How to worm chickens? Keeping chickens healthy and happy is essential for backyard poultry keepers. One important aspect of chicken care is managing internal parasites, such as worms. Worm infestations can cause various health issues in chickens, including poor growth, reduced egg production, and even death if left untreated.
In this blog, we will explore the importance of worming chickens and provide practical tips on how to effectively worm your feathered friends.
You may also want to read about the best chicken feed.
Understanding Worms in Chickens
There are several types of worms that can infest chickens, including roundworms, tapeworms, and cecal worms. These parasites can live in the digestive tract of chickens and feed on the nutrients meant for the birds, leading to malnutrition and other health problems. Chickens can become infected with worms through ingestion of contaminated food, water, or soil, or through contact with other infected birds.
Symptoms of worm infestation in chickens may include weight loss, poor growth, pale combs and wattles, decreased egg production, diarrhea, and general lethargy. Severe worm infestations can cause anemia, weakness, and even death in chickens, especially in young birds or those with weakened immune systems. Regular worming of chickens is essential to prevent and manage worm infestations and ensure the health and well-being of your flock.
Symptoms of Worms in Chickens
Symptoms of worm infestation in chickens can vary depending on the type and severity of the infection. Some common symptoms of worms in chickens include:
- Weight loss
- Reduced egg production
- Poor growth
- Poor feather quality
- Pale comb and wattles
- Difficulty breathing or gasping
How to Worm Chickens
How to Worm Chickens:
How to worm chickens? There are several methods to effectively worm chickens, and the choice of method may depend on the preference of the poultry keeper and the severity of the worm infestation. Here are some common methods for worming chickens:
- Commercial Wormers – There are various commercial worming products available in the market, including deworming pellets, powders, and liquids. These products typically contain specific medications, such as fenbendazole or ivermectin, that are effective against common chicken worms. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for dosages and administration methods, which may vary depending on the product and age/weight of your chickens.
- Herbal Remedies – Some poultry keepers prefer to use herbal or natural remedies for worming chickens. These remedies may include ingredients such as garlic, pumpkin seeds, or diatomaceous earth (DE). Garlic and pumpkin seeds are believed to have natural deworming properties, while DE is a fine powder made from fossilized remains of diatoms that can be fed to chickens to help control internal parasites. However, it’s important to note that scientific evidence on the effectiveness of herbal remedies for worming chickens is limited, and their use should be done with caution.
- Prescription Medications – In some cases, a veterinarian may prescribe prescription medications for worming chickens. These medications are typically stronger and may require a prescription from a licensed veterinarian. It’s important to follow the veterinarian’s instructions carefully and ensure that the withdrawal periods for the medication are observed before consuming eggs or meat from treated chickens.
- Pasture Management – Good pasture management practices can also help reduce the risk of worm infestations in chickens. Regularly rotating the grazing area, avoiding overcrowding, and keeping the coop and surrounding area clean can help minimize the exposure of chickens to worm eggs in the environment.
- Quarantine and Biosecurity – Introducing new chickens to your flock without proper quarantine measures can increase the risk of introducing worms and other parasites. Quarantining new birds for a minimum of two weeks and observing them for signs of illness or worm infestation can help prevent the spread of parasites to the rest of the flock. Additionally, practicing good biosecurity measures, such as keeping feed and water clean and avoiding contact with wild birds, can help reduce the risk of worm infestations in your flock.