Category Archives: Livestock Supplements

Apple Cider Vinegar for Livestock

Say what? Yes, there’s a new trend of feeding apple cider vinegar as a livestock supplement for cows, pigs, horses, chickens and even dogs. Why feed livestock apple cider vinegar? What are the benefits of feeding animals apple cider vinegar? Well we’ll tell you. Along with the scientific research to back it up. But don’t take our word for it. Read the testimonials and stories below. And…this is one trend it definitely won’t hurt you or your animals to try. Inexpensive and healthy.

Apple Cider Vinegar made from whole apples and not concentrate is rich in vitamins, minerals and trace elements, particularly potassium. Potassium helps maximize the nutrition from feed, especially calcium, phosphorus and copper. Potassium is also important in treating mastitis. Apple cider vinegar is particularly recommended if the forage contains low levels of potassium.

The acetic and malic acid in apple cider vinegar raises the acidity in the stomach (balances the pH), which creates an unfavourable environment for bacteria and pathogens such as such as salmonella, coccidiosis oocysts and internal parasites and, therefore, helps digestion. Natural pectins in the vinegar bind to toxins and both are excreted, stimulating the immune system. A fringe benefit of adding apple cider vinegar to drinking water is that it will keep waterers free of algae and mosquito larvae. It can also be applied externally to control ringworm.

A dairy farmer in New Zealand with 900 cows adds apple cider vinegar as a livestock supplement into the dosatron which is then put into the troughs on the farm. He has less retained membranes with calving cows since doing this. The cows also have a glossier shine to their hides.


Apple Cider Vinegar Works – Somehow

By Ron Polette ( To read his full story, click here.)

“Then we noticed an amazing thing with our cows. After a month of regularly drinking this wonder juice, the cows barely had a fly on them. They were
almost completely fly free, and they looked great! How could this be? No constant jumping and tail swishing from millions of flies. Then another
discovery. The cows manure had very small pieces of stems in it. They were digesting their food much more completely than before the juice. I began
telling my friends that a chicken would starve to death following behind my cows.
Then after finding that their consumption of food went down and their body scores went up, I decided to really put this stuff to the test. What we
did this last winter was really something to see. We did not feed the cow herd anything out of a bag. No grain, no cubes, just free choice minerals,
free choice vinegar, spring water, and round bales of grass hay. They made it through an extremely harsh Missouri winter, without shelter, with minimal
pasture, and with new fall calves on six of them without a hitch. The cider had improved their digestion efficiency and in effect supercharged their
digestion of the hay and what little grass they could find in their small paddock. Their manure from the big bales of hay looked just like it did in
the Spring and Summer. Almost no stems over 1/4 inch. I was really impressed now!

Mike explained to me what some other Ranchers and Farmers had been using the juice for. He has a couple of customers that raise chickens and they are
reporting much improved feed conversions, greatly improved egg production, and improved meat tenderness, when the juice is added to their feed or
water. They won’t be without the cider anymore. He has a bunch of dairy cow customers that report when they feed the juice in the cow’s feed ration they
save about 10% of their feed for the same amount of milk. I’m sure they don’t want to be without this cider anymore either. Also they say that bloat was
almost completely eliminated when they started feeding this vinegar. Then there are the folks in Australia that drench 20 CCs of the vinegar
mixed with water to their wool sheep and claim it raises the quality of the wool, which means more money in their pockets, and they claim to save enough
feed to more than pay for the vinegar and the other health benefits are a bonus.

Then Spring progressed and goat kidding started up here full swing. Even though we specialize in Kikos, there are always a few problems with the
crosses and other goats that we pick up here and there when purchasing herds or groups of goats through the year.
We had our normal share of bottle baby makers that would soon become culls, and of course a few does with the dreaded mastitis that would also be culled. We had put these problem does in with some other nannies that had new kids with them next to one of our barns, so in case of extreme weather we could grab the kids and put them inside.
Since I had to supply water there, I started adding some vinegar to their water and it gave me a chance to see how much the nanny goats liked
the stuff and how much was needed. I have two, 20 gallon water tanks, side by side in that small barn paddock. One of the tanks I filled with clean water
only, and in the other tank I added two cups of vinegar. To my surprise they drank the vinegar water first. Somehow they knew it was good for them. I
kept trying different amounts each time I filled their water supply and ended up only using one cup to “treat” 20 gallons, but then I added vinegar to
all the water tanks when they got filled. No algae would grow in the tanks either.
We had our normal share of bottle baby makers that would soon become culls, and of course a few does with the dreaded mastitis that would also be culled. We had put these problem does in with some other nannies that had new kids with them next to one of our barns, so in case of extreme weather we could grab the kids and put them inside.

Since I had to supply water there, I started adding some vinegar to their water and it gave me a chance to see how much the nanny goats liked the stuff and how much was needed. I have two, 20 gallon water tanks, side by side in that small barn paddock. One of the tanks I filled with clean water only, and in the other tank I added two cups of vinegar. To my surprise they drank the vinegar water first. Somehow they knew it was good for them. I kept trying different amounts each time I filled their water supply and ended up only using one cup to “treat” 20 gallons, but then I  dded vinegar to all the water tanks when they got filled. No algae would grow in the tanks either.

As for me, I’m completely sold on this apple cider vinegar for my goats and my cows. I want to save money on feed, medicines and dewormers, and I have seen it work, despite the fact that nobody seems to know why it works. I told Mike Wichman, “I’m from Missouri, show me,” and with much improved animal health and efficiencies, the juice did! I suppose I better make a disclaimer now about this story and make it clear to all that I am not a vet, a doctor, or an expert in animal nutrition, and I’m not suggesting that anybody do what I have done or use this vinegar the way I have. If anybody wants to experiment like I have, they should do so at their own risk. I’m simply explaining what happened when I used this stuff on my farm, and what my opinion about it is. Happy Trails!”

Ron Polette Arcadia Valley Goats Ironton, Mo. 63650

livestock apple cider dosage chartWhy Apple Cider Vinegar Works:

  1. ACV is primarily acetic acid, which is a natural fatty acid utilized by animals as a direct form of energy and for better butterfat and body fat production. It is absorbed directly through the wall of the rumen.
  2. ACV alkalizes rumen and overall blood pH and will prevent and even reverse acidosis and ketosis
  3. Proven digestive aid and health tonic due to natural probiotics when unpasturized and containing the “mother” of the vinegar.

Apple Cider Vinegar Animal Benefits:

Bluebird Orchards Natural Apple Cider Vinegar for Livestock Supplement comes in 55 gallon drums for easy use.
• Bluebird Orchard’s ACV is unpasteurized, meaning it still contains the  ‘mother of vinegar’ which is the natural probiotic created during the fermentation process and is vital in producing all the benefits of ACV that improve health.
• It is high in acetic and malic NATURAL acids which help digestion and cleanse the liver for overall better health.
• ACV is a rich source of potassium and is quickly assimilated. Potassium is necessary to build strength and fight bacteria by flushing out toxins.
• It has both internal and external parasite control benefits and can prevent or remove virtually all forms.
• ACV is used to prevent scours, bloat, gas, reflux, indigestion and poor digestion as well as many other ailments mentioned in this article.

Apple Cider Benefits to Farmers:

  • Meat Quality: Improved texture and flavor of meat due to no “off flavors” to milk, eggs or meat.
  • 100% safe (after 2-3 days of age).
  • Easy to administer and animals like it after they get accustomed to it.
  • Cost effective: Less disease = less supplementation needed, medicines and fewer vet bills.
  • More efficient digestion means having to feed less
  • Healthy animals produce more. Some farmers have reported more milk production and better egg laying while using ACV.

Suggested Dosage Rates of Apple Cider Vinegar for Livestock Supplement: It is best to start out with very diluted amounts until animals build up a tolerance for the taste then gradually increase amount of ACV according to recommendations below.

• HORSES – 2-6 oz per day as a drench diluted with water or 20 mls per head per day added to feed or water. Can mix with molasses
• Cows – 3-6 oz per head per day added to feed or water or 1 oz daily per #250 of body weight for calves.
• PIGS – 1-2 cups with 20 gallons of drinking water. Can mix with molasses.
• POULTRY – 1 oz per gallon of water. Apple Cider Vinegar creates quicker feathering and quicker growth. Meat from any bird or animal fed with Apple Cider Vinegar is more tender and eggs shells are thicker and stronger due to the ability of the birds to better assimilate calcium from their feed.
• DOGS-  Good fertility and energy aid for working dogs. Add 1/2 – 1oz  to water daily.
• Goats – 1/2 – 1oz per day or mix 50/50 with water for free choice.

Please note – these are suggested dosage rates for average size livestock – can be varied according to your animals size and nutritional state. Remember it is more beneficial to use less more often than a large amount less frequently.

Administer Apple Cider to Animals Daily By:

• Adding to drinking water
• Adding to meal or silage
• Spraying onto the coats of the animals
• Direct drenching (must be diluted 50/50 with water)

According to The Northeast Organic Dairy Producers Alliance: NODPA:

“80% of the energy needs of a ruminant should come from the production of volatile fatty acids (VFA’s) and acetic, proprionic and butyric are the three primary VFA’s. For dairy animals, 50-60% of these VFA’s need to be acetic acid (aka vinegar).

VFA’s depend upon the digestion of soluble fibers such as cellulose, hemi-cellulose, pectins and glucans as well as mono and polysaccharides. Acetic acid is the precursor that drives growth hormone, which in turn drives butter fat and milk production. (That’s the reason why rBGH, or somatotropin, is injected into cows to increase milk production.) Apple cider vinegar is a wonderful rumen tonic and can actually buffer an acidic rumen affected by lactic acidosis because it contains only 10% of the molar acidity that lactate from starch contains. Raw apple cider vinegar contains “the mother”- fermentation metabolites which are stimulatory to the microflora in the G.I. Tract. It’s also a wonderful source of electrolytes and since it is a VFA, it can really fortify the ration with energy. Drought stricken pastures and hay convert much of their digestible fiber into indigestible lignin, dropping the potential of that forage to produce milk and butterfat. The typical feeding rate of apple cider vinegar is 3-4 oz per head per day.”

More ACV Livestock Supplement Stories. by Will Winter DVM

 

Where to Buy Unpasturized Organic ACV with the mother in livestock supplement quantities.

Bluebird Orchards has organic livestock vinegar in Food Grade 55 gallon drums for easy transport and assimilation into your feeding and watering systems. Contact us for current prices.