Do you need to worm birds less than a year?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Knock Kneed Hen, Dec 26, 2010.

  1. Knock Kneed Hen

    Knock Kneed Hen California Dream'in Chickens

    Feb 15, 2010
    So. Cal.
    My birds are just 9 mos. old. Since they're not laying much I thought I'd worm them. However, do they need it the first year? They've been in a brooder for half their lives so I'm thinking I should just wait and do it next year.

    What would you suggest? Thanks!
  2. jerseygirl1

    jerseygirl1 Overrun With Chickens

    Jun 20, 2009
    Orange County, NY
    I'd wait, mine turned one in June and I just started THINKING about worming them..............
  3. kathyinmo

    kathyinmo Nothing In Moderation

    I worm mine twice a year, and am considering more often. The reason for that is that our soil here is just rich in worms and parasites. My 8 week old meat birds even had worms.
  4. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2008
    Jacksonville, Florida
    I worm quarterly. Our soil here is worm soup....wet, warm and swampy.
  5. sharol

    sharol Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 13, 2010
    Admire, KS
    I asked my vet if he would analyze a fecal sample for me, and he said to gather fresh poop from several pullets and he would look at it for me. He suggested that we not worm without checking, and it makes sense to me. It will also tell me if they have picked up cocci too. I need to do that, like yesterday would be good. Thanks for the reminder.
  6. davony's chicks

    davony's chicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 30, 2009
    I have never wormed mine. How do you know if they have worms and need worming?
    Everybody I know who has chickens says they have never wormed their chickens.
  7. grandmaof5

    grandmaof5 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 8, 2009
    Central N.S.
    Should birds be wormed if there are no signs of worms; do ALL birds get worms or does it depend on where you live (or other factors)?
  8. kathyinmo

    kathyinmo Nothing In Moderation

    This is a quote from a Florida Extension Service article.

    The chickens pick up the parasite eggs directly by ingesting contaminated feed, water, or litter or by eating snails, earthworms, or other insects (intermediate hosts) which can carry the eggs. Further down it mentions earthworms and grasshoppers as intermediate hosts for roundworms.

    Just for the record, here's a link to the article. The recommendations look like they are more for commercial growers than for me so read them and apply to your situation. I'm personally not going to use insecticides to try to kill insects that might come into contact with chickens.

    Unless you keep your chickens in solitary confinement, away from earthworms, insects, and wild birds, there is a great chance they have worms. The contaminated feed, water, and litter means that it has bird droppings in it, like when an infected bird perchs above a feeder or a wild bird leaves a deposit in the run.

    Parasites literally scar the digestive tract as they burrow into it. Each scar in the digestive tract is one more place where nutrients can't absorb. I highly disagree that this is the way to go. I also disagree with constant worming (unless there are constant infestations). Additionally, worms decrease the immune system of birds, steal the nutrients, irritate the digestive tract, make the bird more susceptible to other digestive tract illnesses by stressing the good bacteria of the gut, increase incidences of coccidiosis (even in adults), and spread to healthy birds.

    I totally believe in ecological balance, but in moderation. If you wait til you see worms, you're waiting too long.

    The ideal way of doing things would be to test three or four random birds in a flock using a "fecal egg count" from a vet to see if you need to worm two or three times a year. That way it's less invasive and lets you know when to treat. For someone trained in that, it would be the best way. Or if you have a good vet who will let you just bring in a few fecal samples and charge you for that, not the visit.
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2010
  9. davony's chicks

    davony's chicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 30, 2009
    Thanks for the information Kathy.
  10. PatS

    PatS Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 28, 2009
    Northern Califonia
    I feed my chickens organic food. If I worm them (they free range and eat a ton of earthworms), then I can't really call them or their eggs "organic" can I?

    I have killed and processed year old birds and didn't see anything unusual. What should I look for if they have a infestation?

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