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

battles-poultry-drinkThe 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 this Amazon 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.

If you like this page please share it to help others find it.

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

25 Responses to Chicken Vitamins

  1. lisa b says:

    im worried about my blue ranger hen ive had her since 9th sept 2014 she is aged 16wks this morning i opened the coop where she lives with three sussex hens they walked out yet she wouldnt come out so i opened the roof to see her and her head was laying to oneside any ideas whats wrong please.

    • Keeping Chickens says:

      The symptoms are that of a ‘sick chicken’ but I couldn’t tell you what it is, there are many diseases that could cause her to be off colour. I would take her to your vets or at least provide her with food and water near to where she wants to be and see if there is any change in 24 hours.

  2. Ayeshah says:

    Hi
    I’ve just been reading the questions & answers on your web site on vitamins and noticed you mention about blood in poo, possibly being cocci. I noticed today in my chicken coop that there are droppings with blood in( I cleaned run 3 days ago and there wasn’t any then).
    1st what does cocci mean?
    2nd is this harmful to the chicken, the whole flock and to adults and children?
    3rdly how do I Prevent and is it possible to cure?
    Thank you for your help
    Ayeshah

    • Keeping Chickens says:

      Coccidiosis normally effects young birds from 5 to 16 weeks of age. It can be very infectious and is prevented by keeping them on dry, clean bedding materials.

      It’s beyond the scope of this site (aimed at beginners) so I would suggest you have a look at the article on Coccidiosis on the poultrykeeper.com site which is very good.

  3. Claire says:

    Hi, I hope you can help. One of my silkies who is about 4 months old couldn’t stand up this morning. His legs are shaking and occasionally stretches right out and his toes curl up. He has no other symptoms, he is eating, drinking, alert but it’s very distressing seeing him laying on the floor. I’ve now bought him into the house in a box to stop the others pecking him. The Internet suggests it could be a bit imam deficiency? But I feed them good quality pellets and fresh fruit and veg and they free range most days. I don’t understand how this could happen. How do I give him vitamin b2 which is what I’ve read he needs but can’t find anything specific. Any ideas?

    Many thanks for your help

    Claire

Leave a Reply