Deworming Chickens?Why, How, and When?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by turtleguy, Nov 5, 2013.

  1. turtleguy

    turtleguy Out Of The Brooder

    17
    0
    24
    Jul 20, 2013
    Georgia
    So I got my small flock of chickens(I had four initially and two passed away) last summer, and being naive to farm life in general, I was wondering about deworming, I never hear much on this process. Except for 'apple cider vinegar in the water' and I do this every month (approx), but I wish to go deeper into the subject.
    I've heard of parasites in cattle, horse etc. and the dangers they pose to humans when we come in contact with the infected animals and eat poorly cooked meats. So far I've been told that you need only worm your chickens if the have symptoms, but for cattle, don't you do it on a strict regular basis? So, how often do you deworm poultry, what do you use, how do you do it and, why would this be such and important process with chickens in particular? What I mean is, If your chickens are healthy, why would deworming be necessary, especially if I won't eat the meat?

    FYI, this is not an emergency, my chickens have always been healthy, one (RIR) died at 4 days old, and that was not my fault, the other (BR) died at 4 weeks old due to a hawk attack. I would simply like to be informed on the subject.

    Thanks in advance. Tips and tricks, whether they be the 'purist way' or just 'how grandma did it' are greatly appreciated
     
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

    21,686
    2,625
    466
    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    If chickens are raised on wire or some other sterile environment, they can't get worms. Chickens that forage will eat secondary hosts like beetles, crickets, slugs, snails, flies, grasshoppers, earthworms, et. al.. All chickens that forage in any climate other than perpetual winter will likely have worms. A healthy chicken can handle a light load of worms and thrive. I've wormed a handful of chickens but I've had perhaps a thousand others that never got a wormer. I think it is a bigger issue in warm humid environments.
    Once chickens get worms and they stay on the same patch of soil, the situation can get worse because the cycle continues.
     
  3. turtleguy

    turtleguy Out Of The Brooder

    17
    0
    24
    Jul 20, 2013
    Georgia
    Thanks for such a quick reply ChickenCanoe,
    So I guess it's not such an important issue as in other livestock like cattle. Does this imply that no regular worming is necessary unless you've got a sick bird or live in climates that are thriving with parasites? My coop has shavings as bedding, and their run is covered, however the spend lots of time in the backyard in the open. So I know the got worms,but worming them is not too important, right?
     
  4. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

    21,686
    2,625
    466
    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    I know a lot of people that worm on a regular schedule and others that never do. It's a personal choice. I recommend taking a fecal sample to a vet or lab once or twice a year to see for sure what you're dealing with. That's the smart move. Collect the samples that have been defecated midday for the best indication of what the birds have.
     
  5. turtleguy

    turtleguy Out Of The Brooder

    17
    0
    24
    Jul 20, 2013
    Georgia
    Thank you so much ChickenCanoe, that clears everything up. Take care
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by