ACV For Dairy & Beef Cattle

Apple Cider Vinegar For Dairy & Beef Cattle

How to Feed Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) 

to Livestock

The method of feeding apple cider vinegar depends on the type of livestock, the quantity of ACV to be administered, and your current infrastructure or management system. Regardless of how you deliver ACV to livestock, it is important to feed in a way that ensures animals get the desired dosage.

For therapeutic indications, try a free choice container such as a rubber pan with a 50/50 ACV and water mix. 

For increased palatability, and as a powerful energy booster,  mix with liquid molasses, varying from 30% ACV to 70%. Increasing the molasses proportion will increase energy and palatability, it will also prevent freezing in the winter. Both ACV and molasses improve average daily gains and milk production. 

Adding to Feed

Our method, and probably the most common, is to simply add ACV to the daily feed ration. You don't need to invest in a new system or equipment for ACV to work well. 

Grind Feed

One option is to simply add ACV to the grind mixture.

TMR Wagon

We use a TMR wagon and add ACV when feeding. Our system is large and we pump the vinegar directly into the TMR. Alternatively, you can use a bucket to add ACV over a loader bucket of grain, soyhulls or silage, then put it in the TMR wagon.

Water Tank

Another easy option is to add ACV to the water tanks you are currently using. The size of your water tank determine how often you will need to add ACV. Larger tanks will only require adding it once a day. Smaller tanks will require adding ACV multiple times per day. The key is determining how fast the water turns over and how often you'll need to administer the ACV to achieve the desired dosage.

Free Choice

One option for this method is adding ACV to a 200-gallon lick tank then diluting it with water or molasses to maintain the desired dosage. We recommend putting a semi tire around the lick tank so the livestock won't tip it over.

Injection System Into Water Line

You may also inject ACV into your water line, if you have one. An added benefit of this method is the ACV will help keep your water line clean. Make sure you check with local regulations to ensure it is possible to do this. Some customers have informed us that they weren't allowed to inject ACV into their water lines.

Scientific Research

The Journal of Dairy Science printed a research paper titled "Performance of dairy cows fed high levels of acetic acid or ethanol" in January, 2013. Click on the link to read the paper in its entirety. Below is the conclusion portion of the paper.


Ethanol and acetic acid contributed significantly to animal performance, although the ethanol-containing diet had energy efficiency similar to the other diets. When losses of volatile compounds during the drying process of fermented feedstuffs in the laboratory occurs, including their estimated loss in the NFC fraction (NRC, 2001) is a suitable alternative to computing their energy value without biases. The intake of ethanol and acetic acid did not negatively affect the composition and sensory quality of milk.

J.L.P. Daniel, R.C. Amaral, A. Sá Neto, E.H. Cabezas-Garcia, A.W. Bispo, M. Zopollatto, T.L. Cardoso, M.H.F. Spoto, F.A.P. Santos, L.G. Nussio. Performance of dairy cows fed high levels of acetic acid or ethanol. J. Dairy Sci. 2013; 96:  398-406

Suggested Dosage Rates

(Source: "Apple Cider Vinegar Stories" - Will Winter, D.V.)

Supplementation of Organic Dairy Cows: Getting Started

by Jerry Brunetti, Managing Director of Agri-Dynamics, published by Northeast Organic Dairy Producers Alliance