Is apple cider vinegar a natural way to hen health?
In short, yes! We know that our supporters want to give their hens the very best quality of care they can. We also know that a lot of those supporters want something natural that they can give to their chickens to encourage good health. If it keeps a vet visit at bay, even better. Step forward – apple cider vinegar! When it comes to natural hen health remedies, apple cider vinegar is one of the best tonics you can give your chickens.
The adage “An apple a day keeps the doctor away” isn’t just relevant to humans you know!
But how much do you actually know about the wonderful ACV and what it does for your girls? We give you the low down on apple cider vinegar for chickens below.
What is apple cider vinegar?
Apple cider vinegar (or ACV for short) is a type of vinegar made from crushed, fermented apples, yeast and sugar. It is made using the whole apple and provides enzymes and important minerals and vitamins in the form of Bioflavonoids. During the fermentation process, a thick gelatinous layer known as the ‘Mother’ is formed on the surface of the vinegar. It consists of dozens of beneficial bacteria that are often known as pro-biotics.
ACV is widely recognised as a great all-round tonic for hens with multiple health benefits. Studies have shown that hens receiving apple cider vinegar have been shown to regrow feathers faster than those who do not receive it. Which makes it the ideal supplement for your new ex-caged hens.
So, what else does it do?
As if that weren’t helpful enough, apple cider vinegar aids digestion in chickens, helping to break down minerals and fats by assisting the assimilation of proteins, converting food more effectively and preventing sour crop. [LINK: https://www.bhwt.org.uk/health-welfare/hen-crop-issues/]
Secondly, Apple Cider Vinegar helps lower the pH level in the digestive tract rendering it less welcoming to pathogens. It also creates a hostile environment for E.coli organisms as well as Coccidiosis.
Thirdly it is also toxic to Trichomoniasis – the nasty protozoa that causes canker but shouldn’t be regarded as a cure for this condition.
Apple cider vinegar is also a natural source of potassium, so can help regulate levels in your hens’ bodies. Potassium controls the use of calcium in the body, allowing more calcium to be freely available to assist with eggshell production. Therefore, a boost of potassium is brilliant if you find that your hens are laying soft shell eggs.
To find out more about soft shelled eggs click here. [LINK: https://www.bhwt.org.uk/health-welfare/soft-shell-eggs/]
Last but by no means least, apple cider vinegar helps to keep your chickens’ respiratory tract nice and clear, cleans their plumage and generally improves hen wellbeing. Plus – one final bonus – but not so much to do with your hens’ health; apple cider vinegar depresses the growth of Algae in your drinker, keeping your hens’ drinking water fresher for longer, although we don’t recommend you use it in a metal drinker. It’s a real miracle tonic if you ask us!
How do you use apple cider vinegar?
Simple! Just add it to your chickens’ drinking water. Dilute to a ratio of 2% apple cider vinegar in fresh water (that’s roughly 20ml of ACV in every litre of water). One serving a week will suffice and don’t forget to use plastic drinking vessels as the acid in apple cider vinegar will corrode metal.