deworm or not to deworm?

CanadaEh

Songster
May 31, 2018
304
530
176
Canada
Have been raising chickens for 3 years and never have felt a need to deworm any of them. About 2 months ago we hatched 30 new ones, which are about 7 weeks old now and one of the chicks showing what I believe a sign of worms in a form of droopy wings and not gaining weight at the same pace as the others. She's not lethargic, just weak in the wings (can't jump high) and undersized, but otherwise running around with others after treats. I believe it was last hatched/weaker chick to begin with. Additionally compared to all previous hatches, this hatch was raised on non-medicated crumble because the store did have the usual medicated one if it matters.

This is going on for about a week now. Can it clear by itself? What would be consequences of doing nothing? Is she breeding and shedding worms (if this is worms) that will make others seek or are they strong/resistant enough to keep their worms at bay? Those 30 new ones share deep litter run together with 17 1-year old layers + rooster. Is deworming only needed in climates with no harsh winters? If I start to deworm should I treat only the symptomatic bird(s) or whole flock? If I start to deworm all of them would it lower natural worm resistance of the flock and would need to be repeated over and over? Thank you
 

Morrigan

Free Ranging
Apr 9, 2014
2,996
11,930
642
N. California
One of the pieces of advice I've gotten from this forum over this years is that if only one of your chickens is experiencing a health issue, it is most likely an individual issue. If several chickens are having the problem, it is a flock issue.

So, if you have a worm load issue in your environment, I would expect more than one chicken to be effected. That leads me to think that this one chick has some other problem that causing it to be unthrifty. If it were me, I would not deworm the whole group. I would give the chick a little nutridrench and see how it grows. Some runty chicks turn out just fine as they mature. I had one like that.

I will add that I'm not big on routine deworming or deworming based on guesswork. I don't think one dose would lower your flocks immunity, but if there are worms in your environment, they are not going to go away permanently based on one round of treatments. Thus, if you have chickens that tend to develop worm overload issues, you are looking at regular deworming treatments. Some people choose to do regular deworming and are successful and happy with that. But, for me, it's only a path I would take as a last resort.
 

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