I planted common milkweed seeds in late fall so they wouldn’t sprout, then after a cold Minnesota winter, they came up in spring. The first year when still small the plants were eaten to the ground by monarch caterpillars, and they grew back in time for more egg-layings and more butterfly development — so exciting. But the “enemies” discovered my milkweed garden after a few years. It seems the first egg-laying every year is successful, but after that it’s as if the enemies have caught on — very heartbreaking. I was able to find 2 cats on the milkweed and raised them inside. They’re in their “J” stage right now. My question: Is the dying effect of air-conditioning bad for them?
Answer Egg yolk color is really just an indicator of the hen’s diet. If they eat more yellow-orange carotenoids, or natural pigments, it affects and changes the yolk’s color. Orange yolks have the same amount of protein and fat than lighter yolks but studies have shown that eggs from pasture-raised hens have more omega-3s and vitamins but less cholesterol due to healthier more natural feed. Orange yolks are an indication of a well balanced and highly nutritous diet and many people claim they taste better as well. Eggs from hens that have access to grasses and insects as part of their diet tend to have orange colored yokes that are firmer and egg shells that are thicker.
That’s an excellent question. We do have dogs, coyotes, etc in the area, but we do not have an issue with predation on the pigs. But we have bigger pigs which are quite a deterrent in and of themselves as well as our own farm dogs that patrol the property. If you’re in a heavy predation area and have only small pigs I’d recommend one of two things: either make their shelter such that you can close them up at night or in the case of predators that would be a threat both day and night you could include a strand of electric at the top and on the outside of the fences. Unfortunately, even the taller woven wire and cattle panels are not dog or coyote proof.