All about the best vitamins for chickens

As a veterinarian, questions about vitamins for chickens are some of the most frequently asked. And with good reason. It’s so important to get it right if you want to keep a healthy flock.

Vitamins play a key role in nourishing your chicken. You can use natural, water-soluble, and organic vitamins for this purpose. Remember, even after feeding on fresh grains, most chickens require an additional top-up of vitamins. So, if you want your chickens to be fit and healthy, store the right vitamin supplements and feed them to your chickens on a timely basis. If you’re wondering what vitamins to get, keep reading the following sections.

Over the next few paragraphs we discuss the best vitamins for chickens and the various benefits they come with.

Do chickens need vitamin supplements?

As with every other species, chickens need vitamins for staying healthy and nourished and you should add them to their daily diet. Quality vitamin supplements boost the bird’s inherent defence against disease-producing pathogens. Their skeletal strength is improved, and they also grow faster. While you should add vitamins to the daily diet of your chickens, note that they are especially important after the bird has been sick for a while.

At this point, vitamin offers the necessary nutrition and helps them battle out the most complex ailments. Proper vitamin supplements also enhance the energy levels of these birds. In the following section, we’ll take a closer look at the incredible benefits of vitamin supplements.

Chickens need vitamins to maintain basic bodily functions and to prevent certain diseases. Here you’ll find common signs of deficiency, feeding requirements, and natural sources.

VitaminRequirement (1)SourcesSign of deficiency
Vitamin AGrowing chicks: 1500 International Chicks Units Laying hens: 4000 International Chicks UnitsAlfalfa meal, yellow corn, and synthetics.Reduced growth. Drowsiness, incoordination, emaciation, ataxia, reduced vision, the hatchability of the eggs
Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol)Growing chicks: Laying hens:
Growing chicks: Laying hens:
Growing chicks: Laying hens:
Growing chicks: Laying hens:

1: National Research Council Nutrient Requirements of Poultry: Ninth Revised Edition, 1994

Growing chicks:

Laying hens:

Helps battle stress

Battling stress is probably one of the biggest benefits of using vitamin supplements. Very often, your chickens get stressed. This either happens due to a drastic change in their environment. Alternatively, it can also crop up while they are heading back from a show or when you introduce newer chickens to the coop. Since stress makes them feel diseased, most chickens lose their appetite at this point. This is one of the areas where vitamin supplements can help these birds.

Helps manage cold weather

While chickens can comfortably thrive in all weathers, they aren’t much comfortable during extreme cold. As with stress-induced reasons, they gradually lose their appetite and fall sick. In some cases, the extreme cold might also lead to the death of these chickens. If, however, you use vitamin supplements, you can easily neutralize the impact of cold. These supplements will not merely nourish your chickens but also produce the extra dose of vitamins and proteins that’ll help them warm up during these seasons.

Better and faster breeding

If you are looking to breed more chickens and at a faster rate, adding vitamin supplements to their diet is an excellent idea. These supplements boost their growth and increase the rate at which they breed. You can explore the specialist breeder vitamins to help with this job. These vitamins will thoroughly nourish your chickens and help them breed better. Note that unlike regular vitamin supplements that should be consumed daily, breeding supplements should only be used during the breeding season.

Better growth

While chickens have moderate nutritional needs, these needs at the highest when they are young. As with humans and all other species, chickens too require maximum nourishment when they are still growing. Even though grains help them to a certain degree, it is not always enough. And this is yet another area where a vitamin supplement can help.

Water-soluble vitamins and multivitamins will boost the growth of chicks. It’ll also keep them thoroughly nourished. Eventually, you will also need these vitamins when you switch them from a smaller to a bigger accommodation. At this point, the vitamins will help chickens deal with the stress of moving. Note that these vitamins also play a major role in the development of your birds’ feathers.

Helps battle diseases

When your chickens are stressed, their immune system is more susceptible to picking up new ailments. Your birds might also suffer from diseases due to the extremities of the weather or improper dietary habits. Regardless of the cause of the disease, you should always add multivitamins to their diet. These vitamins will help them build immunity and also play a major role in battling out major ailments. You can use both organic and water-soluble vitamins to help them with the cause.

What vitamins are good for chickens?

Almost every major type of vitamin is good for chickens. Vitamin A is especially useful for this job. Note that your birds are likely to have poor foliage and experience droopiness because of the lack of this vitamin. In some cases, it might also result in nasal discharge and lesions along with the eye. To ensure the proper safety of your chickens, add a dose of vitamin A to their diet. This is the most essential vitamin and will go a long way in boosting their growth and aiding in their holistic development.

Natural sources of vitamin A are fish (and other meat), red and dark green vegetables (like carrots and broccoli), and of cause eggs.

Vitamin E is yet another vitamin that is absolutely necessary for your birds’ proper growth. Unlike Vitamin A that only helps in growth, vitamin E also boosts the production of eggs. Furthermore, it develops their immune system and helps battle out the most difficult dietary and physical challenges. Vitamin E usually helps in better immunity by boosting the activities of the phagocytes. Since these phagocytes thrive on microbes, they end up ingesting and finally destroying the toxic bacteria from the chickens. It also induces the healing of the affected tissues and enhances the bird’s resistance to more infections.

Other important vitamins include vitamin D3, vitamin E, and vitamin B complex. Note that these vitamins play a major role in the growth and development of adult chickens and smaller chicks. When used collectively, they boost the immunity of chickens and hens while also enhancing their energy levels. You can also use these vitamins to increase the overall appetite of your chickens and hens. If your birds have been recently exposed to stress, add these vitamins to their diet almost immediately.

In addition to the mentioned vitamins, Vitamin D plays a major role in increasing the calcium absorption properties within chickens.

Vitamins are essential for every type of chicken. However, they are especially useful for boosting the defence of those birds whose immune systems have been partially or fully damaged by some ailment. The micronutrients in these vitamins are equally important for the synthesis of energy and for boosting the vitality of weak birds.

Organic vitamins for chickens

If you want your chickens to be nourished and well-developed, organic vitamins are your best bet! These vitamins contain organic compounds that boost the skeletal growth of the birds. When combined with other vitamins like vitamin B or vitamin D3, it enhances the immunity of the birds and helps them resist the impact of complex ailments.

Natural vitamins for chickens

Natural vitamins refer to the type of vitamins that are naturally present in plant or animal products. Vitamin A, Vitamin B, Vitamin K, and Vitamin E are natural vitamins. However, you can also buy the processed versions of these vitamins as a vitamin supplement. Either way, natural vitamins play a significant role in improving poultry health. It also boosts their immunity and helps with a range of eating disorders. You can get natural vitamins for your chickens to enhance their growth, boost their immunity, and increase their lifespan.

Can I use human vitamins for chickens?

Although this is not generally advised, you can use human vitamins for chickens of some specific breeds like silkies. Certain breeds of chickens like silkies require a higher degree of maintenance. Human vitamins work best for these breeds. You can simply crush your vitamin capsules and add them to the chicken fodder. This way, they will get the right kind of nutrition without compromising on quality.

If you opt for using human vitamins for chickens, pay extra close attention to the dosage as it is very different from what a human would need.

In addition to introducing these vitamins to your chicken’s fodder, make sure they are relatively stress-free and are away from the disease-causing, aggressive chickens.

What does vitamin B12 do for chickens?

Vitamin B12 is important for the uptake and consumption of important macronutrients, as it plays a major role in metabolizing proteins and a range of nucleic acids. B12 is also used by the chicken for feathering. In chickens, it also metabolizes carbohydrates and fat. As with the other mentioned vitamins, you should specifically add vitamin B 12 to your adult and young chicken’s diet. The deficiency of this vitamin might reduce their weight gain.

In some cases, it might also lead to loss of appetite along with nervous disorder and issues with feathering. If the issue is overlooked for long, the dietary deficiency will take a bigger shape, leading to perosis. So, when you add vitamin B12 to your chicken’s diet, you end up alleviating the impact of perosis. For better results, combine vitamin B12 and vitamin A and make them a part of your chicken’s daily diet.

This way, you safeguard them from diseases and also help them grow faster. Chickens who regularly receive vitamin B12 supplements have stronger bones and fuller feathers. Since they also have a growing need to eat fodder, their weight is significantly higher than other common chickens. Vitamin B12 also helps your birds deal with stress.

So, if your chickens have been recently stressed due to improper diet or aggressive behaviour from other chickens, it is especially important to add this supplement to their diet.

Is vitamin E good for chickens?

Vitamin E is an excellent source of nourishment and protein for hens, chickens, and chicks. Vitamin E plays a major role in the production of eggs. Additionally, it also helps the chicken grow faster. The biggest highlight of this supplement, however, is the fact that it contributes to a well-maintained and healthy immune function. This usually happens when the vitamin increases the activities of the phagocytes which again are primarily responsible for eating microbes.

Note that microbes are harmful bacteria that usually have a detrimental effect on your chicken. The phagocytes produced by these supplements ingest and therefore destroy the bacteria. This way, it also boosts the healing action of the affected tissues. The result: The chickens are getting more resistant to many types of infections.

Note that very often chickens end up losing their inherent nutrients during aggressive fights. That is why you should attempt to directly introduce it to your birds’ diet. Unless your chickens have the required amount of vitamin E, they can never fight the harmful bacteria that might lead to diseases.

The deficiency of this vitamin might also lead to avian encephalomalacia. In some cases, its deficiency is closely linked with the dystrophy of muscles. The result: The key areas of meat, i.e, the breast and legs do not evolve as much. If you’re looking to avoid these adverse effects, add Vitamin E to your chicken’s diet.

Water-soluble vitamins for chickens

As with the mentioned vitamins, water-soluble vitamins play a vital role in your chicken’s growth and immunity. Sadly, every vitamin is not water-soluble. Only Vitamin B and its subsequent compounds are fully water-soluble. Vitamin D, Vitamin A, and Vitamin E don’t fall under this category. But what do you mean by water-soluble vitamins?

The idea is simple, these vitamins are those components that aren’t naturally stored in the chicken’s body. That means, your chickens need to regularly consume this to balance the level of supply. You can use a vitamin B supplement or any other water-soluble vitamin when your chickens aren’t eating due to health issues or high stress. These supplements will increase the bird’s strength and help them deal with stress better.

Liquid Vitamins For Chickens

When it comes to vitamins for chickens, the most common variants are available as powder, capsules, and tablets. If your chickens are too sick to consume fodder, you can use another uncommon variant, which is popularly known as a liquid vitamin. As with powdered vitamin supplements, liquid vitamin plays a significant role in boosting the bird’s immunity, health, and disease resistance abilities.

You can either introduce this when they are stressed or add it to their daily food to avail the incredible benefits. Liquid vitamins will nourish your chickens, increase their overall energy, and help them battle diseases better.

Bottom Line: Add vitamins daily

Now that you have a clear idea about why you need quality vitamins for your chicken, get the right products, and add them to their regular diet. This way, they will stay healthy, fit, and active. The best part is: Their immunity will significantly improve.

If you’re looking to achieve these results, regularly add good vitamins for chickens in their daily fodder.