Best Dewormer for Heavily Infested Chickens?


May 21, 2015
Hello-- I have used this form as a searchable resource for many years, but this is my first time posting.

I have had chickens for 4 years and have never dewormed them; they have never seemed sick and I had never seen a worm or signs of them until this week.

Two weeks ago I found a 1 yo hen with vent prolapse-- she was not egg bound and was in such bad shape we immediately euthanized her. I did not perform a necropsy. This week another 1 yo chicken developed a milder prolapse. I tried to help her with suggestions found here, but she worsened until I felt there was nothing more to be done. I did examine her after we put her down and found that her intestines (I think the ceca? but I really am not sure) were full of very hard poop and hair-thin worms. Obviously, I feel awful for letting things reach this point.

Does it matter wrt treatment whether these were hair worms or cecal worms?

The consensus here seems to be that Valbazen is the best pharmaceutical dewormer w heavily infested birds. I should dose once and then again after 10 days? Do I need to dispose of the eggs during this time?

My preference would be to use only garlic or cayenne (which I plan to do for maintenance after treatment) but am I right is assuming that given the level of infestation I need to use Valbazen at least initially?

We have many broody hens w young chicks at this time-- can I start them w garlic water and ACV? I assume they are too young for Valbazen?

Thank you all very much!
Welcome to BYC. Sorry for your losses. Forget the garlic water and ACV and use the valbazen. Dosage is 1/2cc given orally undiluted to each chicken, repeat again in 10 days. Dose your broody hens as well. When your chicks reach 6 weeks old, give them 1/4cc valbazen orally and redose them in 10 days. Toss eggs 14 days after the last dosing.
It would be best to worm your birds in the morning prior to feeding.
Thank you! Do I actually need to dose each individual chicken (oh my! We have about 60)? Can I put it in their water?
Thank you! Do I actually need to dose each individual chicken (oh my! We have about 60)? Can I put it in their water?

Putting a wormer in water has its problems. You dont know if a bird drank the treated water, or if the bird drank enough of the treated water to be effective. Birds drink less water in cooler temps. Sick birds dont drink at all. Finally, diluting the wormer makes it less effective.
There's nothing saying that you have to worm all your birds in one day. You can worm them over a period of several days; 20 the first day, 20 the 2nd day, the final 20 the 3rd day. Or, 30 one one day, 30 the next...however you see fit, just as long as they all get wormed. You can do it by breed; RIR's, BR's, EE's the first day, Sex Links the second day, others the third day. If they are all one breed; use a black magic marker and mark the comb once you've worm each bird. Then the next day, the unmarked birds will easily be identifiable and will need worming...easy peasy.
From start to finish, there's a 24 day withdrawal.
Marking with a marker is a great idea!

We processed roosters this weekend and I checked all their intestines-- they had the same parasites, but not as severely. I assume they are cecal worms as the ceca are the only place where I found any evidence of them.

I appreciate the advice, thank you for your prompt replies.

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