green egg yolks

Asked January 9, 2016, 5:23 PM EST

I am getting a lot of eggs with green yolks. This is when they are raw, not boiled. I feed them whole grains, not commercial feed. The feed is made up of wheat, barley, garbanzo beans, lentils and green peas. It seems like when there are more peas in the feed the problem is worse. When there were moderate amounts of peas there were a few with green yolks, but when I got one batch of feed that consisted of probably 90+% peas, nearly all of the eggs have green yolks. Is it indeed the peas causing this and if so how long would it take for them to start laying normal colored eggs after switching to feed without the peas? They receive water in a typical galvanized poultry waterer filled from our well. The chicken house is bedded with oat straw, and the nests are bedded with shredded office paper.

Latah County Idaho

3 Responses

Yolks take about 3 weeks to fully develop so it can take that long before you get yolks with no green color.
Could you have gotten some contamination for cottonseed? That will turn egg yolks green. I've also heard that high consumption of alfalfa can cause green yolks.
From my experience 25% field peas should be the maximum in the diet.

Thanks for your response. No cottonseed. Just grain. I put some of them on commercial feed, and the grain diet I have now has much less pea content, not sure how much but looks to be at least less than 25%. I also removed the shredded office paper. Could it be possible the ink on the paper could cause this? They do seem to eat it for some reason. Thanks again.

Shredded paper doesni't typically make good bedding for nest boxes - doesn't absorb enough and results in dirty eggs. Having clean eggs is essential for food safety. If there is green pigment in the ink it may cause greenish yolks.