Chickens are no different from mammals and birds. They get worms— internal parasite worms that can end up in their digestive tract and damage their health. These worms do not allow chickens to fully metabolize and digest their food causing them to remain skinny and lose vitality despite having a normal diet.
Having this infestation is inevitable despite hustling preventive measures against these beasts. Thus, possessing the know-how on worming chickens is part of the essentials on raising them.
It is the best practice in worming chickens for it to be done when the weather is about to get hot—in spring and fall. It is important to treat the whole flock if one of a few of the chickens are infested. There are natural and medicinal dewormers, administration of each dewormer varies. Other dewormers may be added to the feed or the water, while some may be provided intravenously. Some are also topical.
Here is a brief list of both natural and medicinal cures that are proven to get rid of these unpleasant worms, keeping the chicken healthy and clucking in no time.
- Apple Cider Vinegar
- Diatomaceous Earth
- Pumpkin seeds
- Yogurt or Raw Milk
- Wormout Gel
- VetRx Poultry Aid
- Verm-X Herbal Liquid
- Wazine Chicken Wormer
- Duvet Strike III
- Rooster Booster Wormer
- Valbazen Drench
If a treatment method does not work, waiting for a few days before trying a new one is advisable. Mixing treatment methods in worming chickens is also discouraged as it will lessen the effectiveness.
Note: Natural remedies are mostly always chosen over products found in stores. They are all-natural, easy to find, and safe.
Natural Dewormers and their administration
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple Cider Vinegar is a gift from nature and to the chickens as well—packed with great benefits from vitamins to minerals. Adding it to the chicken’s water is helpful for prevention and cure as it acts as a mild antiseptic and antibiotic, thanks to its acidic properties that kill bacteria and germs, eventually deterring worms from the chicken’s system.
Feeding chickens every day with diatomaceous is an excellent way in worming chickens as it eradicates worms inside the chicken’s stomach and bowels. It is natural, harmless, and friendly that offers no risk to one’s family, and any other pets surrounding these birds.
Garlic or Allium sativum is an excellent natural treatment for worms and insect repellant as well. Placing crushed garlic pieces in the chicken’s waterer shall kill these pests in a week’s time. Note that it should only be used in moderation. Further, feeding garlic directly to the chickens is not advisable, as it results in its eggs possessing on a garlic flavor.
Adding psyllium to the deworming treatment, mash adds extra roughage to the treatment. It is a bulk-forming agent, also used in birds, which enhances the elimination of substances and worms from the gastrointestinal tract.
It is a popular folk remedy for preventing and worming chickens. Coated with natural phytochemical called cucurbitacin, it is effective in making worms release their hold on the membranes of the digestive system. Its high levels of vitamins A and C are also known for its preventive properties against these parasites. Basically, pumpkin seeds are a present for chickens not only as treats but as medicines.
Yogurt or Raw Milk
Adding yogurt and raw milk to the deworming regimen is also one popular treatment against worms. It is packed with probiotics that strengthen and replenish the good natural bacteria of the chicken’s gut.
The leaves, blossoms, and seeds of the nasturtium act as a natural dewormer, laying stimulant, antiseptic, and antibiotic, making it a great addition in any garden. Worming chickens is made easier with this plant.
Though it has stinging properties when handled, it is known as a great preventive and cure for worms. It can be either dried, boiled, or steeped. As soon as the mixture is cooled, adding them to the chicken’s laying mash shall make the parasites soon bid goodbye.
Medicinal Dewormers and their administration
There are times when none of the natural remedies work in worming chickens. There is nothing to fret because the industry offers medications scientifically-tested and proven effective by professionals. Of course, not one medicine will kill all types of worms, and identifying the type of worm to deal with is the first step before looking for the right cure.
Observing symptoms or physically seeing the worm in the chicken’s droppings is essential. A fecal sample test run by a vet is also recommended or, if not, a home test kit. Veterinarians will immediately prescribe medicines based on the worm to be dealt with. For most, they can be accessed at homes and stores.
This water-soluble dewormer is used in water or given directly to the chicken through crop needles. It kills intestinal worms, specifically threadworms, tapeworms, roundworms, caecal worms, and hookworms. It is completely safe and proven effective by users.
VetRx Poultry Aid
Providing effective relief for all poultry, VetRx is a treatment for favus eye worm. Putting a drop in each eye and one in the mouth twice a day leads to the chicken’s recovery in less than a week.
Not only does it kill worms, but it also relieves respiratory disease, chronic respiratory disease (CRD), croup, scaly leg mites, and ear canker. Making this medicine a part of the chicken’s first aid kit and regular poultry health maintenance schedule is commendable.
Verm-X Herbal Liquid
Also available in pellet forms, Verm-X is a herbal product that provides internal parasite control. It eradicates worm burdens gently, by reducing the stripping of the gut wall, unlike other deworming treatments. This drinking formulation may be added to drinking water by adding 1.5 mL to approximately 50 mL per chicken. It can also be soaked in bread and fed directly.
Ivermectin is used for both oral or topical treatment. It treats roundworms, threadworms, tapeworms, and many other external parasites. For Ivermectin pour-on, it is applied to the back of the chicken’s neck—1 drop for tiny chickens, three drops for bantams, 4 for lightweight ones, 5 for large chickens, and 6 for heavy breeds. Repeat this practice for a span of 14 days, and soon enough, the chickens are worm-free.
Wazine Chicken Wormer
Effective for large roundworms, it is used for drinking water. Unfortunately, this is not ideal for use in chickens producing eggs for human consumption.
Duvet Strike III
This product is effective for curing most types of poultry worms like roundworms, hairworms, heterakis worms, caecal worms, gapeworms, and others. One pound of Duvet Strike III should be added to 50 pounds of feed. Though some users see results in a couple of days after worming chickens, it depends on how severe the infestation is.
Rooster Booster Wormer
This kills roundworms, caecal worms, and capillary worms. By adding one scoop per pound of feed, one can see the chicken’s health improvement immediately.
This treatment specifically gets rid of common poultry worms. It can be administered individually or to a group. For individual treatment, one-half cc/mL for a regular-sized chicken and one-quarter cc/mL should be squirted down the bird’s throats through an oral syringe. Soaking a small piece of bread to the same dosage and then feeding this to a group is another option.
How to detect worm infestation in chickens?
Any kind of poultry worm can affect the chicken’s health, and it is one of the most common health problems for them. However, there are plenty of signs that will tell if the chook is infected by these crawling pests.
- Consumption of food is increased.
Though chickens with worms eat more, they certainly lose weight, which is easy to detect. This is because of the worms living in their gut and eating the food that they intake. For wanting to compensate for such losses, these poor chickens eat more, unknowingly making these worms multiply.
- Weight loss
This is the most common obvious sign. As worms in their stomach live to survive, they feed unto the chicken’s intake just like any parasites, making the food that these poor chickens eat to benefit their health no more.
Bubbly and smelly chicken droppings are mostly always a sign of a worm-infested chicken. It is important always to keep an eye for their manure as they tell many signs.
- Pale egg yolks
Aside from the chicken’s body showing symptoms, their pale egg yolks are also a telltale sign that the chicken is suffering from poultry worms.
- Chicken manure infested with worms
Though it is not an easy job to check for their manure, it is advisable to look out for worms in them. They are tricky to spot, but they appear to look like little white hairs wiggling in the chicken’s feces in the naked eye.
How to prevent worms?
Preventing worms is easier than curing them, that is a fact. This is not done only once or twice, but it should be practiced regularly, and it needs an immense amount of effort. Regardless of this, all work is assured to pay off as the chickens are sure to be free from these crawling parasites.
Here are three ways to help prevent worm infestation:
- Regularly mowed lawn
To put an end to these pests, a freshly mowed lawn is one of the answers. It exposes these worms to the strong UV rays, ultimately killing them, keeping the chickens healthy and worm-free.
- Bigger space for chickens
Overcrowding means a larger percentage of germs in a small area. Not only are chooks comfortable with a big space, but it also pays well for their health.
- Regular cleaning of coops
Just like any other animals, their shelter needs to be cleaned regularly. It reduces germs and infestation and provides a healthier home for them. Further, adding fresh bedding prevents infected droppings from accumulating. Also remember to Prepare Your Chicken Coop For Winter