To use ACV or not. That is the question......

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by llandry, Dec 31, 2014.

  1. llandry

    llandry Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have never used ACV in the water. I've read quite a few threads on here where some swear by it and then others that say don't use it. I'm thoroughly confused as to whether I should be using it now.

    Help?
     
  2. roseyred

    roseyred Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Honestly it's personal preference. I use it but only wen I remember too. I believe it has lots of benefits. My hens are all very healthy and have beautiful feathers. I noticed it makes them drink more water. Maybe because it has electrolyte effect or maybe because they like it lol I've spilled acv and they love it.
     
  3. pdirt

    pdirt Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I don't use ACV in our water, though I might since I have some brewing. But I do provide some acid in their diet.

    I do think some amount of acidifying foods in their diet is good for them. I don't recall the details, but it does help with providing a more acid environment in the intestines. This acidity helps support the healthy gut flora as the healthy gut bacteria thrive in a slightly acidic environment whereas bad bacteria such as E. coli or salmonella thrive in a more alkaline environment.

    I provide acid in our chicken's diet one and sometimes two ways. The main way is via fermented feed, which is rich in lactic acid and probiotics. The secondary way is via a lactic acid based probiotic liquid I put in their water.

    ACV will provide acetic acid, which will have a similar effect as lactic acid, but it won't provide any probiotics. Both will help acidify the intestines, but only the lactic acid probiotic will provide probiotics.

    ACV also has some live enzymes...exactly how those benefit digestion I am not clear on as I haven't studied it.

    If you do decide to add ACV to your chicken's water, I recommend also offering a second water source of plain water. Let them choose which water they prefer and don't force it upon them. I think the common dilution is 1 tbs ACV to 1 gallon water. You might try starting with 1 tsp first and work them up to 1 tbs. (3 tsp in 1 tbs). This ill will help them get used to ACV rather than overwhelm them at first. This method has worked well with my lactic acid brew.
     
  4. roseyred

    roseyred Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ooooooh.....that makes me wonder whether kombucha would be good for them.......
     
  5. pdirt

    pdirt Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sure, it's good stuff. If you make your own, just make sure it's pretty tart. Lightly fermented kombucha is pretty sweet, because the sugar hasn't been fermented yet. Sugar isn't good for us and I think especially not for chickens. If you let kombucha ferment too long, it turns into vinegar, which would be fine to use as well.

    Use it like you would ACV, about 1 tbs per gallon.
     
  6. Stynch

    Stynch Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Our chickens love ACV. One of their favorite treats is "ACV Soup" - I take the fines from the bottom of the crumbles bag and mix them with water and a little ACV. I can't swear that it's doing any good, but it's not doing any harm! And they go crazy when they see me coming with the soup bowl! Silly girls!
     
  7. llandry

    llandry Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Do I need to use a special waterer? Some say it will corrode the metal.
     
  8. roseyred

    roseyred Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yeah it will corode all metal I think. Ruined y galvanized waterer
     
  9. llandry

    llandry Chillin' With My Peeps

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    How do I ferment the feed and what type of lactic acid based probiotics are you using?
     
  10. pdirt

    pdirt Chillin' With My Peeps

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    There are several LOOOONG threads about fermenting feed on BYC. "Fermenting Feed for Meat Birds" and "Fermenting Feed for Layers" and "Fermented Feeds...Anyone using them?". They should be easy to find in the Feeding & Watering your flock forum.

    Here however, is the best and most concise info I have seen about fermented feed so far:

    https://tikktok.wordpress.com/2014/04/13/fermented-feed-faq/

    The lactic acid probiotic I am using is called EM "Effective Microorganisms". It's a bit of a science project and if you enjoy that sort of thing, check out this thread:

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/108555/em-1-effective-microorganism-bokashi-for-chickens/20

    Read through some of that, if you're still interested, PM me with your email addy and I will send you a mini-ebook I wrote on using the stuff. It's a probiotic you can put in their water, ferment the feed with (slightly different process than described in the FAQ link above) and spray down their coop and run to help reduce odors and keep it healthy.

    Fermented feed via the tikktok aka "sourdough" method is the easiest and most simple way to give your chickens some acid AND probiotics. Like many subjects on BYC, it can be a polarizing subject...ie, some folks ONLY feed their birds fermented feed while others feed it as but a portion of their diet. But the consensus among those using fermented feed is that it's a good thing for them.

    AFAIK, there has been a bit more research on EM-fermented feed rather than "sourdough" method. The main reason is probably because no one can make any money from the sourdough method...you can't sell what is already in the air and on foods. But EM is a commercial product that is sold and they've help support some of the research that's been done on it. It's been in use since the 1980's, mostly in Japan and other parts of Asia. IMO, it's a very good product, fairly well researched and some of the results are astounding. There's been too much scientific noses in it to consider it in the "snake oil" category. The main difference between EM and what you get from a wild fermentation aka "sourdough" is a special class of bacteria in EM that literally eat toxic waste. Chicken poop, raditation, sewage, etc. It doesn't actually "eat" radiation, but it has been shown to clean soil that has been contaminated by it, such as near the Fukushima disaster area. Okay, enough ramble of mine :)
     

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