Some folks believe that chickens shouldn’t be given yoghurt because as non-mammals they are not adapted to processing dairy products. I think there are benefits to feeding them yoghurt and kefir in small quantities.
Why is it good? Yoghurt is made using probiotics, like Streptococcus thermophiles and Lactobacillus bulgaricus, bacteria that benefit the gut. They help regulate the digestive system keeping the birds’ gut microbiota healthy, enabling them to fight off bad bacteria and break down their food more efficiently.
We know that having probiotics in your gut can keep us healthier because they help to balance good and bad bacteria. Eating yoghurt is an easy way to introduce good bacteria into the chicken’s gut. Yoghurt is also is a great source of vitamins A and B12, and calcium. And what do hens require for egg production? Calcium.
Known as a complete protein, yoghurt provides essential amino acids required in building, maintaining and replacing tissue and feathers. My birds are just going through their annual molt, so giving them anything to boost their calcium and protein intake will help them make new feathers.
Yoghurt is a great source of both protein and calcium.The best kinds of yoghurt are those with a live/active culture, unsweetened with lower milk sugars, like plain Greek yoghurt.
The only caution I have is avoid giving too much calcium to your birds: young birds don’t require high amounts of calcium until they are laying, and even layers can get too much of a good thing. Excess calcium can lead to kidney issues, like gout. If you find that your hens are laying eggs with small bumps on them that’s a sign that you need to reduce the amount of calcium you’re giving them.