You have previously mentioned putting cider vinegar in the water to keep down bacteria, but I’ve found that my galvanised drinkers are reacting to this. Is this harmful to the hens?John Lloyd, via email

It may be that you’re putting too much cider vinegar in the drinker. At the normal rate of 10ml per gallon, I wouldn’t expect this to react with the metal as the intention is to slightly acidify the water, not make it very acidic. We were always taught not to cook very acidic plants such as rhubarb or very acidic fruits in an aluminium pan as the acid does indeed react with the metal, and neither we nor your hens need to eat this! If in doubt, use a plastic drinker, there are many models to choose from ranging from 1 litre to 5 gallon ones. Isn’t it wonderful that we all seem to work in both metric and imperial? VR

Victoria Roberts BVSC MRCVSEmail the Vet’s forum at:

Disclaimer: The information and advice in this column is given in good faith. However, as the animals in question have not been examined by the author, no liability in respect of diagnosis or application of any treatments is accepted either by the author or by Country Smallholding


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