Gapeworm? Any home cures?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by suzettex5, Jun 16, 2010.

  1. suzettex5

    suzettex5 Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,327
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    May 26, 2009
    California
    I think 2 of my young pullets may have gapeworm. They keep yawning and streatching their necks out, then shaking their heads. I know its not mites, I check for those almost daily.
    My hens free range and get worms, and I give them meal worms and crickets occasionally (the last 2 are store bought) I havent done a visual check of the throats yet, I have a baby and I havent had a chance to set him down so I could do a check.

    What do you guys think?

    Are there any good home cures fro gape worm, if not, what do I buy at the store? Should I treat them all, or just the ones showing the behavior? (all means all 50, of different ages, 8 weeks to 1 year)

    Thanks!
     
  2. smith2

    smith2 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 5, 2008
    Paris, TN
    This is going to sound really stupid, but I would treat the ones who aren't laying with Wazine and leave the bigger ones alone. Or, treat them all with a dose of Eprinex for dairy cattle. Doses are 1/4 cc for small birds and 1/2 cc for large ones on the skin of their backs.
     
  3. feathersnuggles

    feathersnuggles Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 4, 2009
    Seattle
    There are no home cures for gapeworm. If your birds have it, you need to get rid of it quick because it blocks their windpipe and kills. Gapeworms live in the trachea. They are relatively rare. With gapeworms, your birds will be constantly tossing their heads and gasping to breathe, because the worms are blocking their air. The gapeworms (red) are visible when you look down their throats, with a small flashlight.

    My young pullets also used to open their beaks in a silent yawn, and stretch out their necks. I worried. But it turns out they were either 1) adjusting the contents of their crops (something birds do) or 2) they were hot because the temperature and humidity was high.

    Here are some posts about gapeworms, or people who thought their birds have gapeworm.
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=74676
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=87267

    I'd advise to check down your birds' throats and see if you find gapeworms. If you decide to treat, follow Speckledhen's advice for the drug to use. I think she specifies it in the first link.
     

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