Chickens are one of the easiest animals to care for, and most of their nutritional needs are easily met through their diet, especially free-range chickens. While nutrients like carbohydrates, fats, protein, and minerals are all essential to the health and wellness of your flock, vitamins help your chicken’s body properly absorb all the other nutrients in their diet, providing the basis for a well-functioning immune system and optimum growth and development. Most vitamins cannot be synthesized by chickens in sufficient amounts, so they need to come from their diet.
Vitamins are especially important for laying hens, as they need the extra boost to help them maintain optimum health while producing eggs almost daily. Vitamins are also vital for chickens that are not left to free-range, as they cannot get these micro-nutrients from foraging. Both an vitamin A and D deficiency can result in fewer eggs, as well as eggs with brittle, weak shells.
In this article, we look at the best vitamins available on the market, so you can narrow down the options and find the best one for your needs.
Quick Glance at the Winners of 2023
|Best Overall||Rooster Booster Poultry Booster Pellet Vitamin Supplement||
|DURVET 136028 Vitamins & Electrolytes||
|Rooster Booster Cell Liquid Vitamin Poultry Supplement||
|Chicken Delyte Natural Daily Oral Nutritional Supplement for Chickens||
|Organic Chicken Kelp Cluck’n Sea Kelp - Chicken Vitamins & Minerals||
The 8 Best Vitamins for Chickens
1. Rooster Booster Poultry Booster Pellet Vitamin Supplement — Our Top Pick Overall
This pelleted mineral and vitamin supplement from Rooster Booster is formulated for all stages of growth and all classes of poultry. The supplement comes loaded with essential vitamins, including vitamin D3 and vitamin B12; minerals, like calcium and magnesium; and amino acids, which are essential for laying hens. The formula is also loaded with probiotics to help support a healthy immune system and healthy digestion. Simply mix one of the included 1/3-ounce scoop into a pound of feed to give your chickens the vitamin and mineral boost that they need.
The only drawback with these pelleted vitamins is that some chickens may pick out the other food and leave the pellets behind, so you may need to make them into a powder or mash to get the full benefits.
2. DURVET 136028 Vitamins & Electrolytes
This three-pack of vitamins and electrolytes from DURVET is a premix of water-soluble vitamins and electrolytes, ideal for laying and growing hens. The mix contains vitamins A, D, and E and added minerals like potassium and calcium. A little goes a long way with this mix—around 1/2 a teaspoon per gallon of water is plenty for chickens. Because it’s water soluble, they won’t be able to leave any behind, so you have the peace of mind that they are getting a balanced mix.
The premixed packets, unfortunately, do not have any expiration dates listed, and some customers received packages with clumped powder. This small issue keeps this supplement from the top spot on this list.
3. Rooster Booster Cell Liquid Vitamin Poultry Supplement, 1-pt bottle
For laying hens, during harsh winter months, or for flocks that have limited access to foraging, this liquid vitamin supplement from Rooster Booster is an ideal immune booster. The powder can be mixed into your chicken’s feed, or simply add 1 ounce per gallon of water. The supplement is packed with vitamins like vitamins A, D, and E, and essential B vitamins and 400 mg of iron. It is also formulated with minerals, including zinc and calcium, and essential amino acids. The supplement is suitable for all ages and is ideal for mixed flocks.
This supplement is difficult to fault, although we did notice that there are artificial flavors and colors listed in the ingredients.
4. Chicken Delyte Natural Daily Oral Nutritional Supplement for Chickens
If you want to give your chickens more than just a vitamin boost, this nutritional supplement from Chicken Delyte contains various other beneficial ingredients. With essential vitamins included, like vitamins A, D3, E, and B12, and added minerals, electrolytes, and pre- and probiotics, this supplement is a great addition to the general wellness of your flock. Simply add one 5 g scoop per 2 gallons of water. The formula supports your chicken’s digestion and nutrient absorption capability, maintains general health and vitality, and can be used for all ages.
This product is difficult to fault but it is comparatively expensive.
5. Organic Chicken Kelp Cluck’n Sea Kelp – Chicken Vitamins & Minerals
The Cluck’n Sea Kelp certified organic vitamin supplement will give your flock stronger eggshells with beautiful orange yolks, help them molt quicker and easier, increase their feather quality, and be a great addition to their overall health. The supplement contains only one ingredient: 100% air-dried kelp meal that is full of beneficial vitamins and minerals. Just add a couple of teaspoons daily to your chicken’s feed to provide them with vitamins, like vitamin K and C, and minerals, including calcium, iron, and magnesium.
Many customers report that their chickens would avoid eating this supplement on its own, so you’ll need to mix it into their feed. Also, it is fairly expensive for the amount that you get.
6. Coop Kelp Organic Chicken and Duck Feed Supplement
Coop Kelp Organic chicken supplement contains a combination of dry organic seaweed and kelp and nothing else, but these simple ingredients contain a bunch of beneficial nutrients for your flock. The supplement contains 4% protein, with potassium, magnesium, and beneficial vitamins, including vitamin K and C. The supplement will help support your chicken’s immune function and egg-laying and will aid in digestive health. Simply add 1/2 a scoop per cup of feed to give nutritional benefits to chickens of all life stages.
This supplement is fairly expensive, though, and many customers reported that their chickens wouldn’t eat it. The kelp pieces will get left behind by picky eaters, and the fine, dusty particles will remain in their feed bowl.
7. Omega Fields Omega Ultra Egg Chicken Supplement
A powdered supplement that includes vitamins and a host of other beneficial ingredients, the Ultra Egg Supplement from Omega Fields is ideal for chickens of all life stages and will help your chickens look and feel great. The supplement is formulated with ground flaxseed, contains added folic acid, and has essential vitamins E and B12. It also contains beneficial minerals, including iron, magnesium, and zinc, as well as 22% protein. It is manufactured in the U.S.A. You can simply add the supplement to your chicken’s feed or as a free-choice addition that they’ll love.
This supplement is difficult to fault, although the 4.5-pound bag is only enough for a month for up to 10 chickens, so it is an expensive choice.
8. Animal Health Solutions – Hen Boost Probiotics
Hen Boost Probiotics from Animal Health Solutions has multiple benefits for your flock, including additional vitamins A, D3, and B12. The supplements also include a blend of micro-encapsulated probiotics that are great for immune and digestive health, minerals like potassium, and electrolytes to help your chickens stay hydrated. Simply mix one scoop of the solution into two gallons of water for optimum health for your flock.
Some customers report that they had a hard time mixing it into water, as it doesn’t dissolve properly, and chicken wouldn’t eat it if mixed into their feed.
Buyer’s Guide: Selecting the Best Vitamins for Chickens
Vitamins and minerals are essential to the health and well-being of chickens, and although free-range chickens fed on a healthy diet will usually get all that they need without supplementation, it can certainly help to supplement during winter months and for laying hens. Multivitamins are also great for growing chicks, helping them get a good, healthy start.
Vitamins are great additions for times of stress, such as changes in the environment, during cold spells and breeding, and for birds that are poorly or ill. Whether you have a backyard flock in a coop or free-range chickens, they will definitely benefit from vitamin supplementation in their diet.
Important considerations when purchasing vitamins for your flock
Not all vitamin supplements are made equal, and most contain other ingredients, like probiotics and added minerals, which can make it confusing to choose the right supplement. In general, these additions are great for your flock regardless and will give them an extra health boost.
Pellets vs powder
Pellets are great because you can simply mix the required amount into your chicken’s feed, and it’s an easy way to give your flock their required supplement. However, if the pellets are not palatable, you’ll find that your birds will simply leave them alone and pick out the grains. If this does occur, you may want to make the pellets into a mash that is more palatable to them.
Powdered vitamin supplements are great because they can be mixed into your bird’s water or coated onto their food, so it’s guaranteed that your chickens get the required nutrition. Of course, if your supplement gets wet or expires, it will clump, rendering it useless. Some powdered supplements don’t mix well in water, so they’ll need to be added to the dry feed.
Essential vitamins for chickens
In general, chickens require all vitamins in their diet apart from vitamin C. The most important vitamins needed by your flock are:
Your flock should get most of these vitamins from their feed, but it’s a great idea to supplement during harsh winters, while laying, or if you make your own feed.
Signs of vitamin and mineral deficiency in chickens
Many, if not all, of the health problems found in backyard flocks can be avoided by giving your chicken a healthy, balanced diet complete with all the essential vitamins and minerals. Even if they are deficient in just one nutrient, this can have a significant effect on their ability to absorb other nutrients and cause a cascading effect. Unfortunately, a deficiency in vitamins can cause health issues long before your chickens show any noticeable symptoms, but here are a few to look out for:
Our favorite choice of vitamins for your chickens is the pelleted mineral and vitamin supplement from Rooster Booster. It is formulated for all stages of growth and all classes of poultry, comes loaded with essential vitamins and minerals, and is loaded with probiotics to help support a healthy immune system and healthy digestion.
We also love the vitamins and electrolyte mix from DURVET. This premix of water-soluble vitamins and electrolytes is ideal for laying and growing hens and is packed with vitamins A, D, and E and added minerals like potassium and calcium.
With all the variety of vitamin supplements on the market nowadays, it can be confusing to find the ideal one for your flock. Hopefully, our in-depth reviews have narrowed the options down so you can choose the best supplement for your needs.