Have you got sheep? Goats? A flock of urban chickens?
Are you feeding them apple cider vinegar?
Apple cider vinegar – for horses, poultry, pigs or any kind of livestock – is a great idea. It’s an immune booster. It’s a medicine. You could even argue it’s a source of sustenance!
BUT LET’S CUT TO THE CHASE.
You’re here to learn how to use it, right? Well, here’s the optimal ratio:
1 c. apple cider vinegar
100 gal. water
Or, if your watering trough isn’t quite so big as all that:
2 and a half tsp. apple cider vinegar
5 gal. water
Easy to remember, right? One five-gallon bucket, two and a half teaspoons.
Or you could just slosh some in. Extra vinegar won’t hurt. Actually, it might even help.
WHAT, SPECIFICALLY, MIGHT IT HELP WITH?
According to Will Winter (founder of American Holistic Livestock Association and a Ph.D. in veterinary medicine), apple cider vinegar – for horses and cows and chickens and pigs – can remedy any of the following:
- Loose manure
- Foot rot
- External parasites
- Poor feed assimilation
- Mold intoxication
- Kidney stones (water belly)
- Johne’s disease
- Grass tetany
- High somatic cell counts
In his words:
“Sounds like a panacea, which it isn't, but, since acetic acid is integral in all digestion, it affects stabilization of body pH and improves mineral assimilation; this is very important. ACV works in ways we don't understand.
All right, but here’s one part we do understand. Apple cider vinegar is full of acetic acid. Acetic acid is great for your animals. Example:
Take ruminants: the grass-eating, cud-chewing mammals we love. Ruminants have the unique ability to derive energy from a wide variety of plants, like grass. They can do this because their digestive tract includes a special section called the rumen, which is populated by a special culture of microorganisms – rumen bugs – which make this possible. According to Will Winter, a cow has to eat several pounds of hay before these microorganisms can generate 1 c. of acetic acid, i.e., the volatile fatty acids that provide the cow with energy.
So, when you give that same cow small portions of apple cider vinegar – which is made of acetic acid and water – it’s like giving her “concentrated nutrition.”
NUTRITION IS FOOD, AND FOOD IS MEDICINE!
The same goes for other animals too, of course. ACV isn’t just great for ruminants, but also for poultry and pets; apple cider vinegar for horses works wonders.
And not just animals, either. ACV can cure human problems, too!
Why do they stand out? Because they’re fermented; that is, alive. Other vinegars, including distilled and white vinegars, lack the raw, unpasteurized “mother” – a rubbery, teeming lump of goodness in the form of living, healthy, helpful microorganisms, not to mention a wealth of beneficial minerals.
So, how to prepare apple cider vinegar for horses, cows, chickens or any other animals you might have?
Easiest option, put it in their water. If you’re talking big livestock, they may dislike the taste at first, but they’ll adjust. Your backyard flock of chickens, too, will be happy to drink ACV-spiked water. (Just make sure you’re not using an aluminum water font, first, though. Stainless steel, plastic and glass are fine, but the acid in ACV will eat away at aluminum, affecting your birds in some not-so-nice ways.)
If you’ve got an animal who’s suffering from one of the problems listed above, up the dose:
Ailing Livestock: 1 or 2 c. vinegar/ gal. water
Ailing Poultry: 1 oz. vinegar/ 1 gal. water
If your sheep, or pig, or horse is really ailing, you can go even further:
Very Sick Livestock: 1:1 ratio vinegar to water
That last one is a pretty stiff drink, so use your discretion.
In any case, give ACV a try, and please! leave us a comment letting us know how it goes.