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Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Holly A, Jun 23, 2017.
Anybody have a suggestion for a dewormer that will allow me to continue to use the eggs produced?
Hi @Holly A
Are you seeing worms in the poop or have you had confirmation of worms through a fecal float test?
Your question is a tough one to answer. De-worming methods have been heatedly debated here on BYC and the web.
If you have confirmation of worms or are seeing active worms in your poop, then it may be best to use a dewormer like Fenbendazole (Safeguard, Panacur) or Valbazen (or product recommended by your vet). These do have egg throw away periods.
Natural deworming is debatable - which I will not get into. You will need to do some research/reading and determine what is best for you and your situation. If you are aiming for "prevention" and do not see active worms or your chickens are not sick from worms, then by all means give it a try.
Here's some links to get you started:
"Natural" worming strategies:
Thank you for responding. I have not seen any worms in my chickens' poop but of course if they are microscopic I wouldn't. I'm planning to worm because so many people have advised a six month preventative worming. I am not interested in "natural" methods as I am a kind of scientific person and while I feel home remedies can be beneficial in some cases I prefer a more proven approach. What precipitated the current urgency is that one of my hens had been sleeping on the floor of the coop instead of on the roost for about two weeks. Then I had them all out in the yard with me while I was thinning peaches and 4 or 5 of them attacked another one. I'm sure they would have killed her if I hadn't intervened. (I'm pretty sure the attackee is the one that had been sleeping on the floor as they have all been on the roost at bed check since the attack.) I put her in a dog crate in the garage and started watching her. She appeared to have a bit of of limp and was maybe off balance a very little bit. She has now been in the crate for 12 days. I have had her out in the yard every day for some sunshine and exercise and she pecks, scratches, searches around, does all the normal chicken stuff. Yesterday she went over by the chicken run to visit and one of the others reached through the fence and pecked her just above her beak. Drew a smidgen of blood. Then I realized that her comb is much smaller than it used to be and her head is not growing back any feathers. Today I did some more comparing and her comb and wattles are much more shrunken and pale than I had picked up on. (The others are all bright red and healthy looking--as hers used to be.) Also, it seems that her breastbone is a little more prominent than the other chickens although none of them are what you would call fat. They are all two years old and have been together since I got them as peeps. I started them all on Poultry Cell in the water the day of the attack but something else is going on. They went into the expected molt last fall but don't really seem to be coming out of it. They will look ratty and then get their feathers and look perfectly normal and then one or another will start to molt again. Other wise they seem fine . I am feeding 16% Nature Wise crumble (although I fed 18% through the main molt) which they are gobbling up normally but I am only getting a couple of eggs per day compared to an average of 6 or 7 before the molt. I know this is a long note but if you can help I would really appreciate it.
This hen that had been sleeping on the floor - I'm sure you checked her feet to make sure she has no swelling/cuts/scabs on the toes and bottom of the feet(?)
Had she stopped laying eggs? Do you feel any bloat/swelling of the abdomen?
Going through a molt, the comb and wattles can become more pale and shrink in size because they are going out of lay. But it sounds like more is going on.
If your others are looking like they molt, then get feathers in, then molt again, that would be a abnormal.
Some things that can cause ratty feathers, then new growth would be feather picking. This can be due to not enough space, nutrition and sometimes lice/mites.
Check them over for any lice/mites and treat with permethrin if you find any.
Do they free range? Any chance they can get into anything rotten or moldy?
Your sick hen, since she has been removed from the flock, is now viewed as a "new bird". When she recovers she will need to be integrated - you can try a see-but-don't-touch method.
First you need to try to get her back in shape. The poultry vitamins are a good idea. Worming probably won't hurt either, but having a fecal float to rule them out is usually the best way to go. No need to treat if worms are not her problem. Try upping her protein intake by offering some egg or tuna in addition to her normal feed.
I don't know if the ailing hen had quit laying before I had to separate her but as I said my egg production was way down so could very well be. She hasn't laid anything since she is alone but I expected that due to stress and trauma. I did check her feet (a friend suggested the possibility of bumble foot) and they look fine. Her butt was a little icky looking so I soaked her in a warm tub of water and cleaned her up and that still looks good. Her abdomen feels fine to me. As for the flock, they are not free range but I do let them out into the yard from time to time to forage, etc. I stay out there with them to keep an eye out for predators (we live way out in the sticks) so have a pretty good idea of where they are and what they are into. The run is 12' x 30' for nine (now eight) chickens which seems like it should be plenty. I keep their food in a metal garbage can and it is always dry when I fill the feeder. When they are in the yard they are searching the grass for bugs or eating my landscaping (which I now fence off when they are loose--protective custody for the plants), or dust bathing. They have made wallows to dust bathe in inside the run.
My plan now is to re-inspect for mites and lice. I looked a couple of them over last week and didn't see anything but have done some more research and will look closer and treat for that. At least one has a featherless area around her vent. I'll call my vet and see if they do fecal checks. If my small animal place doesn't I can check with my horse vet.
Thanks again for your help. Will let you know how it goes.
Welcome to BYC, and thanks for taking the time to post those posts. Can you post some pictures of her poop?