Apple Cider Vinegar - A Natural Way to Improve Your Chickens Health (2012) by Andrew Penn
Long praised for its health benefits among the alternative medicine community, apple cider vinegar can do wonders for your chickens. The product of pulverized and fermented apples, apple cider vinegar contains acetic and other acids, mineral salts, and amino acids that are great for your chickens. Using apple cider vinegar in various ways around your flock and coop can do the following:
Improve the digestive health of your chickens by maintaining proper pH balance in the digestive tract
Increase egg production
Kill germs that cause respiratory illnesses among chickens
Keep your chickens’ water free of harmful bacteria
Eliminate mold, mildew, dust, and odors from your chicken coop
Disinfect your chicken coop and your chickens’ feeding and watering system
Repel flies and ants
Act as an abrasive for difficult-to-clean surfaces such as brooders, window panes, and cages.
Giving your chickens apple cider vinegar directly Adding apple cider vinegar directly to your chickens’ drinking water can help to maintain digestive health by lowering the pH in their stomach. It can also act as an antiseptic, killing any harmful mucus or bacteria in the throat that can cause respiratory ailments. Some homesteaders also report that feeding chickens apple cider vinegar increases their egg production.
To add apple cider vinegar to your chickens’ water, always use raw, unfiltered, and unpasteurized vinegar, such as Bragg’s. You can find raw apple cider vinegar at many well-stocked grocery stores, health food stores, or poultry supply stores. Use four teaspoons of apple cider vinegar for each gallon of water, (four teaspoons to ± 4 liers of water) or one quart apple cider vinegar per fifty gallons (± 1 liter to ± 200 liters)
Using apple cider vinegar to clean your chicken coop, feeders, and waterers You can also use apple cider vinegar to clean your chicken coop walls, floors, roof, windows, feeder, and waterer. Just add a few teaspoons of apple cider vinegar to a spray bottle filled with water. The raw, unfiltered, and unpasteurized apple cider vinegar is always best, but for cleaning purposes, any type of apple cider vinegar will work.
To clean with apple cider vinegar, just spray any dirty surface with your solution and wipe clean with a rag or towel. Frequent cleaning with apple cider vinegar will disinfect any surface and prevent mold, mildew, dust, and unpleasant odors from building up in your coop. Many homesteaders report that cleaning the chickens’ area with apple cider vinegar prevents flies and ants from congregating around chickens as well.
Using apple cider vinegar as an abrasive cleaner Apple cider vinegar makes a great abrasive cleaner for areas like cages, cracks, and brooders that may get particularly dirty but are difficult to clean effectively. Mixing apple cider vinegar with coarse sea salt will help to safely rub off any build-up on dirty surfaces.
For the ultimate clean feeling, mix baking soda with a small amount of water to scrub surfaces thoroughly and then spray with an apple cider vinegar solution to disinfect.