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Benefits of Flax + Omega-3 for Chickens

Adding flax seed to a chickens diet results in healthier hens and more nutritious eggs.

canister of Flock Flax with metal scoop

Fun fact: A hen is able to direct the nutrients in the food she eats directly into her eggs. 

Because of this, it's important to provide your chickens with the best diet possible.  There is a proven direct link between the feed a hen eats and the quality and nutrition value of her eggs.

Adding all kinds of nutrients to a chicken's diet that they then pass into the eggs they lay results in healthier hens, healthier baby chicks and more nutritious eggs. 

egg on fence post with chicken

Benefits of Flax + Omega-3 for Chickens (and Humans)

Since eggs are such an important part of so many people's diet, figuring out a way to increase the nutrient content in eggs is beneficial. Studies have shown that increasing the Omega-3s in a chickens diet results in higher levels of Omega-3 in their eggs

That makes for healthier baby chicks, if those eggs hatch, or more nutritious eggs for your family to eat.

eggs in cardboard carton, one egg cracked

Sources of Omega-3

Omega-3 fatty acids are essential to optimal chicken (and human!) health, but one of the nutrients that the body can't make from scratch (pun intended!).  So that means that Omega-3 must be derived from the foods that we eat.

Flax is one of the best sources of Omega 3. Some other foods that are high in Omega-3 include:

  • fish and shellfish
  • leafy greens like spinach and lettuce
  • mango
  • broccoli
  • walnuts
woman in gingham shirt and rubber boots holding lettuce

Benefits of Omega-3

Omega-3 is important for cell and genetic functions of living things. It improves overall health, controls inflammation, blood clotting and the flexibility of artery walls. It reduces blood pressure and cholesterol levels in the body. 

In chickens, flax improves feather appearance and strength and is thought to improve lay rates, as well as improve the flavor of eggs.

You may have heard that flax seed or oil can make certain chicken's eggs taste fishy as well.  But only in some chickens. Most chicken livers produce an enzyme that neutralizes the fishy aspect of the flax. 

But some hens lack that gene or have a defective gene that inhibits production of the enzyme. In those hens, the fishy aspect will be concentrated in the yolks of the eggs she lays. However in the vast majority of chickens, adding flax to their diet, especially in moderation will only improve the flavor of the eggs.

close up of gray chicken

Flax seed also helps control excess weight gain and has been proven to help prevent heart disease and strokes, as well as cancer in both humans and chickens.

Interestingly, chickens are the only animal that can develop ovarian cancer similar to humans. Because they ovulate nearly every day, hens have been studied extensively in the formation of ovarian cancer and it has been discovered that feeding chickens a diet rich in flax seed decreases the chance of them getting cancer - and increases survival rates.

metal scoop of Flock Flax in feed bin

How Much Flax Seed is Beneficial?

Up to 10% flax seed as part of a balanced diet is considered beneficial. Since a chicken eats about 1/2 cup of feed a day, one Tablespoon of flax is recommended per day per hen.

Studies have shown that after just 8 weeks, at diet that includes at least 7.5% flax seed will result in increased levels of omega-3 in eggs laid by those hens.

To achieve the benefits of flax seed and omega-3 for chickens, whole flax seed can be added to your chickens diet or you can mix Flock Flax into their daily feed for added Omega-3 in your girls' eggs!

canister of Flock Flax with metal scoop

Flock Flax provides Omega-3 fatty acids to chickens and ducks in the form of a stabilized ground flax seed that retains its nutrition levels and benefits without needing refrigeration.

Specifically formulated for adult poultry due to its benefits for laying adults, it won't hurt younger chickens or ducks and will provide some health benefits to them as well.

Adding Omega-3 to your flock's diet will result in healthier eggs for your family. That's why I'm excited to announce Flock Flax, the newest product in my poultry feed supplement line!

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benefits of flax and omega-3 for chickens

References/Further Reading
Flax Seed in Poultry Diets
Flaxseed-fed Chickens Shed Light on Cancer
Effect of Adding Flaxseed in the Diet of Laying Hens

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