First time treating for worms and mites, does this sound right?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by ahensnest, Jun 2, 2012.

  1. ahensnest

    ahensnest In the Brooder

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    I have been reading threads for about 5 hours (maybe more!) now and I think I finally have a plan of attack! I've been keeping chickens off and on for around 18 years now, I guess we've always been lucky in the past since we've never had any diseases or problems other than a few chickens dying of old age. I guess we're really lucky because I've never thought to worm them before now!

    I have a flock of 13 hens and 1 roo in the coop and 1 banty with 5 feedmill chicks in the tractor w/ a plastic doghouse. Last month I lost two of my old girls, I thought they had died from old age since they were both getting up there (one almost 9 years old). This past week though, one of our 2 year old hens started acting weird, kind of just standing around and not very active, her comb was pale as well. My husband locked up the chickens on Thursday night before bed and thought he had them all in, the sick one must have still been out because I heard something and looked outside and there was a possum dragging her across the yard. Hubby didn't get out there in time to shoot it but nevertheless, the hen was dead. :( poor girl!

    Before the possum got her, I was starting to wonder if maybe my two old girls didn't die of old age, and thought that it may be gapeworm becasue some of the hens will stop and stretch their necks out really weird and crooked-like and shake their heads every once in a while. Their feathers also look a bit duller than they did in the early spring. I was researching how to treat gapeworm on the forums when I came across a few threads that talk about other worms (yuck!) and mites. I checked a few of the girls and don't "see" any mites but a few of the other ones have poopy butts and their poops aren't very firm. I think I am going to go ahead and worm them all since I never have before.

    Does this sound like a good plan:

    • Clean out and completely disinfect the coop (maybe with oxine if I can find it, I don't see it on Jeffers.com??)
    • put al the birds in the growing pen then inspect them one by one.
    • Give each bird 3/4cc of either Safeguard liquid goat wormer or 1/2cc of Valbazen using a syringe w/ plastic end (which one would be best for all-purpose wormer?)
    • Wait 10 days and do the wormer again (should I rotate and use Valbazen the first time then do safeguard the second, or does it not matter?)
    • Dust each bird with Sevin dust (use old nylon filled with dust to pat on)
    • sprinkle Sevin and DE all over coop and run
    • Thinking about getting a few bags of sand for one end of the run, they do free-range and have access to an old dirt filled raised bed to dust in so maybe I should sprinkle some sevin/DE in there too?
    • take down the old wooden crate nest boxes and replace them with plastic ones made out of either barrels, tubs or kitty litter pans to help deter mites
    • eventually this summer I would like to paint the interior and exterior of the coop since it's just bare wood. This is a ramshackle coop and I just don't have the funds to build a new one at the moment

    Also, what about the banty hen and 5 chicks? They are around 6 - 7 weeks old now and all seem healthy. Are they too young to be wormed or dusted with Sevin? Should I just do the banty hen, or will treating her harm the chicks she is mothering?

    I think that's it, whew! Sorry for the long post, just trying to make sure I've covered everything as I don't want to lose anyone else!
     
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2012
  2. ahensnest

    ahensnest In the Brooder

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    hmm, maybe I was too long winded? I think I'll just go ahead with this plan and hope for the best then.
     
  3. California_chickie

    California_chickie Chirping

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    Hey there! Your post wasn't too long winded it was thorough! Here are some of my thoughts...but I am no expert:
    -I think you have a good plan.
    -The first thing you should do is clean out the coop, but I wouldn't do all the de-worming, dusting, AND cleaning the coop at the same time. It could really stress them out & if your chickens have any sort of negative reaction you won't be able to tell what product (or act) caused the problem. I know you probably just want to take care of EVERYTHING in one day, but I've learned the hard way that if you introduce too many new things the birds can have bad reactions & you don't know what went wrong.
    -There's this stuff called Poultry Protector that you can get online at Jeffers that I have used in the past to help clean the coop, it's expensive, but works. I also use a very diluted mix of baking soda & white vinegar (with lots of water) in a spray bottle & it works just as well. It's cheap, and non-toxic. Spray in all down, and then wait for it to dry out. You don't have to rinse & it doesn't smell "chemically" at all-- it takes like 10 minutes to do.
    -The sand is a good idea, too. But, be careful not to use too much sand, it could turn into a giant smelly litter box if it gets too wet! Have you thought about using a combination of sand, shavings or leaves mixed with DE? Your girls will mix it all up for you scratching away, and it will really help with any re-infestation of mites or lice.
    -If you can afford replace the nesting boxes with plastic ones, great! But I would wait until later, you might not have to?
    -I don't particularly like Sevin, especially since you can't use it on very young chicks---DE has always done the trick for me. You can find it at Jeffers (the pet grade kind!) but I have found it cheaper at local feedstores since Jeffers has you pay for shipping by weight & I get a BIG OL BAG of the stuff! Once you clean out the coop, and put DE all over the place, the girls should just dust themselves! I know you're going to take each one out and inspect them, so you might as well just dust them, but I put a scoop of DE in the nesting boxes every 6 weeks or so (& it kind of annoys the birds initially) but I no longer have to deal with infested chicks! Since I've been doing this, I haven't had a single problem.

    Hope this helps, and have fun cleaning your coop! I hope your chickens appreciate all your hard work ;)
     
  4. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble

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    Oxine is nice to have if you have the money, but bleachwater will disinfect a coop as well. Revival Animal Health carries oxine if you decide to purchase it.
    Safeguard liquid goat wormer and valbazen cattle/sheep wormer are both excellent wormers. The safeguard wont kill tapeworms nor flukes, valbazen will. That's about the only difference between the two. You can use either for the first and second worming if you wish.
    Personally I prefer to dust birds with sevin dust if there's a problem. I lightly sprinkle sevin dust in the coops, nests and on roosts as a preventative. I dont dust the ground for anything. I use sand in my pens. Sand dries quicker and wont wash away in a downpour. It also deters insects including flies. My coops are bare wood, pretty much air tight except for the screened vents and partially screened entrance to each coop. I see no need to paint them.
    It's not necessary to worm your 6-7 week old chicks, I usually dont worm them until they are about 7-10 months old depending what time of the year it is. You can use sevin dust on your 6-7 week old chicks. Put some sevin dust on your fingers and gently rub it onto their skin, avoid the eyes and nostrils. Repeat dusting in 7-10 days in the same manner. You can do the same to the banty hen if you wish.
     
  5. ahensnest

    ahensnest In the Brooder

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    Hi California_chickie! Thank you so much for those tips! I never even though about how disturbing it would be for everyone to be forced to swallow something, get patted down with dust AND not be able to get in their house to relax right away! I would be stressed from that too! I'm going to take your advice and break it up into one or two days. I have to wait for my Jeffers order anyway so I'll get the coop cleaned out a few days before treating them!

    Also, I like your baking soda vinegar idea! That would surely keep the coop smelling fresh and I wouldn't have to worry about the silly girls trying to drink it!

    I do use pine shavings inside the coop, I'll start sprinkling DE around from now on, pretty sure I can get that at our local mill. We usually spread hay, straw or shaving in the run but it degrades quickly and gets expensive! I like the idea of sand, but I'm not sure how it would work in the entire run since it can get wet in our yard. My though was to start by making a high corner sand and add to it as I can -- we'll have to see how it works. For the most part, they get to free range and are only locked up when it's yuck out or we have to go somewhere.

    Thank you so much for your suggestions!
     
  6. ahensnest

    ahensnest In the Brooder

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    Hi dawg53! I was hoping you would chime in since most of the wormer questions I've found on here seemed to be followed up by you recommending these two products! Thank you for replying to me, I just wanted to be sure I was reading everything right!

    I believe I will dust initially with Sevin as you suggest, then use the DE as a preventative as California_chickie suggests. Hopefully the Sevin will kill most of the critters off, and the DE will help them to stay that way!

    I'm now thinking that I won't need o paint if no one sees a need, it would be a big hassle to keep the flock out of the coop for it to dry. I only thought that by painting it would be easier to keep clean and would help keep mites away? Maybe not! Maybe I'll just wait to paint until I have a new coop eventually!

    I'm so glad to hear that I don't have to treat the chicks for worms, they seem very healthy so I'll wait until they're older.

    Thank you for your help!
     
  7. ahensnest

    ahensnest In the Brooder

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  8. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble

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    Last edited: Jun 4, 2012
  9. ahensnest

    ahensnest In the Brooder

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    Thank you! That makes sense, let's hope it's a easy as you make it sound! [​IMG]
     
  10. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble

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    YW, piece of cake. Practice a couple of "dry runs" if you wish. You'll be an expert chicken wormer in no time LOL.
     

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