Frank Purdue Marigolds

Frank Purdue, the founder of Purdue Farms, did not feed his chickens anything specifically to give their breasts a golden hue. Instead, the color of the chicken meat is determined by a combination of factors, including the breed of the chicken, their diet, and their age at processing.

The golden hue of chicken meat can be achieved by feeding chickens a diet that contains natural pigments such as beta-carotene, which is found in yellow and orange fruits and vegetables. However, it’s important to note that this is not a technique exclusive to Purdue Farms and is common among many chicken producers.

It’s also worth noting that Purdue Farms has changed its practices since Frank Purdue’s time and now focuses on raising chickens without antibiotics and with a vegetarian diet that includes corn, soybean meal, and other plant-based ingredients.

Do chickens eat insects?

Yes, chickens are omnivores and can eat insects as part of their diet. In the wild, chickens would naturally forage for insects, worms, and other small creatures as well as plants and seeds. In domesticated settings, chickens can still benefit from a varied diet that includes insects as a source of protein and other essential nutrients. Some chicken owners even supplement their birds’ diet with dried mealworms or other insect-based treats. However, it’s important to ensure that any insects fed to chickens are safe and free from pesticides or other harmful chemicals.

Can you feed marigolds to chickens?

Yes, marigolds are safe for chickens to eat and can provide some benefits to their health. Marigolds contain compounds called carotenoids, which can give chicken egg yolks a deeper yellow color. The flowers can be fed to chickens either fresh or dried, and some chicken owners mix them in with their birds’ feed. Additionally, some research has suggested that marigold extract may have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that could benefit chicken health. However, it’s important to note that marigolds should be fed in moderation as part of a varied diet, and should not be relied upon as the sole source of nutrition for chickens.

How would you prepare marigolds for eating?

While marigolds are safe for chickens to eat, they are not commonly consumed by humans as a food source. However, the petals of marigold flowers can be used in some culinary applications for their color and flavor. Here’s one way you could prepare marigolds for human consumption:


  • Fresh marigold flowers
  • Water
  • Sugar


  1. Remove the petals from the marigold flowers, discarding the stems and any green parts.
  2. Rinse the petals in water to remove any dirt or debris.
  3. Bring a pot of water to a boil and blanch the petals for about 30 seconds.
  4. Drain the petals and immediately transfer them to a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process and preserve their bright color.
  5. Drain the petals again and spread them out on a paper towel to dry.
  6. Once the petals are dry, you can use them as a garnish on salads or other dishes, or infuse them in sugar syrup to create a flavored syrup for drinks or desserts.

Note that marigolds should be consumed in moderation and some people may have allergies or sensitivities to the flowers. Additionally, it’s important to use only edible varieties of marigolds that have not been treated with pesticides or other chemicals.