When choosing to make your own recipe, there's a list of natural supplements to add to your flock’s winter diet. Winter supplements can be used to help prevent or treat specific issues that may be present during the winter. Supplements should be used with a specific reason in mind and a full understanding of what benefit the supplement will provide for your flock.
The best winter natural supplements are the ones that stimulate circulation, boost the immune system, and enhance the digestive functions.
Cold weather will suppress circulation in a chicken’s body. Supplements that stimulate circulation will help prevent frostbite and ensure proper blood flow throughout the chicken’s body.
The immune system is also usually suppressed during the winter as well. Energy sources will be put towards staying warm instead of being used to build up antibodies against disease and illness. Supplements that boost the immune system will help your flock ward off disease, parasites, and illness.
Lastly, the digestive system is often taxed and sometimes compromised during the winter. Supplements that aid with digestion will help your flock get the maximum nutrition from what they eat which will also provide more energy to help them stay warm.
Here are some healthy winter supplements to add to your flock’s diet, which you can add to your flock's Grubblies Energy Bites:
- Ground ginger- circulation stimulator
- Ground turmeric- immune booster
- Cooked elderberries- immune booster, respiratory aid
- Crushed garlic- immune booster, promotes overall good health
- Ground cinnamon- immune booster, digestive aid
- Apple cider vinegar- digestive aid
- Probiotics- digestive aid
Supplements that address specific issues should be offered during the time of need. For example, if it is extremely cold out, circulation will be reduced so you should provide circulation stimulating supplements during that time. Other supplements that promote overall good health or help prevent winter time issues should only be offered on occasion, such as once a week.
Crushed garlic is a great supplement to offer on a weekly basis. Probiotics are best offered when your flock may be experiencing some cold stress. Ground ginger is great to sprinkle on warm feed or treats to stimulate circulation on cold days. Apple cider vinegar helps the digestive system metabolize grains better, so it is helpful when your flock is consuming a mostly grain-based diet.
You can learn how to adjust your flock's diet for winter here.