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Shopping list for newbies

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New Omleteers often ask what they need to buy when they are starting out. To help you with this and to save you trawling through the forum (a daunting task when you're new) we've compiled a list of some of the products that are available (with some links for information). There are very few things you need at the beginning so don't feel you need everything on the list. The basics are shelter, food, water, grit & bedding. Anything else is at your discretion.


To help you further, we have marked essential items as PP and recommended items as !eggspeck! . Anything else is either for specific purposes (ie illness or injury) & can be bought as required or is something which your hens don't necessarily need but you might like to buy for them! It is not a definitive list but will give you a place to start.


*The links and websites are not recommendations or necessarily best price, but are for information only.*



Layers pellets or mash PP

Mixed poultry corn (as an afternoon treat, give in moderation) !eggspeck!


Run material / bedding !eggspeck!




Rubber Chippings


Wood shavings


Straw (be aware that this can get very damp under the top layer)

Shredded paper can be used in nestbox

(Hay should not be used due to harmful mould spores which can give hens breathing problems. It can also cause impacted crop.)



Grit/oystershell PP (grinds food in the crop/provides calcium for hard eggshells)

Bokashi bran (aids digestion, firms up poo, reduces smells)

Apple cider vinegar (helps deter internal parasites/good for general health)

Poultry Spice / Battles Poultry Drink (general health tonic)

Garlic powder (reduces smells/good for general health

Limestone flour (extra calcium if eggshells become brittle)

Cod liver oil (facilitates absorbtion of calcium)

Avipro which is a probiotic, it can be used to perk up convalescent or poorly hens


Beastie repellents

Diatomaceous Earth (Diatom) !eggspeck!

Red Mite Powder / Louse powder !eggspeck!

Citronella and Eucalyptus essential oils - a few drops will keep the run free from flies in the summer


Cleaning/disinfectant products

Poultry Shield (multi-purpose cleaner/eradicates Red Mite/lice on housing]

Biotech V1 (spray disinfectant)

Pet friendly spray

Stalosan F / Biodri / Stablezone (broad spectrum powdered disinfectants for run area)

Ecover washing up liquid (for washing eglu & feeders)

Garden Lime (not builders lime - neutralises acidity of soil, caused by poo)


Worming !eggspeck!

Flubenvet (recommended by Omleteers!)

Verm-X (herbal wormer)


Medication - ie for lice/mites, scaley leg mite etc

Xeno 200 *Not licensed for use in poultry in UK

Johnson's Anti Mite Spray *Not licensed for use in poultry in UK

Scaley Leg Mite treatment

Citricidal (for colds & snuffles)

Purple spray (antiseptic & to disguise wounds & help prevent pecking)

Tea tree oil (use diluted to bathe minor wounds)

Bachs Rescue Remedy (for traumatised/ill chickens)

Arnica (to treat bruised areas)

Vet wound powder



Dried mealworms

Wild bird seed balls (made with honey not fat)



Ukadex Anti-Peck Spray / Anti-Pek Spray

Bumper bits (to prevent feather pulling)

Vaseline (can be used to treat Scaley Leg Mite along with Anti-Mite Spray)


More "other"

Metal bin to store feed in

Comfy chair for chicken watching!

Fully charged camera!

Compost bin for all that lovely poo!

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