The truth about apple cider vinegar for chickens
Natural chicken keepers swear by Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) as an immune-booster, dietary supplement and remedy for all manner of ills. Hundreds of people claim that it has improved the health and performance of their chickens. And hundreds of people can’t be wrong. Right?
A simple search on the internet reveals that ACV:
- Kills parasites, by actually oozing out of the skin to deter lice and mites
- Kills intestinal worms
- Treats all manner of chicken diseases
- Improves digestive function and feed conversion
- Builds immunity
- Prevents the spread of disease
- Increases egg production and lifts fertility rates
- Hastens feathering after a moult
- Leads to quicker growth and better weight gain
- Balances the body’s pH so that it is more alkaline and less hospitable to disease
If it’s too good to be true…
It sounds amazing. A little ACV can replace pretty much all modern medicine! But you know what they say about things that are too good to be true… A supplement that costs 1 cent per dose, can just be added to the drinking water, and does all that? Really? It sounds a bit like an old wives’ tale. Or the wishful thinking of ACV producers. So should you believe the hype?
It is obvious that not all of the claims made about ACV can possibly be true. For example, your chickens would have to go on an ACV bender akin to ‘The Hangover’ for the stuff to actually begin to ooze out of their pores. Particularly given that chickens can’t sweat! And while ACV can change the pH of urine, and maybe chicken poo, there is little evidence it affects the pH of the body and they’re as yet unsure as to whether pH in the diet is of importance to health anyway.
What does science say about Apple Cider Vinegar?
At Dine a Chook, we want to make poultry keeping easier. So we are not going to sell you something that doesn’t work. And we do sell Apple Cider Vinegar – in fact, it is our Poultry Healthcare best seller! So why is ACV still one of our favourite supplements? Because we’ve done our research and haven’t just relied on old wives’ tales.
Despite the questions raised by some of the “benefits” listed above, there’s an increasing number of scientific studies that do show tangible benefits to consuming Apple Cider Vinegar. More research needs to be done, in particular as not all of the studies were conducted on chickens. However, if even half of the possible benefits that scientists have identified turn out to be real, that makes ACV a more than worthwhile addition to your chooks’ diet. And one of the most effective, and economical supplements around!
So according to scientific research, why is Apple Cider Vinegar with Garlic so great?
- There is increasing scientific evidence to suggest that consuming fermented foods improves digestive function. Foods, such as unpasteurised ACV, may provide beneficial microbes to colonise the gut and stimulate healthy enzyme production, improving immune response and promoting healthy gut flora.
- Acetic acid, which is a main component of ACV, has been linked to improved mineral absorption and retention. This means chickens given an ACV supplement may show improved feed conversion and better nutrition.
- ACV is effective against bacteria, including E. coli and salmonella, meaning that ACV in chicken drinking water can protect against the spread of pathogens and may also help to prevent infection by making the gut more inhospitable to all kinds of pathogens.
- ACV in drinking water can prevent coccidiosis.
- ACV can be used as an effective antiseptic at a concentration of 3% acetic acid.
- ACV has anti-fungal properties effective against some of the Candida species. While it hasn’t been tested against the exact strain of Candida that causes sour crop, logic would suggest it may at least help prevent the disease even if it cannot cure it!
- Garlic has been linked to better feed conversion in chickens, and is said to benefit the immune system. Allicin, one of the key compounds in garlic, is antimicrobial and also kills some parasites and viruses. Garlic is also antifungal, again effective against Candida spp..
Is Apple Cider Vinegar worthwhile?
At Dine a Chook, we believe that ACV is definitely a best-seller for a reason. More research is needed, but what there is suggests that a whole host of benefits may be possible. We know how difficult it can be to keep your flock healthy. But we truly believe that ACV + Garlic is a worthwhile daily tonic – we have seen the difference it makes in our own flock.
But remember, not all Apple Cider Vinegars are created equal. If you want the best results from your 1 cent supplement, choose an organic, whole apple, unpasteurised ACV. Dine a Chook ACV + Garlic is a live, fermented food that contains all the healthy enzymes and beneficial bacteria of the “mother of vinegar.” And while it may not cause chickens to magically develop sweat pores, or teeth, studies suggest that ACV does at least have the potential to improve health. Not bad for a home remedy after all!
So will you add ACV to your chickens’ diet?
Certain information has been removed from this web site under threat of prosecution, as natural products such as Apple Cider Vinegar and its benefits cannot be substantiated by professional means. Even though they are time proven and if a search is done – (benefits of using Apple Cider Vinegar) – using Google, there are a myriad of examples to be seen.
If you would like to speak to one of our consultants who work with farmers in all industries, please either email us or phone us using the details on our contact page.