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How to use Apple Cider Vinegar for Chickens

There are heaps of scientifically-researched benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar for chickens. For a summary of some of the research, click here. So let's look at the guidelines for giving chickens Apple Cider Vinegar and Apple Cider Vinegar with Garlic.

 

Giving chickens Apple Cider Vinegar - best practice:

ACV and ACV + Garlic are intended for regular use as part of a nutrition and health management program. The best results are obtained from daily application, either through feed or water. 


Apple Cider Vinegar Dosage for chickens:

Most guidelines for utilising ACV with poultry suggest 1 ml per bird per day. 

Number of birds 

Litres of fresh water

ACV

2

200 ml

2 ml

5

1

10 ml

10

2

20 ml

 

Variations:

These are general recommendations and dosage should be adjusted according to:

  • The size and age of animals

For example, pullets or bantams will require a smaller dose than standard adult hens, such as Isa Browns and Australorps, for which 1 ml is recommended.

  •  The weather

It is not recommended to use ACV supplements in extreme heat, particularly if administered through drinking water. The advice seems to be that if temperatures are likely to be above 40oC, skip the ACV altogether.

  •  Timing

Adjust dosage to suit the regularity of use. Birds might be given a slightly higher dose of ACV if it is only administered every few days.

  •  General needs and conditions

For example, the study looking at control of coccidiosis used up to 30 ml of ACV per litre of water but that was specifically in broiler chickens.

 

Delivery method - how to give Apple Cider Vinegar to chickens:

ACV can be administered to chickens through:

  •  Drinking water 

 See above for instructions

  •  Feed

 Mix through a wet feed such as a mash, or a dry feed such as a seed mix. ACV does not mix well with most pelleted feeds.

ACV can also be diluted and used to rehydrate mealworms, or added to treats like mashed banana or yogurt. 

ACV may also be suitable for topical application as an antiseptic. 

 

Other precautions:

Never administer ACV in a metal drinker, as the acid will react with the metal. It is also not recommended to increase the daily dosage of ACV.

 

When birds finish their daily dose of ACV, replace the medicated water with fresh water. Alternatively, provide both a medicated and unmedicated water source. 

 

As with everything, even really good things like ACV, moderation is key. So always ensure birds can access fresh water and give them some time off ACV, for example a few days a week, or a week every month or so. 

 

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