Chickens, like humans, require proper nutrition to grow healthy and strong. A lack of vitamins and minerals can lead to severe health problems and, in some cases, death. For chickens, proper nutrition is also vital for healthy egg production. Vitamin deficiency can lead to weak, thin-shelled eggs and unhealthy offspring.
Chickens need to ingest certain vitamins with fat in order for the vitamins to be properly absorbed into the bloodstream. Vitamins A, D, E and K are necessary for chicken fertility and the production of strong eggs.
Chickens, like all life on earth, require water to survive. The water-soluble vitamins that chickens need are thiamine (B1), riboflavin (B2), B6, B12, pantothenic acid, choline, folic acid, biotin and niacin. The water-soluble vitamins help the chickens growth and egg production.
Chickens require minerals for egg production, bone development, muscle function, metabolism and formation of blood cells. The most important minerals are calcium and phosphorous, which are essential in the formation of strong, healthy eggs. Chickens also require trace amounts of minerals such as salt, copper, iron, manganese, magnesium, iodine, zinc and cobalt.