Vinegar in Water?

lfrj(7)November 25, 2006

I believe throughout these posts that I'd read a few times about adding a dash of vinegar to poultry's water to aid in their good health. Is this right? I've read Velevet Sparrow's website on chicken health many times, (thanks so much, Miss V) but didn't see it mentioned.

Am concerned now with winter that ours are not getting as well rounded a diet, and try as I might, the little minxes won't eat scraps!



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Cider vinegar is ok, but not if you use galvanized utensils, they will rust from the acid in vinegar. We used to put it on horses feed too.
If you supply them with a quality feed they are getting a balanced diet. (unless it is layer feed which is only designed to make the most eggs at the least expense). Layer feed IS adequate for most backyard flocks. A breeder feed is more suitable when hatching eggs are needed.

    Bookmark   November 25, 2006 at 1:24PM
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Roberta_z5(Z4/5 IL)

Our meat and layer chickens get molasses and apple cidar vinegar in their water from day one. Once they are older and free ranging, they still get some in some of their waterers and just plain water in others. We find that they drink equally in both.

We have never had our chicks vaccinated and will never use antibiotics in any way. I sure don't know if this stuff works but I do know that we have never had a sick chicken. If you want to know the amounts I put in the concentrate, email me privately.

    Bookmark   November 25, 2006 at 6:11PM
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Roberta_z5(Z4/5 IL)

I thought the whole idea with galvanized waterers was that they WON'T rust! My 8-gallon heated waterers are metal and get the vinegar/molasses in the water.

    Bookmark   November 27, 2006 at 8:43AM
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HerringboneD28(z7 Central AR)

I started using about a tablespoon of cider vinegar per gallon in my plastic waterers since the beginning of the summer and all seems to be well. As usual, my memory fails as to why the tablespoon measurement, but I'm sure I read it somewhere at the time. Maybe someone can give the reasoning behind it.

    Bookmark   November 28, 2006 at 1:12PM
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Vinegar is ascetic acid, in a nearly pure dilute form. It will eat away the zinc. Cleaning the galvanized utensils with clorox will ruin them also. Thats why I switched to plastic.

    Bookmark   November 28, 2006 at 2:02PM
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Roberta_z5(Z4/5 IL)

I sure hope my galvanized waterers will make it through the winter at least because I sure can't put plastic ones on the heaters. I won't stop using the vinegar/molasses in their water especially through the winter because I am sure it is very beneficial.

    Bookmark   November 28, 2006 at 3:38PM
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Dibbit(z7b SC)

Household vinegar (acetic acid) is already well diluted to a strength of 3-5%. You CAN get stronger vinegars; pickling is, I believe, at 10%, and there is a horticultural variety (used for weed killing, among other things) that is 30%, and best treated as a very dangerous substance indeed. If the vinegar used regular household vinegar, whether apple cider or not, whether organic or not, and if it is well diluted (tea or tablespoons per gallon), I would imagine there would be no problem, as long as the galvanized coating has no scratches, at which point you might get leaching and rust.... Over the long term, you might well get some leaching and maybe some rust, but I would think that with a container in GOOD shape, there would be no trouble in the short term. I'm not an expert, but common sense says...... However, I might switch to plastic or fiberglass containers as I could, just to be on the safer side.

    Bookmark   November 28, 2006 at 4:34PM
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Well right now we're having trouble just keeping the water from becoming a block of ice! This is the second time I've had to stay in my office overnight as imclement weather shut down the roads. First flooding, now this! Uncommon in these parts. Perhaps, just perhaps the vinegar will help the water from freezing?

Right now, I'm baking boulders in the wood stove to set in the coop at night to release heat and hopefully lift the temp a degree or two...all I could think it's back to the forum to find answers to keeping everybody warm at night... always something!


    Bookmark   November 28, 2006 at 7:53PM
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I started with all new waterers, sold them all within 4 years.
Plastic will work on the chicken water heaters, they only heat to around 35 degreesF.

    Bookmark   November 29, 2006 at 11:43AM
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Roberta_z5(Z4/5 IL)

The vinegar won't keep your water from freezing so you will probably have to run an extension cord out to the chicken house and buy a heater to go under the waterer. We also keep a couple of waterers outdoors far from their hoop houses because no matter how cold it is, they tend to roam really far.

We find they need water outdoors too, but those I just change daily or a couple of times a day when really cold.

Baking boulders (rock, I assume) sounds like a very ingenious idea! Bricks would be good too. Do they last the night?

    Bookmark   November 29, 2006 at 3:23PM
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Dibbit(z7b SC)

Just make SURE that any rocks you plan to bake are VERY dry - moisture in a heated rock can turn to steam, expand rapidly and explode the rock. Same applies to bricks, etc....... Flying schrapnel is not a good thing.....

    Bookmark   November 29, 2006 at 6:58PM
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Gosh, Thanks Dibbit for the warning. It's about a 20 lb boulder, not very porous, and it didn't explode in the wood stove (yikes) so maybe we got lucky. Of concern to me also was placement inside the coop. Did'nt want any body accidentally stepping on it, so we had to put some thought toward that too. The worst may be over - we should be back to the good ole gloom and rain soon. It would have to be a loooong extension cord by the way - thru the snow/wet.

No, that rock was cold by morning, but maybe it raised the temp a degree or two for a while. I know in regions where cold weather lasts many months, a larger flock in a nice tight coop will keep each other warm, but we only have two. Maybe I'm worrying too much. My co-workers made fun of me...they don't understand why we would go to such trouble today for a couple of birds we would consider butchering one day in the future.(They really have trouble with that!) I simply told them I preferred my chicken frozen WITHout feathers).


Thanks all, for the wise words and suggestions.


    Bookmark   November 29, 2006 at 11:00PM
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