If you asked me to pick one natural product that I would give to my hens on a regular basis, it would be Apple cider vinegar.
Apple cider vinegar (ACV) is made using the whole apple and provides enzymes and important minerals and vitamins in the form of Bioflavonoids, and is widely recognised as a great all round tonic for hens. For example hens receiving ACV have been shown to re-grow feathers faster than those not receiving it – making it an ideal supplement for your recovering ex-bats.
So, what else does it do? Well, firstly it can aid digestion, helping to break down minerals and fats by assisting the assimilation of proteins, converting food better and preventing sour crop. Secondly ACV 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.
Finally, if your hens lay soft shell eggs, ACV can also help to regulate the potassium levels in the body (it’s a natural source). Potassium controls the use of calcium in the body allowing more calcium to be freely available to prevent soft shells. And if all this wasn’t enough, ACV clears the respiratory tract, helps to clean the hens’ plumage and generally improves your girls well-being – a real miracle tonic.
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!
If you would like to ask Gaynor a hen health question please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call Hen Central on 01884 860084. To support our Advice Line we ask for a nominal donation to help fund this service, so that we can continue to help your hens.