Thoughts on this article? It says DON'T give ACV?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by MesMama, Oct 13, 2015.

  1. MesMama

    MesMama Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 22, 2015

    Just saw this, maybe it's been discussed before? Just wondering what your thoughts are on this? I know I personally use ACV with the Mother myself, about 2-4 T a day as does my husband, got rid of our reflux, in the article it says the research doesn't support it's use basically. I also thought it was great to give chickens? My mom has used it on hers and it seemed to help with sour crop.

    Anyway, what do you all think?
  2. Folly's place

    Folly's place Chicken Obsessed

    Sep 13, 2011
    southern Michigan
    I haven't seen any studies that support the use of vinegar in the water for chickens, and the poultry experts I've contacted don't recommend it. Anecdotal evidence isn't evidence! I've never used it myself, and have managed to avoid all the problems it claims to help avoid, for a very long time. Mary
  3. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe True BYC Addict

    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    I haven't used it for a long time. It does seem to help the water from getting slimy but not that big of a deal.
  4. RJSorensen

    RJSorensen Chicken George

    I am in the camp that does not use ACV in my chicken keeping at all. Some use a chug or two in their fermented feed (FF) to get it started. There are naturally occurring yeast in the air that will start up your FF with out adding any ACV. I do not find any need to add 'items' into my husbandry practices due to claims that I have never seen substantiated, other that it should work. At best it does no harm? Fresh water is best, no additives nor flavors needed.

    When we were kids, they sold Keds… with them you could run faster, and jump higher. Except you could not. Chickens are not susceptible to bold advertising, as are the owners of these same birds. A lot of people do it, you will have to decide what works best for you, in your management system. That is the only correct answer.

    Best to you and your birds,

  5. MeepBeep

    MeepBeep Chillin' With My Peeps

    I believe that about sums it up, all the controlled scientific studies I have seen, show little to no benefit when ACV is used in poultry water... That's not to say it's harmful, but it certainly lends to it not being all the beneficial if at all...
  6. glib

    glib Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 8, 2007
    It seems that the studies used acetic acid, and mostly measured meat contamination problems. You still have the low slime water (for which any acid will do I agree), and prevention of cocci and other intestinal parasites, including possibly degradation of existing bio-film in mature birds. There is also increased mineral absorption, though if the feed is fermented the acids in the feed will far exceed (in quantity and reactivity) the acids in the water.

    In principle it is possible to refute/minimize the benefits of ACV as a probiotic because ACV is dominated by acetobacter, which is present in very small amounts in human or animal guts. I am not one to give general advice based on my experience, as I make it a point of making anaerobic ACV, which is probably far richer in lactic bacteria.
  7. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe True BYC Addict

    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    I just thought of a possible benefit to adding ACV.
    I discovered this a few years ago when researching urolithiasis and gout in pullets and laying hens from excess dietary calcium in layer feed.
    In commercial operations, they start increasing light in black out housing at about 16 weeks along with a pre-lay diet that is higher in calcium. If the pullets don't start laying soon, they can get gout and die. This used to be a problem in some flocks occasionally. Research showed that adding an acidifier to the feed lessened the harm from the high calcium before commencement of lay.
    I figured with so many small holders feeding layer feed to non layers, the ACV in the water may help.
  8. Folly's place

    Folly's place Chicken Obsessed

    Sep 13, 2011
    southern Michigan
    There's no evidence to support this, however. Also, drinking water will vary in pH and so changing the pH would need to be done by actually testing the water. And acidifying the bird's crop isn't always such a good idea. Probably no harm is done by adding vinegar, although again there is no evidence either way. Mary
  9. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    Everything on this is an opinion. I’ll give mine.

    One of the real problems on this type of stuff is finding studies that actually apply to the way we do things. Somebody has to pay for a study. Normally that is people with money, like the commercial chicken operations. It should not come as a surprise that the parameters of the study apply to their situation, not ours. You can gain a lot of knowledge based on these studies but you have to be really careful how you interpret them. For example, that one that showed bacteria levels drop in the intestines if you give ACV the day before you butcher broilers. That’s a short-term effect. How would that affect them long-term if those broilers had a long-term?

    There are a lot of flora and fauna that live in our digestive system. Chickens have a huge amount of flora and fauna in theirs too. Some are good (you might call them probiotics), some are bad, and a lot are neutral as far as scientists know. If ACV kills some of the bad ones, it will also kill some of the good and neutral ones. That’s going to upset the balance in the short term. In my opinion, long-term a new balance will be found if you are consistent in what you give them. If that new balance is better, worse, or indifferent, I don’t know but my gut feel is that it is pretty darn close to irrelevant. That means as long as you don’t get silly about this stuff, it just doesn’t matter.

    Another problem with these studies is that they have to be consistent. That one about ACV and butchering the broilers was not. What does that tell you? There may have been differences in the studies that were not accounted for. Something else may have been affecting it, food, water, genetics, age, weight, or who knows what. There may have been a difference in the delivery system. Dosage may have been different. Maybe one set just didn’t have as many bacteria to start with. Or maybe there was a flaw in the way the measurements were taken. So the results really didn’t prove anything except since there were differences it warrants more study. Maybe they can find out what actually caused those differences.

    Anecdotal evidence is hard too. If I do something in the garden and it seems to help, I’ll probably try it again. If something seems to hurt, I probably won’t try it again. That’s called experience. But sometimes that is just coincidence. One year I planted butternut squash fairly late to see if that would help with squash bugs. I had very few squash bugs that year and really nice butternut squash most of the winter since they matured enough to store well. But when I was talking to the lady at the Mom n’ Pop garden store I go to about it, they said no one was having problems with squash bugs that year. Planting them late the next year did not work.

    That study on 11 humans brings up another point. For these studies to mean anything, you have to have enough of a sample for averages to mean something. 11 people is not much of a sample.

    One more before I quit. One of the supposed benefits of using ACV is that the poop doesn’t stink as much. If that is true, is that a good thing or a bad thing? To me it says you are killing more of the good, bad, and indifferent flora and fauna in their digestive tract. Is that helping or hurting them digest their food so it can be absorbed and used by their bodies? I don’t know.

    In my opinion, as long as you are pretty consistent in what you do chickens are really good at being adaptable and will be OK. As long as you don’t get silly about it I don’t think you are doing any harm. I also don’t think you are doing a lot of good either. For the true believer it is the best thing since peanut butter and sardines on rye with yellow mustard. For those that want to believe you cannot convince them otherwise. For those that don’t want to believe you can’t persuade them with information currently available and maybe never. It’s just one of those things everyone will have an opinion on which is fine in my book.
  10. RonP

    RonP Chillin' With My Peeps

    All good advice.

    Also note the article was written by one who sells a product that could be damaged in an acidic environment.

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