Hello chicken keepers,
I am THE doting mother hen - I’m much more vigilant about my chickens' nutrition and with their daily intake of vitamins and minerals than I am of my own! While I see nothing wrong with consuming half a dozen cinnamon donuts in one sitting, I know that when it comes to my flock’s nutritional needs only the most natural chicken feed, useful dietary supplements and healthy chook treats will do!
Let’s take a peck at what nutritional needs your chickens have to live, lay and play well!
- Protein - Chickens need protein for tissue growth, energy and injury repair. Got a moulting hen on your hands? Up their protein intake to ease the transition to their new chooky ‘do!
Carbohydrates - Carbohydrates provide your chickens with their daily energy for all that cluckin’ and scratchin’ that needs to be done. Forage fuel!
- Sources - Oats, wheat, lentils
Fats and Oils - Chooks need to consume good fats and oils to aid in injury repair and give them energy.
- Sources - Flax seeds, tuna, sunflower seeds
Vitamin A - Essential to your chicken nutrition plan for immune health and mucous production - which means a healthy crop and gut!
- Sources - Leafy greens, sweet potato, carrots and cod liver oil
Vitamin B - This vitamin is crucial for keeping your flock’s feathers fabulous and healthy!
- Sources - Grains, fish
Vitamin D - Getting your girls out and about in the sunshine will help them consume vitamin D, great for bone health and strong egg-shells!
- Sources - Sunshine, cod liver oil, sardines
- Minerals - Your chookies will need calcium and phosphorous to stay strong and healthy.
- Shell Grit - Let your girls get gritty by natural free-range foraging or by adding shell grit to their daily feed. Grit is essential to a chicken’s digestive system and delivers much needed minerals like calcium and phosphorous.
- Apple Cider Vinegar - This wonderful liquid balances your chook’s PH levels, fights off intestinal infections and parasites and keeps their feathers glossy and full.
- Garlic - Oh garlic! What can’t this wonder herb do? For your chooks, garlic helps their bodies repel and resist pests such as mites, lice and worms, in a similar way to apple cider vinegar.
- Watermelon - Cool and hydrating, watermelon will provide your flock of chickens with fun and vitamins on a hot summer day!
- Berries - Packed full of vitamins and carbohydrates for energy - berries make a great treat for your hens - especially frozen into ice blocks for summer.
- Mealworms - These all round powerful treats are like crack for chooks! Protein-packed, mealworms make a great snack for moulting chooks or those stubborn hens off the lay.
- Corn - This by far is my #1 chook treat in winter. It raises your hens’ body temperature, ready for their roost at night, and gives them an incentive to follow you back to their run after a good afternoon forage session!
- Natural yoghurt - While dairy is not a traditional part of chicken nutrition, in careful moderation sugar-free yoghurt is a great option to treat your chooks. Chickens who are low in calcium or recovering from illness will especially benefit from a little slurp of a this probiotic wonder treat.
If you are looking for more ideas on chicken nutrition and feeding your girls the natural, easy and cheap way have a peck here.