The Best Products for Your Laying Hens

Written by Marisa Wilson
Updated: March 10, 2023
© Racheal Carpenter/Shutterstock.com

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Key Points

  • The #1 Best Overall product for laying hens is the Happy Hen Treats Mealworm Frenzy Poultry Treats.
  • It’s important to check the protein content of your chicken’s feed to ensure it is sufficient for them. If not, then a tasty treat such as dried meal worms can give them a boost.
  • Laying chickens need plenty of calcium to help them produce strong egg shells. Crushed oyster shells are a good way of providing enough calcium to your birds.

When looking for products for laying hens, there can be a lot of different options. The needs of your chickens may vary. Some chickens may need extra protein, while laying hens need access to calcium at all times. Plus, it is helpful to know the different types of coops available and how to keep them warm if you live in colder environments.

This post is excellent for beginners and experienced chicken owners and can help if your flock grows. Let’s get into the best chicken products available and see if we can find what you’re looking for today.

  1. Happy Hen Treats Mealworm Frenzy Poultry Treats
    • Product is a bag of dried mealworms
    • Makes feeding chickens meal worms easier on the owner since they aren't alive
    • Excellent way to ensure your hens get enough protein to help your hens lay eggs
    Check Chewy
  2. AECOJOY Large Outdoor Wooden Hen House
    • Has a multi-level design with a sleeping and nesting area above and an enclosed run below.
    • Features a nesting box with lift up lid for easy access.
    • Has three roosting perches.
    • Constructed from fir wood and durable wire mesh.
    Check Amazon
  3. Cozy Products CL Cozy Safe Chicken Coop Heater
    • Low-wattage space heaters are made to make your chicken coop winter-ready
    • Distinctive peck-proof design
    • Radiant heating method makes design both cost-effective and safer
    Check Amazon
  4. Manna Pro Crushed Oyster Shell
    • Excellent source of calcium for your hens to lay strong eggs
    • Great value for the price
    • 4.5 out of 5 average score on Amazon (over 10,000 reviews)
    Check Amazon

A-Z Animals Top Picks for Products for Laying Hens

#1 Best Overall: Happy Hen Treats Mealworm Frenzy Poultry Treats

Our selection as the best overall product for your laying hens is the Happy Hen Treats Mealworm Frenzy Poultry Treats which is a tasty snack that’s full of goodness.

The truth is that your chickens and layers might not get enough protein in their food, even with a premium pellet mix. Protein is a crucial nutrient for animals of all kinds, including poultry. The extra amino acids are essential for keeping daily egg production and environmental adaption, among other biological processes. A chicken’s health depends on getting enough protein to lay eggs. It is crucial for older hens, egg layers, and young hens. Once a year, your birds will undergo a molt to allow them to shed their old feathers. 

More protein nutrients are required for this natural process to produce strong new feathers. 85% of the protein in new feathers is brand-new. Mealworms are an excellent source of protein. Many people prefer dried worms over live ones. Live worms can often scurry away and be messy to handle. Dried mealworms have no maintenance aside from keeping them stored. Their shelf life is excellent, and you can keep it on hand when your chickens are molting or if you notice laying hens having trouble laying eggs. Plus, they’re ideal for luring birds back into their coop and are a 100% natural treat.

The only drawback is that they are expensive.

Pros and Cons of the Happy Hen Treats Mealworm Frenzy Poultry Treats

ProsCons
These mealworms are an excellent source of protein.They are expensive.
They have a long shelf life.
They are ideal for luring birds back into the coop.
They are 100% natural.
Best Overall
Happy Hen Treats Mealworm Frenzy Poultry Treats
  • Product is a bag of dried mealworms
  • Makes feeding chickens meal worms easier on the owner since they aren't alive
  • Excellent way to ensure your hens get enough protein to help your hens lay eggs
Check Chewy

2. Best Coop: AECOJOY Large Outdoor Wooden Hen House

In our opinion, the best chicken coop is the AECOJOY Large Outdoor Wooden Hen House.

The majority of the coop is made out of solid and durable fir wood. Thick metal bolts hold each piece together to ensure security. The wood also features a non-toxic waterproof treatment to keep chickens safe and sound, no matter the weather.

This coop has a large, multi-level living space with an access ramp between the two levels. The bottom level of the coop features a spacious run that’s enclosed by wiring, allowing poultry to bask in the sunshine on a warm day. The birds will love that there is a spacious nesting box in the upper level with two nesting sections. There are also three roosting bars — two in the sleeping area and one in the active area. This coop can be accessed via the spacious door, while the nesting box has a lift up lid so that the eggs can be collected from outside the coop. Plus, there is a small area below the nesting box where you can place the food and water so that the main living are doesn’t get dirty with food being kicked all around.

Speaking of cleaning, the bottom tray smoothly glides out for quick and painless waste removal. The assembly is incredibly simple thanks to all the pre-drilled holes. All you need to get the job done is a screwdriver and a bit of determination. However, some customers have reported that the assembly instructions were a little confusing.

Pros and Cons of the AECOJOY Large Outdoor Wooden Hen House

ProsCons
This coop features two levels with an access ramp connecting the them.The assembly instructions are unclear.
It is made from durable fir wood and sturdy wire mesh.
It features a spacious nesting box with a lift up lid.
There is a pull-out tray to make cleaning easy.
There is an area underneath the nesting box that is perfect as a feed station.
It features three roosting bars.
Best Overall
AECOJOY Large Outdoor Wooden Hen House
  • Has a multi-level design with a sleeping and nesting area above and an enclosed run below.
  • Features a nesting box with lift up lid for easy access.
  • Has three roosting perches.
  • Constructed from fir wood and durable wire mesh.
Check Amazon

3. Best Heater: Cozy Products CL Cozy Safe Chicken Coop Heater

The best heater to ensure your laying hens are warm is the Cozy Products CL Cozy Safe Chicken Coop Heater.

These low-wattage space heaters are made to make your chicken coop winter-ready and to provide the mild warmth fowl require to survive in subfreezing weather. This is crucial if you want your chickens to continue laying throughout the year because they frequently stop doing so during the winter. Unlike other heating choices, this heater does not require replacing light bulbs. Simply plug it in to start, and your chickens will start feeling the heat immediately. 

The distinctive, portable and peck-proof design requires minimal maintenance and is simple to move from one place to another. It also features a cord that is entirely protected and exceptionally strong, keeping your chickens safe if they accidentally nick the electric cord with their beaks. This coop comes with a handy stand and can be situated on the wall or the shed’s floor. This heater has been designed and tested as a certified Zero-Clearance device for optimal safety to decrease energy usage and other potential fire hazards efficiently. 

Radiant heating, or the transfer of heat from one object to another, is the primary heating method used by the warmer. In other words, warmth is generated by being very near the heated panel. It is not intended to provide room-wide heating. Instead, it is designed to warm chickens who are standing close by. Heat lamps are usually fire hazards. Almost anything can cause the bulb to explode, including a drop of water. That’s why using a heat source like this is not only more cost-effective in the long run but is also significantly safer.

The only drawback to this product is that it does not have a thermostat control setting.

Pros and Cons of the Cozy Products CL Cozy Safe Chicken Coop Heater

ProsCons
This heater has a portable, peck-proof design.It does not have a thermostat control setting.
It does not require any light bulb.
It has a heavy duty power cord.
It comes with a handy stand so it can either be placed on the floor or on the wall.
It is a certified zero-clearance device.
Best Heater
Cozy Products CL Cozy Safe Chicken Coop Heater
  • Low-wattage space heaters are made to make your chicken coop winter-ready
  • Distinctive peck-proof design
  • Radiant heating method makes design both cost-effective and safer
Check Amazon

4. Best for Eggs: Manna Pro Crushed Oyster Shell

As the best option for eggs we suggest the Manna Pro Crushed Oyster Shell.

Calcium is essential to a hen’s health in ways other than just developing strong eggshells. The health and lifespan of the hen depend heavily on the diet’s calcium content. Calcium is taken from the food and stored in the hen’s bones in the medullary cavity. When an eggshell needs calcium, calcium is released from the medullary cavity into the bloodstream. 

This makes the kidneys stop releasing extra calcium into the urine and save calcium to make up for the calcium released into the bloodstream. Calcium is then taken from foods to replace the calcium that has been used up. Then, the ovaries release estrogen, which tells the body to make more medullary bone to store more calcium. This constant cycle of using calcium, absorbing it, saving it, and building bones happens all the time. 

The hen must eat enough calcium daily to meet the needs of all of her body’s systems and use calcium to make an eggshell. Since calcium is taken from the bones to make eggshells, a laying hen needs to get enough calcium to ensure her body’s systems are healthy and eggshells are strong. Even though feeds for laying hens have more calcium, calcium supplements should still be given in case a hen needs more calcium than what is in the feed. With extra calcium, a hen can adjust how much calcium she eats to meet her needs.

This product is heat-treated for purity and the size of the pieces are suitable for pullets. However, some customers found that there were still some pieces in it that were too large for their birds to consume.

Pros and Cons of the Manna Pro Crushed Oyster Shell 

ProsCons
This product is a source of calcium which is essential for healthy egg shells.Some of the pieces are too large for birds to consume.
It can be fed as a supplement.
It is heat-treated for purity.
The size of the oyster shell pieces are suitable for pullets.
Best for Eggs
Manna Pro Crushed Oyster Shell
  • Excellent source of calcium for your hens to lay strong eggs
  • Great value for the price
  • 4.5 out of 5 average score on Amazon (over 10,000 reviews)
Check Amazon

Choosing the Best: What to Look For

With all the products on the market for laying hens it can be tricky to choose which ones are best for your flock. This section will cover the available calcium and protein sources, heat sources, and available cages. This will give you a great idea of how they compare, and you’ll learn about the benefits and disadvantages of each. 

Protein

There are several ways to add protein to your hen’s diet. The most popular ways are mealworms, earthworms, dried bugs, and some human foods like scrambled eggs. The best way to pick a protein treat that will work for your hens is to check how much protein they get from their food. 

If they already have high protein, you can give them fewer treats. If their feed is low, choosing one like mealworms will add sufficient protein. You won’t have to do it daily as with other protein sources. Simply give them some once or twice weekly for the full benefits. Too much protein can cause adverse effects, so ensure you keep up with the proper ratios.

Calcium

The best source of additional calcium is crushed oyster shells. They spend the most time in the digestive tract, which maximizes calcium absorption. In addition to crushed oyster shells, crushed eggshells are an acceptable alternative. But the chickens can’t be fed that by themselves because they don’t stay in the digestive tract long enough to provide enough extra calcium. 

Although chipped limestone can serve as an additional source of calcium, it is not strongly advised. This is because it quickly passes through the digestive system, and the calcium amount varies depending on where the limestone comes from. You must rely on reviews and user experience when picking oyster shells because they can be similar.

Heat Sources

There are a few types of heat sources. Brooding plates are made for baby chicks and are adjustable. They provide warmth near the plate so that chicks can move if they get too hot. Brooder lamps are outdated and dangerous because they can cause a fire. They also use more electricity than other options. 

A flat panel heater is ideal if you’re looking for a safe and cost-effective way to warm your chickens. This is similar to the brooding plates because it provides warmth near them and is not made to heat the entire area it’s placed in. Since chickens have a body temperature of around 105, you must be careful not to overheat them, especially if they are confined. 

Brooding plates let the chicken move away when they get too hot. The best way to pick a heat source is to consider which one is the safest and what’s in your budget. Then make sure it’s safe for curious chickens. This means the wire is durable, or the material can withstand a chicken pecking at it.

Coops

The size of chicken coops varies widely. Make sure the coop has enough nesting boxes for your birds so they have somewhere quiet and comfortable to go and lay. Plus, your chicken coop needs to be able to fit all of your birds comfortably. 

If you get a sizeable fence-style enclosure then they’ll have ample space to roam and you can have nesting boxes. You can get wood, metal, or fence-like coops. Consider how many chickens you have and the weather conditions. 

A fence style may not offer enough protection from the elements if you are in a cold climate where winters can be harsh. Wooden ones tend to be better for warmth. Likewise, a fence coop in hot climates will provide excellent airflow and some sun protection when summer is harsh. 

About the Author

Creepy-crawly creatures enthrall Marisa. Aside from raising caterpillars, she has a collection of spiders as pets. The brown recluse is her favorite spider of all time. They're just misunderstood. You don't have to worry about squishing the creatures as her catching, and relocating abilities can safely move stray centipedes or snakes to a new location that's not your living room.

The Best Products for Your Laying Hens FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

How often should I collect eggs?

Daily egg collection is necessary. The nest boxes shouldn’t be left with eggs left inside for several days.

Will chickens lay if it's hot outside?

In the summertime, consistently high temperatures might make your chickens sweat, experience heat stress, and possibly stop laying eggs. Extreme heat can even be fatal in larger breeds.

Thank you for reading! Have some feedback for us? Contact the AZ Animals editorial team.