Can parrots drink apple cider vinegar

Apple Cider Vinegar For Parrots: Benefits And Uses

Apple cider vinegar is made from three simple ingredients – apples, water, and yeast, making it safe for parrots to consume.

The juice of apples is mixed with water and yeast and allowed to ferment, turning the sugars in the apples into alcohol. 

Then, it is fermented for a second time by adding bacteria to convert the alcohol into acetic acid, which gives the vinegar.

Apple cider vinegar can be used for both consumption and topical application in parrots – provided that you follow the right directions for use and know the correct dosages. 

Its antimicrobial and antioxidant properties have also made it an effective home remedy for itchy skin and bacterial infections in parrots. 

Apple cider vinegar is also effective in preventing various health issues and controlling external parasites.

Is Apple Cider Vinegar Good for Parrots?

Apple cider vinegar benefits parrots in many ways, but it is crucial to follow the correct dosages and methods to ensure it’s safe for them. It is on the acidic side with a pH of 3.1 to 5, so it must be given to them in diluted form. 

ACV is also a commonly used home remedy for parrots. According to Avian Medicine, Apple Cider Vinegar can be used as a nutriceutical for various digestive disorders and metabolic conditions in pet birds.

For the best results, choose raw, organic, and unrefined ACV for your parrot. Organic ACV is free from pesticides and harmful chemicals.

The raw product is also important as pasteurization can kill off the living enzymes present in ACV, which are beneficial for your parrot’s health.

The raw ACV contains what is known as the “mother.” This is a gelatinous layer formed by acetic acid bacteria and can typically be seen at the bottom of the bottle, giving the ACV a cloudy appearance. 

The presence of the mother means that the product is less processed and retains more of its natural nutrients, making it a better choice for your parrot.

Benefits Of Apple Cider Vinegar For Parrots

There are numerous benefits of apple cider vinegar for parrots beyond its reputation as a natural remedy. Parrot owners often use it for topical application, to treat skin and feather problems, but it can also do wonders for the parrot’s immune system. 

Is apple cider vinegar safe for parrots

Nutritional Benefits 

As mentioned in this article by Healthline, apple cider vinegar does not contain many vitamins and minerals except for potassium.

However, the amino acids and antioxidants present in apple cider vinegar can be good for the parrot’s immune health. It can help kill harmful bacteria and promote gut flora.

Relieves Itching

Diluted ACV can be applied to the parrot’s skin to provide relief from itching. It acts on skin irritants and reduces inflammation.

If your parrot seems to be itching or over-preening, apple cider vinegar can help soothe its skin. Also, the sour taste of it discourages parrots from over-preen or chewing on their feathers. 

Occasional apple cider vinegar baths also help to enhance the feather quality of your parrot. It can restore the feather’s natural vibrance and make them look luscious.

However, ACV may not be suitable for your parrot if you live in a dry region. It may not work as a moisturizer for your parrot if its skin is dry. 

External parasites (mites, lice, and fleas)

Mites and other ectoparasites are microscopic creatures and can find their way to any home no matter how clean the household is. 

Parrots can get infected by external parasites by other means as well, like contact with infected birds.

Apple cider vinegar can act as an excellent deterrent for these parasites. You can disinfect your parrot’s cage and spray diluted ACV occasionally on them to significantly reduce their chances of catching these parasites. 

In certain cases, it is also recommended by avian vets for the treatment of lice on parrots and other parasites. 

But it must be noted that ACV is not a cure-all for infections or parasites. It may help with mild cases and provide temporary relief but it is not a solution to medical problems. 

Skin and feather problems can be a serious health concern in birds and must be diagnosed by an avian vet for appropriate treatment. 

Crop Infections

Apple cider vinegar is sometimes used to treat sour crop in poultry as well as pet birds. 

Its efficacy has been noted in treating digestive problems too, but it is not recommended that you solely rely on home treatment. 

A crop infection can be caused by different types of viruses and proper diagnosis is required for its treatment. 

Side Effects of Apple Cider Vinegar For Parrots

In most cases, ACV won’t cause negative side effects in parrots. However, giving the incorrect dosage or undiluted could potentially cause problems for some parrots.


Due to its acidic nature, apple cider vinegar can cause GI upset in parrots if given in excess. Parrots have sensitive stomachs and should only be given ACV after properly diluting it in water. 

These reactions should subside within a day and you should consult your avian vet before giving apple cider vinegar to your parrot the next time. 

Electrolyte Imbalance

ACV is very high in potassium. Its nutritional profile for every 100 grams contains approximately 73 mg of potassium and only 5 mg of sodium.

Due to its high potassium content, it is not advisable to regularly give it to parrots to drink. Excessive potassium intake can lead to electrolyte imbalances and even dehydration in parrots.

Calcium Deficiency

Excessive consumption of apple cider vinegar can affect the normal absorption of calcium in the parrot’s body leading to a deficiency in this mineral. This is why it is crucial to only use it in moderation. 

GI Problems

When given in the right dosage and properly diluted, ACV should not create any problems for parrots. However, the tolerance to its acidic levels can be different in small and larger parrots.

If the diluted solution is still too strong for your parrot, it may cause severe irritation and even burning in the bird’s esophagus and crop. Furthermore, it may also lead to stomach issues and inflammation of the digestive tract. 

Can Parrots Drink Apple Cider Vinegar?

Parrots can safely drink ACV that is well diluted. They should never be fed raw, undiluted vinegar as that might irritate their crop and even impact the mucous membrane in the mouth. 

You can serve it to your parrots by adding it to their normal drinking water. Now, if you see that your parrot is not drinking the water, it could be the pungent smell and strong taste that is repelling it. 

At that point, you should dilute it a little more. As a general rule, use one teaspoon in for 8 ounces of water.  

How Much Apple Cider Vinegar Should I Give To My Parrot?

Although ACV is beneficial for your parrot’s health, it should be given in moderation, ideally not more than once a week.

The dosage may vary depending on the size of the bird, but generally ½ a tsp of apple cider diluted in 4 ounces of water may be fine for most parrots.  

Some birds may not react well to their acidic levels and should avoid further consumption.

If you feel your parrot does not tolerate apple cider vinegar well, you should consult a vet to understand if it suits your bird. 

These are size-appropriate dosages for different parrots: 

Small parrots (budgies, conures, lovebirds, parrotlets): 1/2 tsp per 4 oz of water 

Lager parrots(Macaws, African greys, cockatoos): 1 tsp per 4 oz of water

Remember, apple cider vinegar can be used as a preventative measure but it is not an alternative for medicine. If you suspect your parrot has an illness, do consult an avian veterinarian. 

Can You Use Apple Cider Vinegar To Disinfect Your Parrot’s Cage?

Apple cider vinegar’s potency in killing harmful germs makes it an effective cleaner for your parrot’s cage and accessories. It can also help prevent mites from infesting your parrot’s surroundings and improve overall hygiene.

To clean your parrot’s cage, in a spray bottle, mix one part vinegar with two parts water. You can adjust the concentration of vinegar based on your requirements. 

For example, if the cage has old stains that do not come off easily you may have to mix equal parts water and vinegar. But for regular cleaning, a normal solution will work just fine.

Be careful not to use this solution on materials like couches or clothes, as it might damage them.

Use a scrub brush or sponge to clean small toys and accessories in the cage. Once the cage is cleaned, keep it under direct sunlight which can help get rid of micro bacteria.

Dorson Joseph
Dorson Joseph

I'm Dorson, a bird enthusiast who's had a lifelong fascination for the avian world. I am a parent to my beloved Senegal parrot and budgie, which has deepened my love for avian creatures and taught me a lot over the years. I co-run a bird store and care center with my friends, where we work with experienced professionals to care for our flock. Now, I find great joy in sharing my knowledge with others, hoping to assist fellow bird keepers and enthusiasts in understanding birds and helping them live happy lives.

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