Apple Cider Vinegar

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Laurelm, Aug 28, 2009.

  1. Laurelm

    Laurelm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 14, 2009
    San Diego County
    Hi - I have been reading that some people add apple cider vinegar to their chicken water. Just wondering why? What does it do for them?

    Also should I worm my birds ( chickens, geese, ducks, & turkeys)? If so how often and what wormer do you recommend?

    Will worming them cause them to stop laying for a while?

    Appreciate your help! Thank you.
  2. Yoko

    Yoko Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 10, 2008
    I believe the apple cider vinegar helps with the digestive system and prevents diahrrea (or however you spell it xD) [​IMG]

    I dunno about worming though.. hope someone else knows [​IMG]

    -Yoko :3
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2009
  3. chickenzoo

    chickenzoo Emu Hugger

    ACV helps keep the acidic level up in the gut, helping to prevent worms living there. It can help with some worms but not with all. Worming is a debated topic. Many only worm if they see a problem. Some worm to prevent worms all together, or cut down on the population and chances of their birds getting infected. When using wormers, some types require you to wait 30 days for it to pass through their system before eating their eggs again. Others are safe to wait less than a week or so. It depends on the type of worm that the host has, as to what form of wormer needs to be used.
  4. threehorses

    threehorses Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 20, 2009
    Chickenzoo and Yoko have the ACV covered. I'd just add to use the organic unfiltered, not the usual kind, as it still contains the bacteria that made it and more 'good stuff'.

    ACV 'tunes up' the acidity of the gut to be friendly to beneficial bacteria, unfriendly to pathogenic bacteria as well as the harmful forms of yeast. If it's unfiltered, it still has a little pre-biotic in it - the bits that the good bacteria like to eat, and thus thrive and multiply.

    As for worming, I'm going to tell you my program and why I recommend it. It's one opinion among many. [​IMG]

    I personally am not a huge fan of 'chemicals', am more a fan of natural treatments. However, I am a pragmatist in that I realize that while I'd love to only use natural products, sometimes it's not the best method.

    I've tried a lot of things - just using food grade DE, just using chemical wormings - using neither. After years of experimenting I've found that the best method for me (and thus one I recommend is a combination.

    First, you have to understand a little bit about how to determine whether or not your flock has worms as we wouldn't worm if we didn't feel it was necessary.

    Many people rely on visual inspection of their flocks' droppings; if they don't see worms, they think "my flock hasn't worms". However, it's the nature of the parasite to stay inside the bird (where it is fed and safe) and spread by shedding ova instead of leaving on it's own. There are exceptions, the tapeworm being one - it sheds segments or sometimes leaves completely, each segment being infective.

    But it's in the parasite's best interests to stay IN the bird and never be seen in the droppings.

    When we find worms in the droppings, we can be relatively certain that at least that bird (and thus the flock) has a true moderate to heavy infestation.

    The most effective manner of determining whether or not our flock has worms is through a "fecal egg count" which can be done by a vet tech at your veterinary clinic. One takes fresh droppings to the vet and asks specifically for the "fecal egg count". The vet tech puts the feces in a special solution that makes the eggs float, topping the solution with a glass slide. The eggs will float to the top, the tech removing the slide and (after covering) examines in a microscope for eggs. From the number and type of eggs, the tech can generalize about the load and type of parasites within that bird. Doing that twice a year can *possibly* replace a worming program completely if the FEC's are negative.

    Alternately, one can worm several times a year with one product or another for worms. Many people do this and it's an effective way of keeping parasites down.

    Other people try to control worms with purely natural methods (which can be effective when combined with FEC's - but only when combined with FEC's).

    My method of handling parasite control is a hybrid method: worm initially with a narrow-spectrum but gentle wormer, follow up in a month with a stronger broad spectrum wormer, then worm twice annually with a broad spectrum wormer with natural methods inbetween to control parasite populations.

    The first worming my poultry get will always be Wazine 17 (piperazine 17% liquid solution). Wazine's method of action is to paralyze and expel adult parasites - mainly adult large roundworms in chickens. The adult large roundworm is one of the most prevalent worm in the barnyard.

    I also worm with Wazine 17 if the bird meets any of the following criterion:

    - The bird has not been wormed in over 6 months with a broad spectrum wormer (fenbendazole, ivermectin, levamisole, albendazole, eprinomectin, cydectin) or over 4 months with piperazine
    - The bird is thin or has diarrhea
    - The bird or the flock has shed any parasites in their droppings
    - The bird is under four months of age (then I only use piperazine unless instructed by a vet)
    - The bird has an unknown worming history

    Wazine is effective, but it's meant to be repeated as it doesn't kill larva or other species of worms. You'd think that would be a bad aspect, but if you don't know for certain the parasite load of the bird, starting with a broad-spectrum wormer can shock the bird's systems as all the dying parasites leave (adult and larva, sometimes even parasites in the lung and airways), or the worms clog the digestive tract. So I always use Wazine as my conservative yet effective first wormer.

    Then instead of repeating with Wazine (which would just kill more adult rounds) I follow up with a broad-spectrum wormer which allows me to kill what few adults survived the first Wazine treatment, as well as all over parasites killed by the broad-spectrum wormer. Instead of having to repeat this treatment over and over, I effectively temporarily halt the cycle of larva-to-adult transformation.

    Then I worm with the broad spectrum wormer twice annually (rather than more often as is traditionally done on worming schedules).

    In between wormings, I use natural methods in hopes of controlling the population of parasites available to be picked up by my chickens. The natural methods are NOT proven to expel or completely repel parasites. However practical experience has shown by many that they can play a vital role in reducing numbers. Some examples are:

    Diatomaceous earth (aka "DE") - food grade only - used at less than 2% of total food weight stirred well into the feed, or used under bedding, in the dirt, and in dust baths (always stirred in well). This ground up fossil is sharp edged and is said to nick and dehydrate parasites. The sharpness is why you use food grade, never pond or garden grade which is less finely ground.

    VermX - a self-proclaimed 'worm repellent' made mostly of herbal ingredients. It's to be used 3 consecutive days every month. There is as of yet no studies showing its effectiveness; studies are pending in the US. It's not designed to treat an infestation or illness.

    Cayenne pepper and other seeds, etc - Cayenne pepper used daily in the feed has had people claiming reduction in parasite loads. Some people swear by ground pumpkin seeds. Again - if there's any chance of an infestation, I still want to remove the infestation and THEN use these natural methods in between to hopefully help prevent further infestations.

    Apple Cider vinegar - used occassionally in the water at a rate of 1 tablespoon per gallon of water, organic acv helps keep the digestive tract healthier, which helps reduce negative effects by parasites.

    Why worm at all? Because parasites often cling to the digestive tract (or airways), causing inflammation. People think it's the parasites 'eating' the birds' feed that makes the bird lose nutrients. However, more often it's the inflammation of the intestinal lining that causes a loss of nutrients as this makes it less likely that nutrients will pass through the intestinal lining to the blood supply. As with anything, chronic inflammation leads to lowered immune systems, greater susceptibility to disease and infection, and greater susceptibility to neoplasias and cancers. Every place where a parasite attaches to the digestive tract will later become scar tissue - and nutrients don't pass through scar tissue.

    Broad spectrum wormers: my favorite two broad spectrum wormers are fenbendazole (SafeGuard brand cattle/horse/livestock paste 10%, or SafeGuard brand liquid goat wormer 10%) or 5% pour-on ivermectin cattle wormer (generic is fine and way less expensive than ivomec brand).

    Fenbendazole and ivermectin both get a good number of larvae and adults of many species of worms. Ivermectin also will kill external parasites such as blood-taking mites and lice. Fenbendazole does not, but may have action against some tapeworms which ivermectin does not. That's why I feel rotation is a good bet with these two medicines.

    Hygeine and environment are also your best-friends when it comes to keeping parasites at managable levels. First of all, when considering how to reduce parasites, think "dry". Dry bedding and dry footing are more unfriendly to parasites, their ova, and bacteria. When setting up my poultry areas, I always choose compressed/dried horse-stall type pine (only) shavings over hay/straw. Choose course and draining sand over top soil or clay. Also, positioning your chicken run so that sunshine hits it for an hour a day at least (but so your chickens have plenty of access to shade and cool) also helps to dry the grounds, disallowing parasites, ova, and bacteria from being able to survive as long.

    Also, keeping feeders where the feed won't spill onto dirt helps. Keeping babies off of adult grounds until they're at least four months old help the younger, more vulnerable birds from being taken down by parasites.

    Reduce the opportunity for the parasites and their ova to survive or become ripe for infection outside of the bird, and you reduce the number of parasites your bird will take up yearly.

    I hope my methods (and reasoning) will help you to find a parasite elimination process for your own flock. Please let me know if you ever have any questions and I'll be glad to help.
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2009
    1 person likes this.
  5. hoppychicken

    hoppychicken Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 16, 2009
    Wow Threehorses---that was a really good post. ThaNKS!
  6. 2468Chickensrgr8

    2468Chickensrgr8 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 7, 2007
    Thank you very much [​IMG]
  7. Nostalchic

    Nostalchic Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nathalie, thanks so much for that detailed and thoughtful post. I have not used ivermectin or fenbendazole in chickens, only in horses (and ivermectin for heartworm, etc, in dogs) but how do you dose it in chickens?
  8. threehorses

    threehorses Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 20, 2009
    Quote:Well thanks, everyone. I'm just glad to help.

    OK, for poultry prewormed before with Wazine, you do as follows:


    A helpful article with a bit on gapeworm and fenbendazole:

    dosage recommendation is a liquid mixed with water and then mixed into feed. We'll break down the dosage, but here's the text:


    The following treatments have been shown to be effective for eliminating internal parasites from poultry and game birds. Neither of these drugs (fenbendazole or leviamisole) has been approved for use by FDA, so the producer accepts all responsibility for their use. Both drugs have been very effective if used properly and will eliminate most types of internal parasites that affect birds. Caution: Do not use with birds producing eggs or meat destined for human consumption.

    Fenbendazole Treatments

    One-day Treatment

    1 oz Safeguard or Panacur per 15-20 lb feed

    Dissolve the fenbendazole product in one cup of water. Mix this solution well into the feed and give to the birds as their only feed source for one day. When completely consumed, untreated feed can be given. Be sure that the commercial medication contains 10% fenbendazole.

    Safeguard is a product of Ralston Purina, and Panacur is a product marketed by American Hoechst. One ounce of medication will treat about 1000 10-oz bobwhite quail. Adjustments of the amounts of medication and feed needed may be necessary depending on the number and size of the birds...."
    "Fenbendazole has been shown to be a very effective treatment for eliminating Capillaria (capillary worms), Heterakis (cecal worms), Ascaridia (roundworms), and Syngamus spp. (gapeworms). Toxicity from overdosing with fenbendazole is very remote. Research indicates that amounts up to 100 times the recommended dosages have been given under research conditions without adverse effects to the birds. Use of this product during molt, however, may cause deformity of the emerging feathers."

    Nathalie's input:
    OK, now - let's work this out as they have it dosed.

    One ounce = 30cc'*s = recommended treatment for 20 lbs of feed.

    divide that all by 10
    1/10th ounce = 3 cc's = treatment for 2 pounds of feed.

    *Actually it's 29.5735296 cc's but I rounded up.

    So get a syringe and measure out 3 cc's of SafeGuard liquid for goats. It's 10%.(** see below.) Mix that in about 1/8th of a cup of water. Mix with the crumbles and let it set for about 10 minutes til it absorbs. Feed as their only source of feed for the day, and replace regular crumbles when all of that food is gone.

    Make sure all babies get a good bit of it. Note that they're growing feathers, and so their feathers won't be effected.

    ** Here's an example of a bottle:

    1 BB-sized piece directly into the beak of the bird.

    1 BB sized-piece directly into the beak of the bird.


    1 drop = 'micro' bantam sized bantams, small bantam hens
    2 drops = bantam hens, small bantam roosters
    3 drops = large bantams, small commercial large fowl
    4 drops = the average commercial fowl
    5 drops = larger commercial fowl, small 'giant breed' hens
    6 drops = giant breed chickens.
    7 drops = especially large chickens, small turkey hens

    Drop the drops onto a naked bit of skin near the main body (not on the comb). I like to do it on the lower part of the back of the neck as there is less fluff there. Fluff will interfere with absorbtion so be sure to push it all back with your fingers.

    For the above dosage, I use a 3 cc hypodermic syringe with a regular 25 gauge needle. Note - you do NOT inject. I simply use this type of needle as it's easier for me to make regular sized controllable drops than with an eyedropper. I point the needle away from the bird and myself so that if she jumps neither of us is hit by the needle. Wear gloves - this will soak into your skin very quickly (I can personally attest).

    If you get an extra drop, to not fret. Ivermectin has a very very high safety margin. You'll be more likely to see signs of drunkenness or ataxia, not death, if you overdose slightly.

    I really do recommend looking for the smaller (250ml) bottles of generic ivermectin. I am not even certain that Ivomec makes that size any more (as it wasn't cost effective for them), but it's still available through a number of generic manufacturers and is a fine product. My last purchase was Aspen brand and 250ml (which will worm more chickens than I will probably have in my entire life) for $14.00.

    For most wormers, withdrawal is 14 days.
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2009
  9. Laurelm

    Laurelm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 14, 2009
    San Diego County
    Wow - thank you so much for taking the time to share your wealth of information with me & everyone who is lucky enough to run across this thread ( is that the right term?).

    I am going to reread and decide what I need or want to so with my birds. I worm my horses, cattle and goats. I just have never thought about worming chickens!

    If I pick up some ACV from whole foods or hernys how much and how often should I give it to them? Right now it is so hot out here - 108 today - that I am putting electrolites and vitamins in their water. I am also feeding them cold watermelon and grapes. They are so happy to see me when I have big watermelon in my arms!

    Thanks again everyone especialy threehorses!
  10. threehorses

    threehorses Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 20, 2009
    Quote:I like a 1 teaspoon per gallon of water dose. For treatment, I like about 1 tablespoon per gallon.

    Oh I'd be happy to see you with a nice watermelon at 108 degrees, too! Phew!

    I'm glad the information helps. Worming poultry really is easier if you have goats and horses, cattle, etc. A lot of the products cross over - like the goat spray is awesome for treating the wood of a coop for mites (permethrin spray), the safeguard really goes everywhere - it's "panacur" for dogs and cats - just different name, probably a different strength. It's really easier once you know which products cross-treat. [​IMG]

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