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Should I Add Apple Cider Vinegar to My Chickens Water?

Close up of an Isa Brown chicken.

Some chicken owners believe there are many reasons why you should add apple cider vinegar to your chicken’s water. Learn about the possible benefits, how much, and how frequently to add apple cider vinegar to your chickens water.

When I first got into raising chickens many years ago I spent a lot of time reading everything I could on backyard chicken forums and websites. Adding apple cider vinegar (also known as AVC) to promote the overall health of a backyard flock was advice that I ran across frequently. I have given my hens ACV in their water periodically. During times of stress and hot weather adding ACV to my hens water seems to support my chickens health.

Adding ACV to your chickens diet is an easy way to supply probiotics, vitamins, minerals and trace elements to your flock. I highly recommend anyone add it to their backyard chicken care arsenal.

What Does Apple Cider Vinegar Do for Chickens?

Right off the bat, you need to know it is almost impossible to find anything scientific suggesting that apple cider vinegar actually provides any health benefits for chickens in any way. There have been zero studies done. But there is anecdotal evidence to support that offering water to chickens with added apple cider vinegar supports a healthy flock.

Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar for Chickens:

  • Reduce intestinal and fecal odor.
  • Apple Cider Vinegar is thought to support animals digestive system by providing probiotics (also known as “good bacteria”)
  • Helps break down minerals and fats.
  • Assists the animal to assimilate protein.
  • Assists the animal to convert food better.
  • It lowers the pH of the digestive tract which will make the environment less welcoming to pathogens and, therefore, reduce common infections and increase resistance to disease.
  • Apple Cider VinegarI is great in plastic waterers to prevent the green algae build up that happens in the summer months.

What is the Best Kind Of Apple Cider Vinear To Use in My Chickens Water?

There is much debate over the “right” apple cider vinegar to use in your chickens water. If you are hoping to get some probiotic benefits from adding Apple Cider Vinegar to your chicken’s water, Raw unfiltered apple cider with the mother, such as Bragg’s is the way to go.

Unpasteurized apple cider vinegar contains the “mother vinegar” that not only has an alkalising effect on the body but is also a dense source of raw enzymes, gut-friendly bacteria, natural acids, and vitamins and minerals.

If you are simply trying to control the growth of green algae in your waterer during warm summer months, regular apple cider vinegar will do the job.

How Much Apple Cider Vinegar Should I Add To My Chickens Water?

If you do choose to offer your backyard flock apple cider vinegar, the recommended ratio is 1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar per gallon of water.

Anytime you add anything to your flock’s waterer it is important to also offer a water source with plain water. There’s always that one super fussy chicken who will decide she doesn’t like the taste. But generally, my birds love it!

Don’t use apple cider vinegar in a metal waterer. Apple cider vinegar can react to certain metals specifically galvanized metals and cause them to leech zinc into the water which is toxic to birds. It is best to use a plastic waterer when adding apple cider vinegar to your flocks drinking water.


As chicken keepers, we want to do our best to make sure our flock is healthy and happy. When considered supplementation, I highly recommend looking into adding garlic into your chickens diet. Garlic is another great way to boost your flock’s immune system, and keep your girls healthy.

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