You’ll no doubt see folks raving about ACV on homesteading and livestock forums. I’m a girl that falls for the science though, so I always turn to veterinary journals or other scientific publications to see if there is any evidence to support the claims.
Here is a study that shows pigs supplemented with apple cider vinegar were observed to have a sleeker coat, improved vitality and looked healthier than those not receiving apple cider vinegar. Pigs supplemented with apple cider vinegar tended towards increased feed intake and average daily gains, higher carcass yields, better feed efficiency, and higher profits.
Though there are some limitations in this study (mainly with sample size of poultry), it showed that that medicinal herbal alternatives like natural apple cider vinegar, can be used to prevent and treat infectious diseases in broiler chicken like coccidiosis.
In general, there aren’t a lot of studies done on goats and I’ve not found anything peer-reviewed that touts the good stuff in ACV for them. Lay folks rave about it as a dewormer, but I don’t particularly believe it serves that purpose. It is too diluted by the time it reaches the rumen. It does, however, reduce algae in water and improves the taste of water, which makes them drink more. We use natural “dewormers” as a preventative (another post on that one day), but when fecals show a high count of parasites, we deworm. Period.
Speaking of fecals – I’ll usually grab some in the mornings every few days to test, especially when I catch one of the goats leaving me fresh berries! I keep baggies and a marker in the milkroom and in my pocket. I do my own fecals, but will also send off to the lab every few months just to double check! It is really easy to learn without massive cost by getting a student microscope. Another post for another day!