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What Does Apple Cider Vinegar Do For Chickens (5 Uses For It Around The Coop)
When you’re caring for your chickens, it can be nerve wracking to use products that have mysterious ingredients. There are not nearly as many cleaning supplies on the market that advertise safety for chickens as for pets like dogs and cats, and finding something safe can be a challenge. Luckily, a bit of apple cider vinegar can do wonders for your coop. For just a couple of bucks, you can do a world of good for your flock.
Before getting started though, I’m sure you’re wondering if apple cider vinegar is safe for chickens. It is true that not all things that are “all natural” are totally safe, and it is good to double check before using even household items. The good news is that apple cider vinegar isn’t just safe, it can be really good for your chickens. If you’re curious about the safety, check out this info from Backyard Chicken Coops. Here are some of my favorite uses for the wonderful elixir around the coop.
5 Uses For Apple Cider Vinegar Around The Chicken Coop
1. Natural Disinfectant
Just as the surfaces in your home need to be disinfected, so do the surfaces and walls of your chicken coop. When it comes time to give the coop a spring cleaning, add a couple teaspoons to a spray bottle to help cut grime and kill germs. If you are interested in using it in your home as well, Greatist has some tips for household uses. Just be sure to dilute it more when using it around chickens.
2. Treatment for Mites and Lice
Fresh Eggs Daily suggests administering a dose of apple cider vinegar to the flock if you notice mites or lice about. Again, a bit of vinegar cut with water in a spray bottle should do the trick. If you are getting around to bathing chickens, you can also try adding a tablespoon to a gallon of water to help nix any little critters bothering your birds.
3. Worm Prevention
The low ph of apple cider vinegar might also make it a way to help prevent worms. According to Kassandra at Backyard Chicken Coops, a lower gut ph makes the chicken’s insides just a little less hospitable for worms. Since it is a mild antiseptic and mild antibiotic, it is overall just good for gut health.
If you can get your hands on some unpasteurized apple cider vinegar, that is even better. Since vinegar is a fermented product, just like yogurt or kombucha, getting the unpasteurized stuff means more healthy bacteria in your chicken. Live probiotics for the win!
4. Keeping Water Fresh
Adding a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to your chicken’s water has other benefits too. That low ph is good for killing bad bacteria, which means that a little bit can help the waterer stay algae and gunk free for a little longer. Poultry Keeper suggests shooting for a rate of 2% apple cider vinegar in your vinegar/water solution. Before you start measuring out vinegar, you might want to check on your waterer. Vinegar is known to corrode metal. If your waterer is metal, you might want to hold off. Otherwise, you should be just fine.
5. Killing Odors
Let’s face it, chickens stink sometimes. On days when smells start to get a little out of hand, you can grab that trusty spray bottle and give the coop or run a few spritzes to freshen things up for a little while. Everyone has times when the coop is a little overdue for some cleaning, but there just aren’t enough hours in the day. If that’s the case, it doesn’t hurt to spray a some vinegar water around to stretch your time a bit.
A Quick Note And Warning
Giving hens a healthy boost with vinegar is both affordable and holistic. Although it can’t cure every ailment, it certainly helps to keep the coop fresh and might help prevent problems like mites and worms.
When looking online for more information, I would urge you to be a little careful. There are a lot of folks out there who would suggest using apple cider vinegar to treat illnesses like respiratory issues or pecking.
Although apple cider vinegar is awesome, it isn’t truly a cure-all. It’s always best to just use your common sense when it comes to the health of your flock. When you notice your chickens getting sick, call in a vet rather before trying your own remedies.
You can always use health boosting tricks like vinegar dosed water as a preventative measure. The acidity (and probiotics if you go for unpasteurized) are great tools to have in your inventory to day to day maintenance. Making it even cheaper is pretty easy too, which is nice.
If you are the do it yourself type, or if you are really interested in saving money on unpasteurized vinegar try making your own at home.
Farmer’s Almanac has instructions on the process. Just jot that down on your own never ending list of new homesteading projects. (Don’t worry, we all have one.)
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