If you own poultry business, you might know that vitamins are integral to the chicken feed formulation plan. But are you sure you’re employing the proper ones to reach your aims?
For maintaining optimal poultry health, a variety of vitamins for chicken are essential. For example, vitamins A, D3, E, and K are fat-soluble vitamins, whereas vitamin B and riboflavin are water-soluble vitamins needed for avoiding deficiencies in chickens.
Since poultry can produce vitamin C, there is no dietary need for vitamin C. However, when chickens are stressed, vitamin C supplementation is beneficial.
This article was intended to assist the poultry producers in understanding the significance of vitamins for chicken.
Chicks require vitamin A for proper growth, while adult chickens require it for maintaining optimal health and boosting egg production. Likewise, Vitamin A is required for epithelial cell growth and reproduction, such as the skin and digestive organ linings.
Vitamin A also boosts the immune system fighting against harmful pathogens.
Vitamin A deficiency in chickens leads to an infectious disease called nutritional roup. It results in conjunctivitis, discharge from nostrils, eyelids swelling, and glued eyelids.
Vitamin A is obtained from leafy green vegetables by free-range chickens, but it is required in the diet of poultry hens.
Natural sources: Spinach, pumpkin, peas, broccoli, dandelion leaves, sweet potato
Vitamin D3 is essential for hens, particularly young chicks and laying hens.
It is essential for effective phosphorous and calcium absorption, which is essential for proper growth, development of bones, and production of eggshells.
In maturing chicks, deficiency of vitamin D3 causes rickets. Similarly, In adult birds, deficient chickens lay thin-shelled eggs with low hatching, have weak legs, and rest in a penguin-like position. In addition, the beak, claws, and ribs all grow soft.
Vitamin D3 may enter a chicken’s body in two ways: either ingesting it in feed or through direct sunshine exposure.
Natural sources: fish, eggs, mushrooms
Vitamin E acts as an antioxidant that is necessary for appropriate brain function. It appears to be necessary for proper hatching. It also increases the number of eggs produced by laying hens.
Crazy chick sickness, diathesis in small chickens, and muscular dystrophy in mature hens are all symptoms of Vitamin E deficiency.
Growing chickens with vitamin E deficiency develop an imbalance and a lack of muscle control after hatching.
Natural sources: Spinach, pumpkin, broccoli, dandelion leaves, turnip
Vitamin K is required to form prothrombin; hence it is crucial for blood clotting processes. A proper amount of Vitamin K in adult chickens also protects them against coccidiosis.
Chicken without this vitamin can die from bleeding if injured because they cannot clot the blood to stop the bleeding.
Vitamin K deficiency can also increase red stains of blood in eggs, hemorrhages in the limbs and chest, and blood coagulation problems.
Natural sources: cucumber, cabbage, broccoli, dark leafy greens
Vitamin B is necessary for the neurological system of chickens. General limb weakening, losing weight, lack of coordination, and neck and limb spasms are indications of Vitamin B deficiency.
Vitamin B can be further classified into thiamin, cyanocobalamin, biotin, riboflavin, and pyridoxine.
Because riboflavin is a component of metabolic enzymes, it is essential for metabolic activities in chicken. Deficiency of Vitamin B2 causes diarrhea and “curled leg paralysis” in chickens.
Reduced egg production and higher embryonic mortality have been observed in chickens that lack this vitamin, along with clubbing down of feathers.
Similarly, this vitamin is abundant in grasses and brewer’s yeast.
Natural sources: eggs, soybeans, spinach
Thiamine or Vitamin B1 enhances the chicken’s immune system and increases the body’s capacity to resist stressful situations. Due to this, thiamine is frequently referred to as an “anti-stress” vitamin.
Conversely, thiamine deficiency weakens the chickens’ muscles, heart, nerves, and digestive system. Appetite, loss of weight, curled feathers, and muscular paralysis are all symptoms of B1 deficiency in chickens.
These key energy activities are disrupted when there is insufficient thiamin in the diet, resulting in issues throughout the body.
Natural sources: fish eggs, peas, beans, sunflower seeds
Cyanocobalamin (Vitamin B12)
Vitamin B12 in chickens is required to perform a variety of fundamental metabolic tasks. Vitamin B12 is essential for creating red blood cells and the generation of DNA. In addition, it aids in the maintenance of the central nervous system and is necessary for brain ability.
Clinical indicators of vitamin B12 insufficiency in chickens include leg paralysis and perosis, which are symptoms of nervous system dysfunction. Defective breeding parents can also cause poor feathering and impaired hatchability.
Natural sources: eggs, meat, milk, yogurt, cheese
Pyridoxine (Vitamin B6)
Vitamin B6 aids in the production of many neurotransmitters, which are molecules that convey impulses from one neuron to the other. It is essential for proper brain growth.
It aids in the production of serotonin and norepinephrine, which impact emotion, and melatonin, which aids in regulating the body clock. In addition, it is essential to various enzymes that break down the amino acid.
Chicken with vitamin B6-deficient feeding will lack appetite and poor muscle and mental development. Likewise, growing chickens may exhibit anxious leg movements, roam, fluttering their arms, or crouching with their heads resting on the ground.
Natural sources: fish, chickpeas, cereals
|Vitamins for chicken||Deficiency Effect / Symptoms|
|Vitamin A||Issues in growth, lower egg production|
|Vitamin D3||Rickets, thin-shelled eggs, soft beaks, bones|
|Vitamin E||Lack of muscle control, crazy chick sickness|
|Vitamin K||Long time for blood clotting, blood stains|
|Vitamin B1||Reduced appetite, death|
|Vitamin B2||Poor egg production curled leg paralysis|
|Vitamin B3||Poor muscle growth, anxious behavior|
|Vitamin B4||Embryonic mortality, anaemia|
Vitamins for chicken play a critical role in maintaining a healthy and productive poultry company. However, as previously stated, vitamin deficiencies can cause a variety of health issues in hens, including death in rare situations.
Thus, providing a balanced poultry diet with the necessary vitamins and minerals should avoid nutritional deficiencies or when deficiency signs are observed.