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Chicken Vitamins: What are They and How Can They Help?

Chicken Vitamins: What are They and How Can They Help?

Chicken Vitamins: What are They and How Can They Help?

Posted on Oct 13th, 2023

Welcome to Bresse Star Chick Hatchery's guide on chicken vitamins. In this blog post, we will delve into the world of poultry nutrition, exploring the importance of vitamins for your feathered friends.

Just like humans, chickens require a balanced diet to thrive, and vitamins are a crucial part of that equation. As dedicated poultry enthusiasts, we understand that your chickens are not just farm animals; they're part of your family. Ensuring their health and well-being is essential for their happiness and your success as a poultry farmer.

The Significance of Chicken Vitamins

Understanding the significance of chicken vitamins is fundamental for any poultry keeper. Vitamins are essential micronutrients that play a pivotal role in various bodily functions in chickens.

From supporting growth to enhancing immunity, vitamins are the unsung heroes of your flock's health. These tiny nutrients are responsible for maintaining the vitality of your chickens, ensuring they lay quality eggs, and safeguarding their overall well-being. In this section, we will explore how these vitamins are the building blocks of a robust and thriving flock.

Types of Vitamins Essential for Chickens

In the world of poultry nutrition, there are two main categories of vitamins: fat-soluble and water-soluble. Fat-soluble vitamins, including vitamins A, D, E, and K, are essential for maintaining various bodily functions.

Vitamin A is vital for healthy vision and skin. Too little Vitamin A can lead to inflamed skin, night blindness,infertility, delayed growth and respiratory infections, ruffled feathers decreased weight gain and decreased egg production. Raising the Vitamin A by adding a supplement can increase live weight growth and can help with early lay production and higher egg production. Vitamin D is necessary for strong bones and eggshell formation. Birds cannot create Vitamin D in their own bodies, so they must acquire it through their diet. One of the most important things Vitamin D does is help with breaking down and using Calcium and Magnesium. As we know Calcium helps with strong bones but also stronger egg shells. However a little known secret is that Calcium also helps with mood disorders like depression and anxiety. It plays an important part on the nervous system and mood of your flock.
Vitamin E contributes to egg production, fertility and acts as an antioxidant, bolstering the immune system and the functioning of the nerve muscles and the circulatory system. 

One thing that we should say is that to much of a good thing can have an opposite affect to take place. Too much E will actully lower the egg production and the fertility of our feathered friends. As we learned this fact that we were over doing sometimes the amount of vitamins we were giving we realized we better leave this Vitamin and Mineral thing in the hands of a Nutritionist that knows what they are doing. Thats another reason we fell in love with Fertrell Products . In the long run it even saved us money from how we were going about it. 

By the way I would like to say "Thank You" to Jenn at North Star Farms for suggesting we use Fertrell Products for our Vitamin and Mineral needs. She sure was right!

On the other hand, water-soluble vitamins, such as the B-complex vitamins (B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, and B12), play a crucial role in energy metabolism, growth, and overall vitality. Understanding these vitamin categories and their functions is key to providing your chickens with a well-rounded and nutritious diet.

How Chicken Vitamins Promote Health

When it comes to the health of your chickens, vitamins are indispensable. They contribute to the overall well-being of your flock in numerous ways.

For example, vitamins A, C, and E are known to boost the immune system, making chickens more resistant to diseases and infections. This means fewer sick days for your feathered friends and more peace of mind for you as a poultry farmer. Moreover, vitamins D and calcium work in tandem to ensure strong bones and eggshell formation, resulting in increased egg production and better-quality eggs.

Beyond that, vitamins B2 and B7 play a pivotal role in feather development, ensuring your chickens sport vibrant and healthy plumage. And let's not forget about the B-complex vitamins, which are essential for energy metabolism, allowing your chickens to stay active and thrive in their daily activities.

By providing your flock with the right balance of vitamins, you're not just keeping them healthy; you're setting them up for a life of vitality and productivity.

Waiting for your flock to be a little older like 6 to 8 weeks before supplementing with the Vitamins and Minerals is better than nothing but is diffently the wrong way to taking care of your Chicks. Chicks should be started within day 3 or 4 of life with supplementation. Their little bodies are developing very quickly and its best to start them off right. You WILL be happier with the results. Less disease better bones and feathers and especially higher growth rates. Also start supplying them with Starter grit as well within the 3rd to 4th day of life.

The Role of Natural Foods

Natural foods are a fantastic source of vitamins for your chickens. Fruits, vegetables, grains, and seeds are not only nutritious but also provide a diverse range of vitamins.

For instance, leafy greens like kale and spinach are rich in vitamin A, which is crucial for maintaining healthy vision and skin in chickens. Additionally, grains such as corn and wheat are excellent sources of various B-complex vitamins, promoting energy metabolism and overall vitality.

By incorporating these natural foods into your chickens' diet, you can ensure that they receive the vitamins they need from whole, unprocessed sources. This not only benefits their health but also adds variety to their meals, keeping them engaged and happy.

The Importance of Commercial Poultry Feeds

While natural foods are essential, many poultry keepers rely on commercial poultry feeds to provide a well-balanced diet for their chickens. Commercial poultry feeds come in various formulations tailored to different life stages, such as starter, grower, and layer. 

  As stated in Jeff Mattocks book,
Niche Poultry feeding & management:( which I would encourage you all to purchase )

"When using Commerically available feeds, it is difficult for the processing, transportation, purchasing and then consumption by the animals to occur withing a 30-day time frame. Although variable with the feed and time of year commercially processed bagged feeds will be on average at least 6 months old by the time they are consumed. If feeds are manufactured at one central location, warehoused, and then distributed throughtout a large area to smaller retail outlets, they may need a six-month shelf life. To make up for this some commercial feeds add preservatives to minimize oxidation and Flavor additives to give an appealing aroma and flavor to old feed. " 

If possible try to buy directly from a mill. Even better get a nutrionist to give you a receipe for having the mill mix your own feed. Some Mills will do 500 lbs at a time but others 2000 lbs is usually required or mix your own. A fellow Poultry breeder here in Utah is trying to form a Co-op so all of us can can go in together large or small chicken raisers and get our feed made for us. Please drop me a line if your interested in buying some feed as a group. We only want to have 30 days worth of feed made at one time. Starting at Day 14 or 15 feed starts to lose the potency of the Vitamins and protein levels. 30 days old to 45 days old the feed is still pretty good. After 45 days from being milled the feed really starts losing alot of its good traits as well as starting to taste and smell state to the chickens. Their sense of smell is alot higher than ours. They will eat it because they are hungry but they only eat to get them buy. Which in some cases opens your flock to disease and poor performance.

I have found in most retail stores when trying to purchase Show Pig Feed to purchasing Poultry Feed that the findings from Jeff Mattocks are really true. I called a couple of Mfg's of the commercial feed and asked for their codes so I could read what month the feed was Manufactured. I found that a lot more than I expected where 6 months to 1 year old. 

Fertrell Products and Sustainable Farming

In the pursuit of optimal nutrition for your chickens, Fertrell products stand out as a top choice. Fertrell is renowned for its commitment to natural, organic, and sustainable farming practises. Their products are carefully crafted with high-quality, natural ingredients, avoiding synthetic additives and chemicals that could harm your chickens or compromise the quality of their eggs.

This dedication to natural ingredients ensures that your flock receives the best care possible, and you can take pride in knowing that you're providing your chickens with wholesome, organic nutrition. What's more, Fertrell products are certified organic, meeting the stringent standards of organic farming, and are an excellent fit for those who prioritise organic practises in their poultry farming endeavours. By choosing Fertrell products, you are not only promoting the health of your chickens but also contributing to sustainable agriculture, reducing the ecological footprint of your poultry farming. Please see our product page about Fertrell products.  

Recognising Vitamin Deficiency

Recognising the signs of vitamin deficiency in your chickens is crucial for their well-being. Chickens may not be able to communicate their needs, so it's up to you as their caretaker to be vigilant.

Common indicators of deficiency include dull, brittle, or discoloured feathers, which may signal a lack of vitamins B2 (riboflavin) or B7 (biotin). Reduced egg production or eggs with thin shells could be due to a deficiency in vitamin D and calcium. Chickens appearing lethargic or with reduced activity levels may be lacking essential B-complex vitamins responsible for energy metabolism.

Keep an eye out for signs of poor vision, such as squinting, eye discharge, or impaired night vision, which may indicate a deficiency in vitamin A. Weak bones, difficulty standing, or bone deformities could be a result of insufficient vitamin D for calcium absorption. Knowing these signs and acting promptly can make a significant difference in your flock's health and overall quality of life.

Proper Administration of Chicken Vitamins

Administering vitamins to your chickens is a responsibility that should be approached with care and precision. Over supplementation can be as harmful as deficiency, so it's essential to follow best practises.

Always adhere to recommended dosages, whether you're using commercial poultry feeds or supplements like Fertrell products. These dosages are carefully calculated to provide the right balance of vitamins without causing harm. If you suspect a vitamin deficiency or have concerns about your chickens' health, don't hesitate to consult with a poultry veterinarian or Poultry Nutritionist. As a Fertrell Dealership I have access to one the best Nutritionis. Please email me with how I can help. A professional's guidance can help you make informed decisions about your flock's nutrition.

Additionally, regular monitoring of your chickens is crucial. Observe their behaviour, check for any signs of deficiency or excess, and adjust their diet or supplements accordingly. By following these guidelines, you can ensure that your chickens receive the vitamins they need without any adverse effects.

Conclusion and Contact Information

In conclusion, the importance of chicken vitamins cannot be overstated when it comes to the health and well-being of your flock. A well-balanced diet that includes the right vitamins is the foundation of a robust and thriving chicken population.

For those looking for the best in poultry nutrition, Fertrell products are a valuable addition to your chicken nutrition plan. Their commitment to natural, organic, and sustainable ingredients ensures that your chickens receive the highest quality care possible. Don't wait until your flock shows signs of deficiency; start providing them with the essential vitamins they need today. Your chickens will thank you with robust health, increased egg production, and vibrant plumage.

If you have any questions or need assistance with your chicken nutrition plan, feel free to reach out to us at [email protected] or . We're here to help you raise happy and healthy chickens!

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