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Garlic and apple cider vinegar, as a combination, can be added to a pigeon’s diet to enable the bird to enjoy the nutritional and medicinal benefits of both ingredients, benefits that are quite significant.
As our general awareness of the health and wellness benefits of various natural products for humans has greatly increased, we have also learned the same benefits can be applied to animals.
A regime of traditional care techniques has worked for pigeons for generations but at the same time, it is never a bad thing to explore new trends and move with the times when it calls for it, especially if the birds benefit.
One trend that is becoming more prominent in the realm of pigeon care is a combination of garlic and apple cider.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Humans have been enjoying the properties of garlic and apple cider vinegar since 2500 BC. Fermentation to produce vinegar is one of the oldest food processes known to man.
Wine was first produced around 5,000 years ago by the Ancient Babylonians but jump forward two and a half centuries and the Aryans went a step further and produced a soured apple wine, the forerunner of apple cider vinegar.
Ancient Romans and Greeks adopted the process and throughout history, the use of apple cider vinegar is well documented. It was used in the treatment of battlefield wounds in the American Civil War and World War I.
It has been used as a disinfectant and cleaning product and also to treat all kinds of ailments from dandruff to mushroom poisoning. It is said that Japanese Samurai used to drink it for power and strength.
These days, many extol the virtue of starting the day with a glass of diluted apple cider vinegar.
Apple cider vinegar has anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties.
Believed to have originated in Central Asia, garlic has been used by humans for more than 5,000 years as food, medicine, money, an aphrodisiac, and as a magic charm to ward off evil.
A pungent bulb, a member of the allium family (which includes onions, leeks, etc. but is also within the lily family), garlic is one of the world’s oldest cultivated plants and is, botanically speaking, a herb.
Worshipped by the Ancient Egyptians and used as a currency (slaves working on the pyramids were paid with garlic), clay garlic bulbs were often included in burial tombs.
Other civilizations may have revered garlic, but it was also avoided.
Upper classes in Ancient India associated it with commoners, knights were denied entrance to the court of King Alfonso de Castille (Spain) and until the 1940s it was spurned by most Americans who thought of it as an ethnic ingredient.
As well as a flavoring, garlic is said to be an aphrodisiac as well as a cure for heart disease, impotence, poisonous insect bites, and lack of energy; garlic is healthy!
It is the sulfites in garlic that give it its medicinal properties.
While these two natural ingredients have been used in human wellness for a very long time, the application for bird species has been far less explored!
However, scientists, food producers and technicians, veterinarians and pigeon experts are increasingly embracing the idea that apple cider vinegar is good for racing pigeons and garlic is beneficial for many types of pigeons.
Combining Apple Cider Vinegar and Garlic?
We know that apple cider vinegar and garlic are two separate entities, both consumable ingredients that have long been associated with promoting health and wellness in humans.
What you might not be so familiar with, however, is the notion of combining the two, and even less familiar is the notion of giving that mixture to a pigeon!
Together they have a range of great health benefits for your birds.
This article was written by our qualified veterinarian Cristina.
This is part of our commitment to providing you with the most trustworthy veterinary advice for your pigeons.
How Do You Give a Pigeon Apple Cider Vinegar and Garlic?
It is easy to introduce an apple cider vinegar and garlic mixture to your pigeon’s diet. When you purchase the liquid, it will often come in a large, bulky bottle.
We recommend you decant a smaller portion into a mister bottle and use this to spray a sensible amount of the apple cider vinegar and garlic mix onto your pigeons’ seed mix for the day.
The pigeons won’t think twice and will dive into their bird feeders as usual, and as they eat, they will also be ingesting the apple cider vinegar and garlic extract that coated their food.
Do not add the ACV/garlic mix to feed every day. On average, a good schedule is about twice a week at even intervals.
Alternatively, you can add about 15ml of the liquid solution into a litre’s worth of drinking water.
This is the ideal ratio regarding the balance of health and taste, but if you find that you are having trouble with a particularly picky bird who doesn’t like the slight taste in its drinking water, then it is best to stick to the food spritz option!
What Are the Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar and Garlic?
There is a whole range of health benefits attributed to apple cider vinegar and garlic, both individually and in combination.
Combining them adds power to their anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, anti-fungal, disinfectant and antioxidant properties.
The main health benefits for pigeons are:
- Parasite Control – A couple of weekly doses of apple cider vinegar/garlic in your pigeon’s seeds can help to keep the threat of any nasty internal parasites at bay. If your birds are allowed to fly outside, then you never know what kind of things they might be picking up and eating along the way. Apple cider vinegar is an ingredient that can help to flush out anything sinister that might be thinking about making camp in your pigeon’s body. Garlic is a prebiotic that aids good gut health by encouraging good gut bacteria.
- Strengthened Immune System – Alongside the specific benefit of fighting against parasites, the apple cider vinegar/garlic combo also has the wider positive of being able to strengthen your pigeon’s immune system. The stronger they are and the healthier they are, the lesser the chances are of developing or catching common pigeon diseases.
- Improved Digestion – The chemical makeup of apple cider vinegar and garlic together can help to greatly improve the digestive powers of a pigeon. The solution will help to prevent different kinds of digestive disorders that might be caused by food not being digested properly. It can also be used to treat sour crop.
- Blood Circulation – Apple cider vinegar has also been proven to be a helping factor in improving the blood circulation of many birds, which in turn leads to a healthier overall body, increased energy and longer life. Garlic is said to aid the aid blood circulation due to it stimulating the production of nitric oxide which helps muscles to relax and blood vessels to dilate. A human study has reported that garlic extract reduced both systolic and diastolic blood pressure in hypertensive people so it might be assumed the same effects are felt by pigeons.
- Nutritional Value – The combination of apple cider vinegar and pure garlic extract is extremely rich in vitamins, minerals and various trace elements that all come together to improve the health and strength of your pigeon. Antioxidants in both ingredients fight free radicals that cause problems that range from minor ailments to accelerated ageing.
Even if you are rather skeptical, feeding a proprietary mix of apple cider vinegar and garlic to your pigeons is certainly not going to do them any harm and you might well see your birds benefit and get healthier.