I was recently questioned at a luncheon about the quality of eggs and the colouring of the yolk.
As we don't get out much because of COVID, it was a bit random and, as there are more pressing issues to discuss, I said I'd put it in a column.
Commercial eggs are of far better quality these days and free range eggs are naturally coloured.
The more intensive eggs are not naturally coloured and this has become a selling point of difference.
The question is how we get that colour in the eggs of our birds at home.
The best way is to free range the birds and kikuyu is the most wonderful grass for birds to get yellow in the eggs and in their legs.
This is why free range eggs are so yellow and expensive because they get the 'extras' that chooks used to get.
My grandfather's eggs from the yard at Yass were always perfect and fully coloured inside as they had the run of the farm, but also the scraps from the forbidden vegetable garden.
Kitchen scraps and vegetable peelings are another way to get colour into the birds' eggs, but be careful they are all eaten as they can attract rodents in suburban areas.
Another method for colouring eggs is a diet with corn added.
Corn will colour yolks and give them a deep rich colour if this is what is required.
I do prefer the more well-rounded range diet, but if space is a problem, corn is a way of getting that colour.
Cracked corn is readily available and even whole kernels are appreciated by the larger birds.
Whatever method you prefer to use, try and be consistent and this will give the best results for your eggs and production.
Quick feed changes can put birds off laying.
Next month we will be re-visiting the idea of ducks in orchards and I'll be talking to one of our readers.
All the best for the spring months and good hatching.