Vitamins, Electrolytes, & Pro-biotics ..... oh, my!

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by darkbrahmamama, Aug 28, 2014.

  1. darkbrahmamama

    darkbrahmamama Chirping

    Apr 22, 2013
    I have Life-Lyte tablets from manna pro, and pro-biotics from sav-a-chick How often, and when, should I use them? Is it OK to use both at the same time? I've been using the vitamin & electrolyte tablets when it's been around 80* or hotter, & plan on using them when winter hits & it gets really cold .... last winter it was 20 below quite often. I'd like to use the pro-biotics instead of the yogurt. Even though they like yogurt, from all of the reading I've done, dairy isn't really all that great to give chickens. I've never used pro-biotics before, at least for chickens, & I'm kind of clueless as to how often they should get it.

    If some information on their lifestyle would help, here it goes:

    There are 17 that are over a year old, 9 that are 4 months old, & 2 that are about 1 & 1/2 months old. All dark brahma's. They have 1 waterer that's 8 gallons. I often have to clean & re-fill that around every 5 days. They have 4 feeders that always have feed in them. 2 are 20 lb-ers, & the other 2 are 40 lb-ers. They are fed Southern States Layer & Breeder crumbles & pellets. I use to feed them Agway's Hearty Hen pellets, but they seem to prefer the Southern States more. Every night they get a mixture of black oil sunflower seed, sunflower meaties, & scratch. It's mostly because it makes it so much easier to get them in, but also because it's good protein. It's about 1/3 of each - so not much scratch. Between all of them, they probably get between 3 - 3.5 lbs of that. They also free range during the day, for about 12 hours, on a lot of acres (20-ish?). In the summer they often get fruit & some tomatoes. Though, I did have to tell the woman where I keep them, my horse, & work; to cut back on the amount of fruit they give them ..... even though the chickens like it, too much fruit is a bad thing & I had to treat a couple for sour crop. In the fall they'll get some left over veggies from my garden. In the winter, when it's really cold, I give them mealworm & sunflower heart cakes as well as mealworm suet pellets. Not a lot, only when it's really cold out. I think that's about it for the nutritional end of their care.

    I just want to make sure that I don't over-do the vitamins/electrolytes & pro-biotics. Just like everything ..... too much is a bad thing & can do more harm than good!
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2014
  2. debbiegt

    debbiegt Chirping

  3. matt44644

    matt44644 Songster

    Sep 14, 2014
    Sanilac County,Michigan
    Not an expert,but i think both of them are intended for use after periods of stress of after use of antibiotics.If you want pro-biotics you can buy feed that has the probiotics and prebiotics in there.

    Mix a single packet (approx. 0.17 ounces of powder) into one gallon of clean, cool water. Offer the mixed solution to
    birds newly arrived, during periods of stress, and after antibiotic treatment
    Manna Pro
    While they hide it well, many poultry experience lessened immunity in such situations as heat waves, re-homing, competitive shows, travel, or illness.
  4. pdirt

    pdirt Songster

    May 11, 2013
    Eastern WA
    Yogurt or kefir is fine to feed them for probiotics. They don't need much. Cheap if you make your own.

    Lots of milk isn't so good for chickens. It's the lactose in milk they can't digest very well. Lactose has been mostly broken down in the process of fermenting milk into yogurt or kefir. Cheese isnt so good for them because of the high amounts of salt.
  5. darkbrahmamama

    darkbrahmamama Chirping

    Apr 22, 2013
    Wow .... forgot about this post because it's been so long! I did answer some of my own questions from a hen that had loose droppings a few months ago. I think she had an infection due to over treading from being to boys favorite, and the fact that I had just dewormed her so I know it wasn't worms. I still gave her another dose of dewormer to be safe, as well as (after a couple of weeks) an anti-biotic. I know chickens have to have pro-biotics after being on anti-biotics, but I continued it for a couple of weeks instead of just a couple of days & her droppings never got form to them. As soon as I stopped the pro-biotics, her droppings started getting better! So, I guess they don't need pro-biotics unless there has been crop issues for drugs given, & then for only a couple of days.

    As far as the vitamins & electrolytes, from what I've read, they're good when they're under stress, going through a molt, it's extremely hot out, or they're sick. Other than that, their feed alone should have plenty of vitamins in it - or at least the feed I feed. If I fed only scratch or crack corn it'd be different.

    Thanks to those who chimed in!

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