mary Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Hi! No, I don't know because it would vary with what they are eating to start with. All I know is that around here there are "omega" eggs in the stores and on their label they say that the hens are fed a "diet rich in flaxseed so that their eggs contain higher levels of omegas". It does make their feathers nice and glossy. As for the websites, I don't rmemeber which ones I looked at. Seems to me they were from Oregon State. I just looked up flaxseed in poultry and read lots of info. Hope that helps!
     
  14. Ann Mary

    Ann Mary Well-Known Member Supporter

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    thanks for the info! I amd new at this forum thing and didn't think to put it under poultry. As for the flax, I let the days amount sit in water for awhile before I give it to them so it soaks up lots of water. I've not had any trouble with constipation in them. It's my understanding that flax goes rancid much faster once it it ground...that's why I was hoping to hear that I don't need to grind it for them! Besides that's one less thing to do in the morning!
    Thanks for the links!