Do Chickens Need Vitamin and Mineral Supplements?
Minerals and vitamins are essential to your chickens’ overall well-being and health. While free-range chickens usually get plenty of minerals and vitamins, they, however, can’t get enough minerals and vitamins without supplementation. Minerals and vitamins are vital for chickens in the winter months. Furthermore, supplementation is crucial for egg-laying hens.
What Vitamins do Chickens Need?
Chickens need a variety of minerals to maintain good health. Your egg-laying hens need vitamin A, for instance. Vitamin A helps in boosting growth and egg production in hens. Vitamin B2 is vital for chickens since it helps support their growth.
Also, Vitamin K is crucial for proper muscle health and healthy blood in hens, roosters, and chicks. Chickens also need a sufficient amount of vitamin E for growth and reproduction. Egg-laying hens require vitamin D since this vitamin helps strengthen eggshells and further increase egg production.
What Minerals Do Chickens Need?
Apart from minerals, chickens also need a variety of minerals for proper growth and reproduction. Chickens require calcium for good skeletal formation. Limestone, oyster shells, and bone meal are excellent sources of calcium for chickens. Calcium also improves hatchability and eggshell quality.
Zinc is essential for feathering and preventing your birds from getting bone disease. Manganese will prevent your birds from getting Perosis, a condition that affects chickens, ducks, and turkeys. Cobalt is another essential mineral for chicks since it prevents baby chicks from experiencing stunted growth.
How Often to Give Chickens Vitamins?
Chickens need vitamins every day. Give your chickens vitamin supplements every day to improve their health.
Do Baby Chicks Need Vitamins and Minerals?
Vitamins and minerals are crucial for baby chicks. Adding essential minerals such as vitamin A, Vitamin D, and Vitamin K to your baby chicks’ diet is quite critical to their health. Water-soluble vitamins such as Niacin are vital for baby chicks. Niacin prevents your baby chicks from developing bowed legs.
This mineral also prevents the chicks from experiencing tongue inflammation and mouth cavity. Choline is another crucial water-soluble vitamin for baby chicks since it inhibits poor growth, affecting baby chicks from hatching when they lack essential vitamins in their diet.
Folic acid is an essential water-soluble vitamin for baby chicks since it stops them from experiencing poor feathering and anemia.
Baby chicks also need a sufficient amount of minerals for optimal growth. Your baby chicks will thrive well if you provide them with minerals such as magnesium, copper, zinc, cobalt, and manganese. Combining all these minerals is essential for your baby chicks’ overall well-being and health.
Natural Vitamins for Chickens
Although you can purchase vitamin supplements at the poultry store, most of these vitamins are synthetic. However, many natural vitamins can help enhance your chickens’ health. Below are some suitable natural vitamins for chickens.
Herbs make lovely vitamin sources for chickens. You can also grow several herbs in your yard for your birds. There are a variety of herbs you can give to your chickens for vitamin supplementation. For instance, anti-inflammatory herbs pack loads of vitamins for chickens.
These anti-inflammatory herbs include comfrey, feverfew, calendula, and yarrow. Herbs such as oregano, thyme, and nasturtium are good vitamin-rich herbs for chickens. These herbs also work as antibiotics. Peppermint, tarragon, and sage are also rich in vitamins, besides being great antiparasitic agents.
– Sprouted Grains
Sprouted grains make great natural vitamins for poultry, including chickens. They have significant benefits for chickens, and they are also excellent money savers on vitamin supplements. When you sprout grains, they will have plenty of nutrients and vitamins that your flock can easily digest.
Although sprouted grains are great vitamin sources for your chickens, GMO grains can harm your flock since they have hazardous chemicals. Consider sprouting organic grains for your chickens.
Seeds are a fantastic source of natural vitamins for chickens. These also have plenty of nutrients your chickens can’t get from consuming regular chicken feed. Sunflower seeds are particularly great vitamin-rich seeds for chickens.
In addition, sunflower seeds can help improve your chickens’ cardiovascular health and help the birds fight inflammation since they are great anti-inflammatory agents. Flax seeds are also suitable for your chickens to help them combat vitamin deficiency. Furthermore, flaxseeds are also rich in Omega 3.
Besides parking loads of vitamins, garlic also has multiple health benefits for chickens. Garlic is an excellent antiparasitic agent, and it can also support your chickens’ overall health. The massive traces of vitamins in garlic can boost your birds’ immune system.
Natural Minerals for Chickens
Supplementing your chickens’ diet with minerals is essential. Nonetheless, you don’t have to purchase synthetic minerals for your birds from the stores since there are loads of natural minerals suitable for chickens. Here are a couple of natural minerals you should introduce to your chickens.
– Oyster Shells
Oyster shells have plenty of calcium, which is an essential mineral for chickens of all ages. You can crush a couple of oyster shells and add the crushed shells to your chickens’ feed to provide them with enough calcium.
– Bone Meal
Bone meal is another excellent natural mineral for chickens. Also, it contains a high concentration of phosphorus, which is an essential mineral for chickens since it supports skeletal growth in chickens.
– Pumpkin Seeds
Pumpkin seeds contain magnesium, which is among the essential minerals for chickens. Magnesium deficiency in chickens can inhibit calcium and vitamin D absorption. Consider mixing pumpkin seeds with chicken feed to provide your flock with enough magnesium. Peanuts and cashews are also great magnesium-rich foods for chickens.
– Dried Fruits
Dried fruits are a good source of potassium for chickens. Potassium is ideal for enhancing bone formation in chickens. Potassium also helps strengthen cellular metabolism in birds and thus ensures your chickens have the right proportion of potassium in their diet by providing them with dried fruits.
Although chickens can get a decent amount of minerals and vitamins from their everyday diet, mineral and vitamin supplements are crucial for your birds. Introduce a variety of mineral and vitamin supplements to your chickens to boost their health and well-being.
thanks. very educational and interesting, will put this to good use ..hailing from bentey creek, Pa.