Do you want to keep your backyard chickens healthy and happy? It’s easy to overlook their nutritional needs, especially when it comes to the nutrients and minerals they need for optimal health. One simple way to meet these needs is with apple cider vinegar.
Apple cider vinegar has long been used in the human diet for its medicinal benefits, but it can also provide numerous benefits to your feathered friends as well. In this blog post, we’ll explore the reasons why apple cider vinegar can be great for your chickens—from helping to balance out their pH levels to boosting their immune systems and even helping them shed old feathers!
Ready to learn how you can use this natural remedy to help keep your flock healthy and happy? Read on!
Table of Contents
What Is Apple Cider Vinegar?
You’ve probably heard of apple cider vinegar, but did you know it can be an incredibly beneficial addition to your chickens’ diet? Apple cider vinegar is made by fermenting apples with yeast and bacteria to form acetic acid—the main active ingredient in it.
Besides tasting great on salads, apple cider vinegar also has several beneficial properties for chickens. Not only is it rich in minerals like potassium, magnesium, and calcium, but apple cider vinegar also helps to keep your flock healthy. Additionally, apple cider vinegar can help in purifying water, promote the growth of beneficial gut bacteria, and aid digestion.
Nutritional Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar for Chickens
Apple cider vinegar is a versatile and natural solution that can help flush toxins from your chickens’ system, maintain the pH balance of their body, and keep them healthy. Not only does it help to support your chickens’ digestive health, but its nutritional benefits are also bountiful.
It contains acetic acid and other essential nutrients such as B vitamins, and Vitamin C, and minerals like potassium, magnesium, and phosphorus. These nutrients can provide a much-needed boost to your flock’s overall health.
It has been found that apple cider vinegar helps break down proteins and reduce mucus in their guts. This helps keep digestion running smoothly, so they can absorb more of the nutrients in their food. It also helps to promote mineral absorption, which is key to healthy bird bones and feathers—so those eggs will be extra tasty!
With regular use you may find that your flock will be healthier overall—they’ll have fewer illnesses, better digestion, and shiny feathers!
What Types of Apple Cider Can Chickens Drink?
When it comes to deciding what type of apple cider you should feed your chickens, think “fresh.” The benefits of apple cider are highest when it’s as close to its natural state as possible, so always go for the freshest option.
If you can buy freshly pressed, non-pasteurized apple cider from a local store or farm, that’s your best bet. However, many retailers don’t carry the raw version — they only offer pasteurized juice — so here are some tips for choosing the right type:
Pasteurized vs Unpasteurized
Pasteurized versions will still give your chickens some health benefits due to their nutritional content, but these will be lower compared to unpasteurized varieties. Unpasteurized will have higher levels of antioxidants and probiotics — both of which promote digestive health in chickens.
Filtered vs Unfiltered
You should also look for filtered varieties instead of unfiltered, as unfiltered juice can contain bacteria that can be harmful to your flock. That being said, some foodies may claim that unfiltered varieties taste better and provide more nutrients than filtered varieties—but make sure you weigh the risks and benefits carefully before serving your chickens any unfiltered fruit juice!
Finally, avoid ciders with added sugar or sweetener (honey is an exception), as chicken stomachs can get upset if fed too much sugar or anything sweetened with artificial flavoring or preservatives.
Ways to Ensure Your Chickens Get Enough Apple Cider Vinegar
It’s important to make sure your chickens get the Apple cider vinegar their bodies need. Here are a few ideas to help get your flock started on a healthier diet:
Mix it in their water
One of the easiest ways to ensure your birds get enough apple cider vinegar is to add it to their drinking water. This way, they’ll get the health benefits from drinking it, as well as from consuming it directly with food. Just make sure you use an organic, unfiltered variety and dilute it in the water at a ratio of 1 tablespoon per gallon.
Add it to their feed
Another easy way to give your chickens some apple cider vinegar is to add it directly into their feed. Just sprinkle a few teaspoons over the feed after they’ve finished eating and they’ll be good!
Make some treats
You can also make treats out of apple cider vinegar for your chickens, such as adding some to their favorite fruit or vegetable – like apples or carrots –and letting them nibble away at them. This will help them get the nutrients their bodies need while giving them something tasty in the process!
How Should You Prepare and Serve Apple Cider to Chickens?
Now you know the amazing benefits Apple cider can bring to your flock—so how should it be prepared and served? It’s pretty straightforward, but there are a few important things to keep in mind for optimal health.
Diluting Apple Cider
If you have access to raw, unprocessed Apple cider vinegar, dilute one part of it with 4 parts of water before you offer it to your chickens. One teaspoon per gallon of water works great. This might seem like a minor detail, but doing so prevents possible digestive issues that occur when chickens consume pure vinegar.
Serving It Up
To give your chickens an Apple cider drink, serve them the diluted mixture in a separate container from their regular water source. You don’t want to add it directly into their drinking fountain or waterer; as this will reduce or eliminate the beneficial properties of Apple cider! Additionally, during hot days, make sure you make a fresh solution daily as cooler temperatures help preserve the potency of Apple cider vinegar solution.
For extra nutrition, you can add a few drops of pure honey and some supplements like oregano oil and garlic powder into the solution. Give it to your chickens once or twice a week at most—try not to overdo it as too much can have adverse effects on them.
Recommended Dosage of Apple Cider for Chickens
Feeding your chickens the right amount is essential for their health and well-being. Luckily, it’s pretty easy to get the dosage right.
One way to do it is to add a few tablespoons of apple cider vinegar to your chickens’ water bowl every few weeks – that’s enough to keep them in healthy condition. However, depending on your flock size, you may need to adjust the dosage accordingly.
If you have a large flock, for example, more than five hundred birds, then you may want to consider adding more than one tablespoon per day. Additionally, if you plan on keeping your chickens outdoors during colder months, then consider increasing the dosage as well – this will help keep their immune system at its best so they can withstand any potential health issues.
Furthermore, if you are using a specially formulated apple cider vinegar supplement, then follow the instructions on the package carefully when administering it – since these formulas generally have a different recommended dosage than regular apple cider vinegar.
When done properly, adding apple cider vinegar can be an easy way to help ensure that your chickens are healthy and happy for years to come!