Hello chicken keepers!
We’ve already chatted about herbs, and this week I wanted to share with you one of my absolute favourite supplement for chook and keeper alike - I’m talking about ACV! AC-what, I hear you ask? Apple Cider Vinegar! ACV is made from whole apples, crushed and let to ferment. The fermentation process releases all sorts of fantastic minerals and enzymes, making ACV a true super-food.
That’s why this weekends Mother Hen Tips are all about ACV! Before we get started though, when you buy, make sure to get the unpasteurized variety, the kind with the ‘mother’! Pasteurisation kills all the good bacteria created in the fermentation process, and though it’ll still make for a tasty vinaigrette, you won’t get the fabulous benefits that real ACV holds. They’re easy to tell apart: the good stuff is murky or cloudy, while the stuff you don’t want is wonderfully clear. With that in mind, here are my top tips for using ACV:
- As a health supplement for you: all of those wonderful nutrients released in fermentation work together to have you feeling better than ever! Simply take a tablespoon of ACV every morning to settle your tummy, boost your immunities, control your cholesterol, and regulate your blood sugar levels. If the thought of a spoonful of vinegar makes your face pucker, you can add it to your tea as a substitute for lemon juice. I promise it tastes great! :)
- As a health supplement for your chooks: ACV is just amazing for chooks! In addition to boosting their immune system from all sorts of awful illnesses, ACV regulates their body acidity, making your chickens’ bodies an uncomfortable home for pests; including worms, mites and lice. Cluck off!
- As a cooking ingredient: every great salad needs dressing, and apple cider vinegar has a beautiful, tart flavour that isn’t too different from my favourite, balsamic! I also like to add a little ACV to my famous Chili Con Carne to take the edge off the spice and add a little zest.
- As an all-natural cleaner: vinegar has been used for centuries as a cleaning agent, so put away that toxic and harmful chemical cleaner, and do it like your great-great-grandparents did. Making your own cleaner is as easy as cracking an egg!
- As a gardening tool: Humans and animals love ACV. Weeds? Not so much! Spray some undiluted apple cider vinegar over those pesky intruders and clear the way for your favourite plants to grow. ACV is also excellent for regulating soil pH (just like we did with your chooks).
And there you have it - no matter who you are, having a bottle of apple cider vinegar close at hand might just help you out of a sticky situation (literally!). Just don’t forget the ‘mother’!