Apple Cider Vinegar is one of the best natural remedies for many different things when it comes to keeping your chickens happy and healthy. Today, we're going to touch on some of the benefits of using Apple Cider Vinegar with your flock.
Common Natural Remedy
A big trend in the world of chicken owners is Apple Cider Vinegar, also known as ACV. It comes in many different forms such as gummies, tonics, topical gels and supplements specifically made for pets! There are so many health benefits of ACV, some of those benefits include helping with weight loss, lowering cholesterol, lowering blood sugar, aiding in the health of your hair, skin and nails and so much more!
How ACV Helps Your Chickens
ACV is supposed to help your chickens with immunity, digestion, cures respiratory infections, detoxes their bodies, increases egg production, kills and repels internal and external parasites and so much more! We mention ACV in our posts about How to Raise Backyard Chickens and When Chickens Lose Their Feathers. Adding a few drops of ACV to your chicken's water is the easiest way to incorporate its benefits for your chickens. However, be careful not to overuse it.
Some Hazards of ACV
In life, there is always a risk to benefit ratio. Here are some things to look out for. A big risk is putting ACV into a metal waterer. Metal waterers have a special zinc coating that prevents rusting. ACV can corrode that zinc coating and cause rust to seep into your chickens water. You don't want your chickens drinking rust.
Zinc poisoning is also something you need to watch out for. Some signs and symptoms include your chickens appearing weak or unsteady, trouble walking, pale combs, weight loss and diarrhea. Using plastic waterers is a great way to prevent this from happening.
Let's Talk About Egg Production
There's evidence that ACV can hinder a hen's ability to absorb calcium. Calcium is needed for proper egg production. Some say the acetic acid in ACV helps the hen's body absorb calcium, however, there is more evidence showing that it doesn't.
Calcium in Water
You'll want to check your water hardness in order to find out how much calcium carbonate is dissolved in it. If your water is very acidic, on a 1-14 pH scale, 1 being the most acidic, then its possible there's a lot of lime build up in your pipes. If you have very hard water, then that means there's a lot of calcium in it. If you add some acetic acid with your ACV and put it in your chickens water, it will drop the pH level slightly which will reduce lime buildup.
Next week, we're going to write a part II to this blog post so we can discuss other things you need to look out for and more benefits to Apple Cider Vinegar, but remember, use it in moderation if you want to reap the ultimate benefits.