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.

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


  1. 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
    A worried owner

    • 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.

  2. 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

    • 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.

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