How Much Apple Cider Vinegar For Chickens

Knowing how much apple cider vinegar for chickens is pretty easy.

Keep in mind you may also see other chicken keepers abbreviate it as ACV. Same thing. You just need a small amount to see a change in your chicken’s health.

Most recommendations are 1 Tablespoon for every gallon of water. 

If I am getting my flock started on it I will start with that then work my way up to two tablespoons. 

If you have a fussy flock and they are a little hesitant then do half a tablespoon for a few days then slowly increase it. You can also keep fresh plain water with nothing in it so they have a second option.

However, it’s pretty rare for chickens not to like the apple cider vinegar in their water. 

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For my peeps who love exact steps here, it is.

  • Day one: Place 1/2 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar in a 1-gallon pitcher of water and take it to your flock and add it to your chicken’s water. 
  • Day two: Do the same as day one. 
  • Day three: Place 1 Tablespoon of apple cider vinegar in 1 gallon of water and see how the flock behaves. Do they stand back or are they hesitant to drink?
  • Day four: If they were not fussy about the 1 Tablespoon of apple cider vinegar try two tablespoons and see how they react. 

Keep them at the one to two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar for one week. Then go down to 1 tablespoon in the water if you choose to continue it daily. 

You could go down to as little as once a week and still see results. 

How Much Water Does Your Chicken Water’er Hold

First, you want to use a plastic or rubber waterer. This is what Home In The Fingerlakes blog has to say about 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 trace elements of 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.”


If you have no idea how big your waterer is take something you know is one gallon and see how much you can get into that waterer. 

Don’t stress about being exact. You won’t kill your chickens with too much vinegar. At the very worst if you have too much you will poor it in and your chickens will be like “what the heck is this” and they won’t drink it. 

Then you dump it out and fill it with plain and put in less vinegar next time.

Here are some gallon waterers you can use to make sure you know how much apple cider vinegar you are using for chickens.

[lasso ref=”amzn-farm-innovators-hb-60p-heated-2-gallon-poultry-drinker” id=”90912″ link_id=”3566″]

Little Giant Plastic Dome Waterer (8 Gal)

This thing is huge and this is actually a great price. You would need to add 8-16 tablespoons of AVC to this waterer.

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Best Kind Of Apple Cider Vinegar To Use Chickens Water?

Like anything, there are opinions everywhere on the “right” apple cider vinegar to use in your chickens water.

If you want the probiotic benefits from adding apple cider vinegar to your chicken’s water, raw unfiltered apple cider would be the best choice.

When it comes to organic apple cider vinegar it is up to you if you feel it is necessary. Personally, I don’t think chickens are as sensitive to health issues as other types of animals. But if you are raising chickens as an income thank it might be worth it to you to pay the extra for the organic. 

Unpasteurized apple cider vinegar contains the “mother of vinegar” that not only has an alkalizing 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.


Added Health Benefits Of Apple Cider Vinegar

Just like humans, there are many added benefits for chickens to giving AVC to your chickens. You will see a lot of chicken owners talk about it and to be quite honest there really isn’t a downside.

Keeping The Water Clean

Birds can be pretty nasty and keeping their water clean isn’t easy. No matter what you use for water they are a breeding ground for harmful algae and bad bacteria. 

Don’t depend on giving apple cider vinegar to your chickens to keep that water clean though. Make an effort to keep the water fresh daily to keep the harmful bacteria at bay.

Stronger Shells

Apple cider vinegar can help with the absorption of calcium levels. Calcium is important to maintain proper eggshell thickness.

If your eggs are becoming easier to break when using them for cooking or you pick them up and break them accidentally then you know they are getting too thin.

3 chicken eggs sitting on a towel and a hand holding an egg.

The acidity of the ACV will cause calcium carbonate deposits to form along the shell surface, making them not quite as smooth. There is nothing wrong with this. 

If your hens need more calcium then you can start feeding the eggshells back to the chickens or make it simple and get Oystershell from the feed store.

Treating Cocci 

(I have been blessed to not have to deal with coccidiosis in chickens. But here is what Simple Living Country Gal has to say about using Apple Cider Vinegar for this)

Coccidiosis is an intestinal disease that is animal-specific. What that means is chicken Cocci cannot be spread to goats and vice versa. The disease is more common in young chicks but can also be found in older hens. It is passed through chicken droppings and if not caught and treated can spread quite quickly and destroy a flock frighteningly fast.

ACV is a form of probiotics that can boost an animal’s immune system. Although ACV is not a direct preventative of Cocci, it does promote strong immune systems which are more resistant to the effects of cocci.

By giving your hens probiotics it can help to maintain a normal and healthy level of culture good bacteria in the bowels. This will help to prevent the more harmful (but natural) occurring cocci bacteria from proliferating to the point where it causes scours (diarrhea) and dehydration.

I like to add 1 tablespoon ACV to 1 gallon of water and give it to my chickens at least once a week. This really encourages healthy bowels and so far has kept Cocci from affecting my flock. You can add ACV more often, but I have found weekly works best for my hens.


Chicken eggs sitting on a kitchen towl

It Will Help With Fecal Odor

Who doesn’t want better-smelling poop! Haha Ok, a bit more serious. 

Apple cider vinegar helps support the digestive system. It adds probiotics which are “gut-friendly bacteria”. I know it’s hard to wrap your head around that. 

The animals can break down foods and burn fats and proteins. The list goes on.

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. Source:

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 Other FAQs About Using Apple Cider Vinegar 

Can chickens have apple cider vinegar daily?

Yes you can but if you choose to do so I personally would keep it at 1 Tablespoon per gallon or less. 

Is apple cider vinegar a chicken Dewormer?

In short. No its not a dewormer. BUT keeping your chickens healthy will help prevent worms in your chickens. See next question for a dewormer for chickens.

How do you Deworm chickens naturally?

Diatomaceous earth is a great dewormer of all animals. It is essentially crushed-up fossil shell and has worked wonders for all of our animals. 

To get chickens to eat it the best way to do that is to put it on a treat they like. If you give them veggies from the garden sprinkle it on that. Or if you take kitchen scraps out to them. Then add about 1 tablespoon per chicken onto the food. 

How do I clean my chicken coop with apple cider vinegar?

The best way to do it is to clean out all the dust and debris from the coop. The coop air out for a bit. Then take a spray bottle with diluted apple cider vinegar and spray literally everything down with the mixture and let it dry. Having a clean coop will help with respiratory problems

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