3 Simple Steps To 3X The Omega-3 Content of Your Hen’s Eggs

So you have backyard chickens, but what kind of nutrition are they providing you?

One of the greatest nutritional challenges in America right now is the Omega balance we’re getting from animal-based foods including dairy, meat, and eggs. Although we need both Omega 6 and Omega 3 acids, the ratio that we eat greatly affects our bodies.

Before mass industrialization of the food industry, most human diets delivered us a ratio of Omega 3 to 6 of about 1:1 up to 1:3, which is considered ideal for our bodies’ needs. Today, the ratio of Omega 3 to 6 in the American diet can be as high as 1:20!

Research is investigating how this unhealthy ratio may be contributing to inflammatory diseases. Read on to find out how you can help your laying hens re-balance their diets to produce eggs packed with Omega-3s and other beneficial micronutrients.

Step 1: Pasture, pasture, pasture!

The amount of grain we feed our farm animals is a large contributing factor to this unnatural ratio. If you’re interested in raising healthier chickens that deliver a higher ratio of Omega 3 acids, the first thing you need to do is let your birds forage as naturally as possible! Chickens did not evolve eating grains, and the nutrients they gain from their natural diet of plants and insects will be passed down in their eggs and meat.

Step 2: Ditch the Soy

Of course, pasturing at all times is not always possible. Chickens do require protein, which they naturally acquire from foraging insects. When you must use chicken feed, look for alternatives that more closely match a chicken’s natural diet.

Although soy is a high-protien, cost-effective way to supplement chicken feed, consider other alternatives like worms, mealworms, hemp, and a little bit of flax–but keep it below 5% of the supplement or you may risk digestive problems.

Step 3: Give Beneficial Supplements

SeaBuckthorn has been making ripples in the backyard chicken community for a reason! Farmers giving this supplement noticed shinier feathers and combs, increased egg production, and healthier eggs. In 2015, scientists in Salt Lake City conducted a laboratory analysis to compare the amount of Omega 3 in an egg from a backyard chicken that had been supplemented with SeaBuck 7 for 30 days to that of a grocery store egg labeled organic and “cage free”.

The results speak for themselves. The test found 83.6 mg Omega 3/mg of yolk from the “cage free” egg, and  275.3 mg Omega 3/mg of yolk from the backyard bird that had been supplemented with Seabuck oil. That’s more than 3x the Omega 3 fatty acids, after only 30 days of supplementation! To make matters better, laying hens love the taste of SeaBuck7 and it will improve their overall health, too!

3 Simple Ways To Protect Your Horse From Ulcers

Does your horse have symptoms of gastric ulcers like weight loss, irritability, or indication of discomfort in the flank area?

Ulcers are surprisingly big problem, affecting up to 90% of race horses, 70% of endurance horses, and 60% of show horses!

Fortunately, there are a few simple steps that can be taken to heal this painful condition and prevent its recurrence.

1. Reduce Stress

Just like humans, horses can be physically affected by prolonged stress. It’s no wonder that ulcers are almost ubiquitous among race horses! Transportation, excessive exercise, stall confinement, and being alone are all contributing factors to stress which can trigger excess acid production.

Consider changing your boarding method to allow the horse more pasture time, with other familiar horses if possible. Taking the extra time to allow your horse to engage in natural behaviors like pasture grazing with other horses is especially important before super-stressful events like transportation.

2. Change Feed Type and Timing

Horses evolved as grazing animals, which means their stomachs naturally produce a high amount of acid to help break down rough forage. Horses’ stomachs are also fairly small and designed to pass food quickly into the intestines. Again, this is because horses’ natural behavior is to graze small amounts of food frequently throughout the day. If a horse has an empty stomach for a long period of time–especially during exercise– stomach acid can build up and damage the lining of the  stomach. Additionally, large amounts of high-carbohydrate, comparatively low-fiber foods like grain are not a natural part of equine diets, and some studies have shown a link between large amounts of this type of food and increased risk of ulcers. In sum: let horses graze or eat small amounts as often as possible, use alfalfa as feed, and avoid too many grains.

3. Use Sea Buckthorn Oil

We know that in this modern world, the above practices may not always be feasible. Sometimes horses have to be confined or transported, but that doesn’t mean your horse has to suffer! The oil from the Sea Buckthorn Seed has been used in the Himalayas for treatment of ulcers for hundreds of years. Indeed, scientific studies have demonstrated its abilities to balance stomach acid production.

Sea Buckthorn Oil contains large amounts of Omega 7 (palmitoleic acid), which provides a whole spectrum of benefits, including joint, skin, and coat health. In fact, palmitoleic acid’s ability to make horses’ coats shine beautifully has been noted since ancient times!

 

  1. Zhou Yuanpeng, et al., Study on the effect of hippophae seed oil against gastric ulcer, 1998 Institute of Medical Plants Resource Development, The Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, Beijing.
  2. Xing J, et al., Effects of sea buckthorn seed and pulp oils on experimental models of gastric ulcer in rats, Fitoterapia 2002; 73(7-8): 644-650.