Chicken Vitamins

Over the last 5 years, numerous new manufacturers have sprung up with huge marketing budgets telling you how important it is to use their product in order to have healthy hens. So are they right?

This page covers:

  • The vitamin requirements of chickens
  • What vitamin supplements to buy
  • The best places to buy them from

blue australorp chickenA Chicken’s Needs

There was a lot of research done in the 1950′s and 60′s on vitamins for commercial laying flocks and thanks to this, we now understand the vitamin needs of chickens a little more.

Most vitamins are essential to a chickens health and growth and it doesn’t really matter how they get these. Modern feeds contain a multitude of chicken vitamins and of course if you provide your hens with fresh greens and free range, in truth, they probably don’t need an additional top up of vitamins however there will always be times when a vitamin supplement is useful, for example:

  • At times of stress: changes to their environment, returning from a show, introducing new chickens and so on can cause chickens to lose their appetite.
  • During very cold weather: extra protein and vitamins are required to produce heat during the cold.
  • Breeding Chickens: Specialist breeders feeds are available which contain extra vitamins.
  • Chicks and growers: have high nutritional needs. Multivitamins in the water are ideal for getting chicks off to a good start and helping them with the stress of moving accommodation as they grow.
  • Poorly birds: If birds are stressed, their immune system suffers which opens them up to picking up a disease. Multivitamins are useful to help birds get through sickness.

What Vitamins to buy

There are many different vitamin supplements available for chickens and some are very expensive. The more expensive products are also the ones that have big marketing budgets. Whilst  I don’t doubt these products are very good for your birds, I would consider whether they really need this level of vitamin supplement when some people only use a basic supplement based on the fact that modern poultry feeds and fresh greens contain what is required.

Where to buy vitamins

The cheapest way I have found to buy poultry vitamins is on-line. There is a good range of vitamin supplement, including some that won’t break the bank on the Wells Poultry Vitamin page.

One or two vitamin supplements can usually be found for sale in pet shops and farm stores, however they are usually limited in what they stock and will often feature the more expensive products.

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Do you have any advice on using vitamins for chickens? Please leave me a comment below.

19 Responses to Chicken Vitamins

  1. Angie Vandolah says:

    My 5 month old hens have come down with fowl pox. I’m trying to find out which vitamins are best for helping their immune system & this problem if there is any.

    • Keeping Chickens says:

      I don’t know – but there are a multitude of vitamin drinks and powders available that can be added to feed and water.

  2. naomi says:

    one of my hens has got a runny eye and swollen face on one side also looks very depressed looked about and sounds like ammonia burns any idea where i can get vitiman A for her please need help

    • Keeping Chickens says:

      I don’t I’m afraid. I would take her to your vet since what you are describing sounds like Mycoplasma Gallisepticum though and if this were the case requires Tylan or Baytril, an antibiotic to treat. These are prescription only.

  3. Phoebe says:

    My 3 months old chick is acting a little different, he always sleeps and is very weak. He cannot walk or fly to well and he is too weak to hunt, he wasn’t like this before, there is really something wrong with him, can you tell me what it is and is there an antidote?

    • Keeping Chickens says:

      I’m sorry, the symptoms are too general to suggest anything. You would need to visit a poultry vet I’m afraid.

  4. Lindsay says:

    Is there any vitamins that would make my cousin’s pet chick healthy? Cause the chick is really acting weird, we don’t know the cause lf his exhaustion, stress, and tiredness. We want the chick to be active and heathy again, but how?

    • Keeping Chickens says:

      You can buy multi-vitamin drinks for chickens which may help although if the chick is looking like this, it is more likely to be Coccidiosis or another disease effecting it. Look for blood in the droppings / loose droppings which is a sure sign of Cocci.

  5. Amy says:

    Hi my chicks are 3-8 days old and have not been vaccinated, what would you suggest the best vitamins and minerals should I be giving them to keep them healthy and to prevent cocci etc and at what age should I start worming and which wormer would you recommend.
    Many thanks ;-)

    • Keeping Chickens says:

      There are many different vitamin supplements available. Flubenvet is the only licensed in feed wormer available.

      Coccidiosis is best prevented by keeping youngsters on clean dry litter as much as possible.

  6. Simon says:

    Hello,
    about a month ago one of our hens started to lay rubber eggs without a hard shell, we were told she may not be getting enough calcium in her diet, and suggested live yogurt(which they all loved) but it didnt work, all our other five hens are fine and on the same food, Layers mash with a bit of corn in the evening and a few treats here and there of grapes,and dried mealworms. they have the run of the garden so they get their greens and things. some people say it is common for them to lay rubber eggs for a while but some say it could be a problem or a lack of vitamins?
    would you have any advice or specific supplements to try?. they have poultry spice supplement in their feed at the moment.
    The hen in question is just over a year old as are the others

    Many thanks
    Simon
    A worried owner

    • Keeping Chickens says:

      This can happen to otherwise healthy hens, usually it is only a couple of eggs at most, sometimes at the end of a laying cycle. I don’t think there is anything that can be done if she continues to lay these eggs and she’s getting a good diet. Sorry I can’t help.

  7. Marie says:

    Have you tried oyster shell .

  8. linda watts says:

    thank you for a wonderfull insight to the chicken world…. just wondered if you can answer my question….. my new chickens will be able to roam about my veggie patch at the end of the garden …. is there any green vegetable that they cant eat …. I grow quite a lot of spinach and chard ? thank you

  9. jao says:

    what kind of vitamins given to a chicks??? there have an alternative vitamins here??????

    • Keeping Chickens says:

      I’m not sure there are any different vitamins? I sometimes provide extra but usually their crumb plus a small amount of greens is sufficient.

  10. OKOYE CHINEDU says:

    my 6 weeks chicken is paralyzed what can I do

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