There is a reason why lemonade is so popular in hot weather. Although poultry may not appreciate the tart taste like people do, there are benefits that
both people and chickens can get from this refreshing drink. Unfortunately citrus is widely touted as being bad for poultry. This is another one of those things that has no root
in truth when it comes to lemons, limes and grapefruit.
Adding acid to gut would need alkaline to be balanced, so typically the body reaches for calcium. You read a lot about not feeding ACV during summer or
feeding citrus will cause soft shells. Feeding citrus, it is stated, will add acid to the gut which might acerbate acidosis or leach calcium used for egg shell making.
On the surface, that logic seems correct. Most acids remain acid in the gut. However, with weak acids, such as acetic or citric/ascorbic acids, the nature
of the hydrogen being organic in nature cannot free itself into solution to remain acidic. It then is rendered more alkaline not acid. Alkaline is good! Neither the citrus
I have listed, nor ACV, should interfere with the calcium in the body. The Vitamin C in lemons is vital for the immune system that gets weakened during heat stress..
Finally citrus fruits contain the necessary calcium, magnesium and potassium for electrolyte replenishment. All you have to do is add a little salt!
1-2 fresh lemon, or 2 tablespoons lemon concentrate
1 pinch of sea salt (optional for electrolyte)
1 gallon of water
Squeeze lemon into water if using a fresh lemon. It may take 1 large lemon or 2 small to equal 2 tablespoons of juice. Serve fresh. Add a pinch of sea salt if you would like
to make this an electrolyte solution.
Use as needed in the drinking water to help manage heat stress in your flock. It will also aid the immune system and balance PH in the gut.