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My Experience with Apple Cider Vinegar for Cattle

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Recently, I’ve incorporated apple cider vinegar (ACV) into my cattle care routine. I had come across various testimonials about its benefits and thought it’d be worth exploring. Well, I’m glad I tried it. My cows have been consuming it regularly, and I recorded the results. Here’s what I’ve observed and learned.

Happy farmer feeding a small cow herd in a green field.

(I’ll also share the exact process I use to feed ACV to my cattle. It’s easy. And they seem to love it!)

Why Apple Cider Vinegar For Cattle? 4 Big Benefits!

Fresh backyard apples with fermenting cider to make apple cider vinegar.

Apple cider vinegar is essentially fermented apple juice, but its potential benefits stretch beyond the kitchen. I’ve noticed the following potential advantages from my research and observations.

1. Enhanced Digestion

After introducing ACV, I noticed a noticeable improvement in how my cows digested their food. The acetic acid in ACV is famous among farmers for balancing the stomach’s pH levels and aiding digestion. (You will notice cattle eating ACV have smooth, well-digested manure. It helps make the best garden compost fertilizer!)

2. Immunity Boost

Fermentation enriches ACV with beneficial bacteria, making it a powerful probiotic that might fortify the cows’ immune systems. While we couldn’t find solid proof that ACV helps cattle immune systems, it’s a reasonable hypothesis due to the probiotic, antioxidant, and nutrient content.

Read More – Can Any Cow Be A Dairy Cow? What About Beef Cattle Breeds?

3. Energy + Nutrient Absorption

A thirsty young calf drinking from a bucket feeder.

Energy is crucial for cattle reproduction, muscle development, and health. While apple cider vinegar (ACV) is not a primary energy source, many farmers believe it can help aid cattle with a healthy energy boost. ACV’s acetic acid may also improve digestion by regulating rumen pH, potentially enhancing nutrient absorption. Additionally, some farmers believe ACV stimulates appetite, which can lead to additional energy for hungry and growing cattle.

4. Natural Deworming

Natural dewormers for cattle offer several benefits, especially for those who want to raise organic animals. While not scientifically proven, apple cider vinegar (ACV) has gained a superb reputation among many farmers as a natural dewormer.

(Natural cattle deworming options are valuable, but chemical dewormers may sometimes be necessary to save an animal’s life.)

Read More – Raising A2 Cattle For Healthier Milk On Your Homestead

The Method To My Approach

A thirsty Holstein dairy cow drinking some clean water on a warm day.

If you’re contemplating introducing ACV to your cattle, here’s how I approached it.

1. Start Slow

I started with modest amounts, around half a cup (4 oz.) per cow daily, mixed with water or food.

2. Choosing The Right ACV

Always choose raw, unfiltered ACV. This type typically contains the “mother,” a murky, cobweb-like substance packed with beneficial bacteria and enzymes.

3. Observation

Anytime I introduce something new to my cow’s diets, I prioritize monitoring my cattle to gauge any noticeable changes and ensure no adverse reactions.

4. Give It Time

For noticeable benefits, administer ACV consistently. It took a few weeks before I started noticing significant changes. While you don’t have to feed it to your cows daily, maintaining a regular schedule helps.

Read More – Mini Cow Breeds Guide | 12 Tiny Cattle Breeds For Milk, Meat, And Weed Management!

How Much ACV For Cattle

  • For Beef Cattle: Start with about 4 ounces (approximately 120 ml) per head per day, gradually increasing if needed.
  • For Dairy Cows: Start with 3 ounces (approximately 90 ml) per head per day, increasing based on observation and needs.
  • For Calves: Reduce the dosage significantly. Typically, 1 ounce (30 ml) every other day is a good starting point.

How To Feed Apple Cider Vinegar To Cows

Young cows getting a cool drink during sunset.

There are three primary methods for feeding apple cider vinegar to cattle. They are as follows.

In Drinking Water

Mixing ACV with drinking water is the most common method, and it’s what I do. Mix the required amount of ACV in the cattle’s water tanks or troughs. Ensure that the entire batch of water gets consumed in a day so the ACV only sits briefly. Mixing ACV into the tanks manually is trickier than using an automatic water trough. (We’re replacing all our non-auto troughs with automatic, so I’ll need to adjust my method!)

With Feed

You can mix ACV directly with liquid feed. If you use dry feed, dilute the ACV with some water, yogurt, or molasses so you can mix it in. If you’re mixing with yogurt or molasses, add some garlic simultaneously! Garlic is fantastic for cattle’s immune systems and for keeping flies away.

Oral Drench

An oral drench can be effective for cattle needing an individualized dosage or those not consuming water or feed mixed with ACV. However, oral drenches are way more labor-intensive, so we don’t do it.

Read More – What Are Highland Cows Used For? | Real-World Highland Cattle Profile!

A Word Of Caution

While I’ve been pleased with the results from ACV, it’s essential to understand that it’s not a cure-all. It complements, but doesn’t replace, a balanced diet and regular health check-ups.

Store your cattle’s ACV in a cool, dark place for the best results. Once opened, ensure to seal the lid tightly to maintain its potency.

Fresh backyard apples and fermenting cider.

Conclusion

Incorporating apple cider vinegar into my cattle care has been a rewarding and worthwhile experiment!

It’s cost-effective and easy to administer, and I’ve seen tangible benefits. If you’re on the fence, it might be worth a trial run to determine its efficacy for your homestead’s herd!

What about you?

  • Have you ever tried feeding apple cider vinegar to your farm animals? Will you try?
  • If so, did you ever measure definite, real-world benefits?
  • Do your farm animals eat more food when you give them apple cider vinegar?
  • What’s the easiest way to get your cows to eat apple cider vinegar?
  • Do you know any other natural organic cattle supplements worth trying?

We spend much of our lives watching and caring for our farm animals.

We hope to hear from like-minded cattle enthusiasts!

Thanks again for reading.

Have a great day!

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