I heard that putting apple cider vinegar in your chicken’s water will cause your chicken to have better health. Now, I wasn’t sure if I bought into this or not, so before I just willy-nilly put apple cider vinegar into the water, I decided to do a little research. As it turns out, apple cider vinegar is amazing for your chicken’s health and well-being.
Benefits of apple cider vinegar for chickens:
Apple cider vinegar (ACV) helps to support the immune system of a chicken. As we all know, a healthy immune system can keep colds and infections at bay, both in humans and in chickens. The properties in ACV help to guard against bad bacteria and help to improve a chicken’s intestinal health by maintaining and lowering their pH levels. In case you were wondering, a healthy pH level for chickens is around 7.3-7.4. If the chickens are not feeling in tip-top shape, the ACV has an alkalizing effect, bringing the acidic levels in chickens down.
A wonderful benefit of ACV is that a chicken’s overall calcium level can increase by taking ACV. ACV helps the chicken to absorb calcium and other minerals from their feed and extra eggshells. You should be feeding your chickens leftover eggshells, and if you don’t, see why you should here. Improving calcium levels is important, as this keeps the quality of the eggshells hard and firm.
In addition, ACV is also an antiseptic. Instead of washing your chicken’s feet with hand santizer, just give them ACV (just kidding, don’t give them hand santizer. But you get the picture). ACV can help to fight against bad bacteria. Chickens can be susceptible to frequent respiratory infections and ACV can keep these types of infections at bay. A sick chicken can quickly spread an infection to the rest of the flock, so keeping sickness away is key.
Another benefit of apple cider vinegar is that it can treat for issues such as lice, mites, and worms. Once your chickens have taken enough ACV, it can begin to seep through your chicken’s skin, which will then repel the little insects. I guess they don’t care for the flavor. An apple a day really does keep the doctor away.
What kind of apple cider vinegar should I use?
You should use raw, organic apple cider vinegar that comes with the “mother” in it. Raw and organic means that you are getting the cider straight from organically raised apples. ACV with the mother in it is unpasteurized, which means that it will have an alkalizing effect on the body. The mother begins the natural fermentation process of turning the apple cider into vinegar.
With ACV being unpasteurized, it will have raw enzymes, gut-friendly bacteria, and natural acids. This will cause any toxins and bacteria inside the chicken’s body to be flushed out. Don’t worry that it is unpasteurized, as it will not be harmful to your chickens.
I shop at Costco and I found a 2-pack of ACV for only $15.00 (2 1-liter bottles), which does contain the mother. Otherwise, you can find a one-gallon container on Amazon for $18.00.
How often do I add apple cider vinegar to the water?
Add apple cider vinegar to the chicken’s water once or twice per week. Add 1 tablespoon per gallon of water.
If your chickens don’t drink enough water, chickens find that apple cider vinegar tastes good, which may encourage them to drink more water.
Do not add apple cider vinegar to a metal or galvanized water bucket, as the ACV can rust the metal. Rusty water = not good. Use ACV with a plastic or stone waterer.
It’s best to give ACV to your chickens during the cooler months, when the chickens are eating more feed. More feed = more calcium, which means that your chickens can digest ACV easier. During the summer months or when it is hotter, your chickens eat less feed. The acidity in the ACV can inhibit calcium absorption when the chickens are under heat stress.
Great benefit! Apple cider vinegar can keep your chicken’s water free of bacteria or algae. That’s a bonus for me. If you have ever had to clean your chicken’s waterer before, you know that it gets a slimy build-up over time. This will solve that problem for you. You can also add ACV to a spray bottle and use it to clean the chicken coop. Talk about a natural alternative to the harmful chemicals normally contained in a cleaning product. In addition, try adding a drop or two to the corners of the coop to repel flies and ants.
Lastly, adding ACV to the water is not the only way to give it to your chickens. You can also add ACV to the chicken’s feed or treats. During the summer, you can add ACV to a spray bottle and occasionally spray your chickens on a hot day or when you see evidence of mites or lice. If you wash or bathe your chickens, you can add ACV to the water at that time. I just happen to think that by adding ACV to the chicken’s water twice a week is so much easier.
Can I take apple cider vinegar for my health as well?
I’m so glad you asked! Yes, you can! We need to be healthy as well in order to take care of our chickens.
What is the best benefit of apple cider vinegar? It has 0 calories, 0 carbs, and 0 sugar. That’s a winner in my book. And if you are doing keto, this is perfect for you.
Just add 2 tablespoons of ACV to a cup of hot or cold tea, or add it to purified water. You can also use ACV to dress a salad or vegetables, or use it as a marinade for pork or chicken. Yum, just thinking about using it as a marinade is making my mouth water.
Your chicken’s health is top priority, but so is yours! Using apple cider vinegar in such small quantities can make a heap of a difference in the health of those that you love. What about you? Do you use apple cider vinegar in your chicken’s water? Let me know in the comments below.
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