Apple cider vinegar is used widely by chicken keepers. It is the product of pulverised and fermented apples, apple cider vinegar contains acetic and other acids, mineral salts, and amino acids that are great for your chickens. The apple cider vinegar should be the unfiltered and unpasteurized kind and you will not find this in your local supermarket. You should use a specialist supplier, see our recommendations. The apple cider vinegar you will find in most shops has been filtered and pasteurized to remove the bacteria and to ensure that it has a longer shelf life. In the process the ‘friendly’ bacteria which are believed to be good for the chickens are also removed.
Apple cider vinegar has several uses for the chicken keeper:
Helps the chicken’s digestive system
By adding unfiltered apple cider vinegar to their water regularly the pH of the bird’s crop is lowered which in turn prevents crop problems such as sour crop. A teaspoon per litre of water added just once a month for adult birds should be enough. Put another way, use four teaspoons of apple cider vinegar for each gallon of water, or one quart apple cider vinegar per fifty gallons.
Many chicken keepers also believe as well as keeping the bird’s digestive system healthy apple cider vinegar also increases egg production. It can also act as an antiseptic, killing any harmful mucus or bacteria in the throat that can cause respiratory ailments.
Using apple cider vinegar to clean your chicken coop, feeders and water containers
You can also use apple cider vinegar to clean your chicken coop walls, floors, roof, windows, feeder and water containers. 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 odours from building up in your coop. Many chicken keepers 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.