Benefits Of Feeding Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar (ACV) has long been used as a folk remedy for humans and livestock alike.  When fed to livestock, farmers claim it aids in fibre digestion, increases milk production and acts as a wormer, among other benefits.  Over a two-year trial, three US dairy farmers participated in an on-farm research trial to measure the effects of the supplement on their milking cows.

Milk Quality & Quantity Results
Based on US on farm trials including feeding at grass:
For one farm, the vinegar also resulted in some cost-savings. The farmer said, “When we were feeding vinegar, we removed an expensive yeast product that promotes the digestion of fibre from the ration,”. “We were expecting butterfat depression from removing the yeast, but didn’t see as much irregularity as we expected, but we did reduce feed costs’’

Although the results of this trial did not show statistical differences between groups, farmers made several anecdotal observations.  The theory of feeding ACV, suggest that acetic acid shifts rumen pH in a way that helps fibre digestion – thus helping cows to digest forage.  One farmer noticed when his cows were supplemented with vinegar, they had smoother manure, indicating well-digested feed. “The digestion of the feeds was really good,” he says. “I saw more fibre in the manure when they were not on ACV.”  He also found cows were healthier with good appetites, during vinegar feeding periods.  “I think the apple cider vinegar promotes the right bacteria in the digestive system and helps to keep bad bacteria, like E. coli, from proliferating.”  

Administering Apple Cider Vinegar

Feeding 60 millilitres (ml) per cow per day either in their total mixed ration drench or through their water supply will improve their health and utilisation of feed.  This will help reduce feed costs and contribute to a better milk price.  Calves 20ml per day.
It is important to feed a quality product and not a watered-down cheap alternative, I recommend an ACV with a minimum of 6.5% Acidity (Acetic Acid).  For the cost of ACV it is worth an on-farm trial.  I have fed ACV on an organic herd in the past with positive results.

To discuss the practicalities of using ACV and benefits to your livestock, please contact Mark Yearsley on 07984 785190 or e-mail