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Should I give my hens multi vitamins and supplements?

Yes, absolutely, we recommend offering your hens a good quality multi vitamin all through the winter, and then bi weekly during the warmer months. Pipinchick have their own brand, specifically created to ensure they maintain good amounts of B12 in their diet and it is water soluble, vitamin B12 is essential for good brain cognitive function and can prevent conditions such as Wry Neck or Star Gazing.

Your chickens will have different nutritional needs during different times in their lives:

Feather Moulting.

During their moult they will be very deficient in minerals and proteins, we recommend offering Agrivite Poultry Drink during this time as it is full of additional minerals such as iron, and also offer seeds, live grubs and larvae as a treat to help keep them topped up on protein, new feathers are made up of 100% protein so whilst re growing they will use all their natural protein stores.

Calcium and Vitamin D.

This is so important if your hens are having periods where they are struggling to lay, have just come into lay or are a little older in their lives and need the extra help to lay. Hens will use a lot of calcium to create eggs, if they do not have enough in their system they will take calcium form their own bones, this can cause long term difficulties laying, egg binding and even brittle bones. We recommend as a basic every day tonic Agrivite Feather, Shell and Bone which is water soluble, and for times of egg binding or sever deficiency we recommend Zolcal D. Vitamin D is essential as without vitamin D your hens cannot absorb calcium so always makes sure when offering a calcium supplement it also has vitamin D. You can also supplement their vitamin D by offering dried chopped mushrooms (human safe).

Broody hens.

If you have bantams or pure breeds then you will probably have had broody hens, broody hens will sit on an empty nest this can last for anything up to 3 months, they will get up to eat and drink once or twice a day but as you can imagine during this time they will become quite deficient in many essential nutrients including, fat, vitamins and minerals. We recommend offering broodies a high calorie treat if they have been broody for a prolonged
period, we have our own Forager Broody Boost, which is packed full of essential vitamins, minerals and has lots of extra fat, we also recommend having a good quality multi vitamin in the water for all your hens but especially during times of broodiness.

Mite rescue.

If your hens have had a mite infestation you may notice they have pale combes and wattles and seem lethargic, this is due to them being deficient in minerals in particular iron, mites will eat your chickens blood and for sever infestations your hens will be lacking in iron and other minerals which can lead to anaemia.

For more information on common health problems please go to our chicken health care page.

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