hens won't drink wormer water


In the Brooder
Dec 12, 2015
I have 6 girls and they refuse to drink any of the worming water when I put it out for them.
obviously thats not healthy for them at all so I was wondering if it would still be effective if I make up the correct dosage and then soak the layer pellets in that and feed them the crumbled mushy pellets, because they love mushy pellets?


Premium Feather Member
11 Years
Apr 3, 2011
southern Ohio
Welcome to BYC. What brand of wormer are you using? Putting the wormer in water or in feed can be difficult in knowing that they have taken the correct dosage. Putting something like Wazine (piperazine) in the water (30 ml or 1 ounce per gallon) is in the correct ratio supposedly if a chicken drinks a normal amount of water. They probably won't drink a whole gallon if there are only 6, but if you add that gallon to feed, they could either take too much or not enough. You also run the risk of them not eating it because they don't like the taste. That's why with only 6 chickens, I would use something like Valbazen, where you give each hen 1/2 ml orally with a syringe, and then repeat that dose in 10 days. That dosage is for a regular sized hen.


BYC Staff
Project Manager
Premium Feather Member
10 Years
Jun 24, 2012
The Golden State
I have 6 girls and they refuse to drink any of the worming water when I put it out for them.
obviously thats not healthy for them at all so I was wondering if it would still be effective if I make up the correct dosage and then soak the layer pellets in that and feed them the crumbled mushy pellets, because they love mushy pellets?
Welcome to BYC! I don't see why you couldn't make a mash out of the medicated water.Of course worming orally with something like Valbazen (albendazole) or Safeguard (fenbendazole) would be best, but Wazine (piperazine) mash should be fine.



In the Brooder
Dec 12, 2015
Hi, thanks for your reply's.
I currently use killverm, the active ingredient in that is 14g/L levamisole (equivalent to 16.5g/L levamisole hydrochloride)
the dose rate is 10ml per 200ml of water so I give them 100ml in a 2 litre bucket of water.
they do eat the pellets soaked in wormer water because when I change their water after a day I pour it over the pellets that I tip out of their food container so I can give them new food. They actually go nuts over it, it can get a bit messy because they eat it so fast.
what will happen if they get too much? I had never considered that they could have too much of the wormer.
I have zero chance of picking half of them up, they are just too skittish and really stress out if I try to pick them up, even when they are settling down for the night.
thanks again


8 Years
Aug 29, 2012
Yeah my chickens think it tastes like crap too lol

I have had some success adding the individual dose (it can be worked out from bottle) to bread and feeding them that one bird at a time. Just can't put too much on each piece or they won't touch it either. I have thought maybe hide it in individual serves of something stronger tasting like sardines that they will wolf down quickly. Of course if you have 50 birds this wouldn't really be an option ;-)
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5 Years
Dec 16, 2015
Florida panhandle
I'm reviving an old thread because I couldn't find a better one on levamisole. There are more on fenbendazole/Safeguard/Panacur, but I don't want to use it during molt because I don't want deformed feathers. Ditto Valbazen. I used Ivermectin the last 3 times, so I wanted another dewormer to rotate to prevent resistance.

Why I needed this information: A Silkie hen I bought recently just finished hatching chicks when I noticed she was very shaky when she stood up. I knew it wasn't due to not eating. I keep mash right next to each broody, and she was eating hers. Instead, I suspected coccidiosis because 2 other hens from the same run had it not long before. Amprolium/Corid only kills oocytes, the final stage of 8 forms in the coccidia life-cycle. It isn't much help for a bird whose intestines are being torn up by immature forms, so I put toltrazuril (5%) in the water. A couple days later, the hen was worse. She kept falling over. Then I did a fecal smear, something I learned in college while training as a Clinical Lab Scientist. Back then I learned to ID human parasites, but I found chicken parasites online shortly after we moved to our farm. Anyway, the worm eggs I found on the Silkie's slide sure looked like gapeworm eggs. Their football shape looks similar to capillaria eggs, but gapeworm eggs are slimmer. I usually use large roundworm (ascaris) eggs for size reference. Gapes are longer and capillaria eggs are shorter. See pictures at https://www.nadis.org.uk/disease-a-...-external-and-internal-parasites-of-chickens/. All the above are roundworms, just different types and sizes.

Gapeworms scare me even more than Blackhead, the reason we sold our turkeys. Our first turkeys came with gapeworm and died from it before we knew what was wrong. We thought we sterilized the soil, but gapes killed chickens the next year. That's when we started torching the ground and finally got rid of them. These new gapeworms must have come with the Silkie hen. To top it off, the Fowl Pox vaccine didn't take. Four of six chicks died within days, and the hen has lesions/scabs all over her comb. After 2 dewormings with Ivermectin, she is still so weak that I have to move her and put her head over a very low feed dish for her to eat.

So far, it has taken me over 6 hours of searching to determine the dosage of levamisole in water to give her and her two surviving chicks along with the other two Silkie runs. I found it in the Mississippi State extension publication referenced above. However, that link just goes to the home page, so in case anybody wants to find the same information, it's now at http://extension.msstate.edu/content/solutions-and-treatments.

The publication gives medication dosages for a long list of diseases including the use for copper sulfate someone mentioned in another thread. In case the link moves again, I found it by typing "poultry disease solutions" in the home page search box. In case it disappears entirely, I pasted the whole parasite solutions section at the bottom of this post.

Now for dosage in water because I have too many chickens to treat each one orally. If I read the measuring equivalent in another thread right, .5g levamisole/gal water should be 1/8 tsp levamisole soluble drench powder for cattle or sheep, no matter whether it's the 13g or 52g packet of Tramisol/Prohibit/LevaMed/etc.. The trouble with measuring spoons is that they don't all hold the amount stated. My 1/4 teaspoons ranged from holding .92g of levamisole drench powder to .97g on a scale with 2 platforms, one large for big/heavy items, and a smaller one that goes three decimal places in mg. My only 1/8 teaspoon measured .52g of levamisole. Close enough, but I'll look for another next time I go shopping. I advise anyone who doesn't have a gram scale to buy one because the weight of toltrazuril soluble powder comes closer to 1.5 tsp than 1 tsp listed on the package to make a 5% solution. It's not the 100g pack of 2.5% for pigeons that I used to buy at about $27/pack. I ordered 5% from overseas to get a price I could afford for over 200 chickens. Toltrazuril 2.5% only works well during dry spells, but our farm is in Florida's panhandle, the lightning capitol of the US, and we get more rain and humidity than anywhere else on the continent. We're also on 4th generation farmland well seeded with parasites, and the bottom part of our property has lowland with several springs that spawn mosquitoes and Fowl Pox outbreaks every year. To make things worse, we are downhill from organic farmers and get their runoff during every storm. So there you have it: Parasite Paradise.

Bottom line: .5 g or ~1/8 tsp levamisol (Prohibit) soluble drench powder/gallon water for only one day but can be repeated in 5-7 days for severe cases.

The rest is what I pasted from Mississippi State Extension's Poultry Solutions and Treatments publication:


The following treatments have been shown to be effective for eliminating internal parasites from poultry and game birds. Neither of these drugs (fenbendazole or leviamisole) has been approved for use by FDA, so the producer accepts all responsibility for their use. Both drugs have been very effective if used properly and will eliminate most types of internal parasites that affect birds. Caution: Do not use with birds producing eggs or meat destined for human consumption.

Fenbendazole Treatments

One-day Treatment

1 oz Safeguard or Panacur per 15-20 lb feed

Dissolve the fenbendazole product in one cup of water. Mix this solution well into the feed and give to the birds as their only feed source for one day. When completely consumed, untreated feed can be given. Be sure that the commercial medication contains 10% fenbendazole.

Safeguard is a product of Ralston Purina, and Panacur is a product marketed by American Hoechst. One ounce of medication will treat about 1000 10-oz bobwhite quail. Adjustments of the amounts of medication and feed needed may be necessary depending on the number and size of the birds.

Three-Day Treatment

1.2 oz Safeguard or Panacur in 100 lb feed
4 oz pkt of "Worm-A-Rest Litter Pack" (Ralston Purina) in 50 lb feed
5 lb bag of "Worm-A-Rest Mix Pack" in 495 lb feed

Feed all the medicated feeds free-choice for three consecutive days. The feed mixtures provide 75 ppm fenbendazole. Quail will receive about 1.7 mg/bird each day for adult birds or 2.75 mg/lb of bodyweight.

Fenbendazole has been shown to be a very effective treatment for eliminating Capillaria (capillary worms), Heterakis (cecal worms), Ascaridia (roundworms), and Syngamus spp. (gapeworms). Toxicity from overdosing with fenbendazole is very remote. Research indicates that amounts up to 100 times the recommended dosages have been given under research conditions without adverse effects to the birds. Use of this product during molt, however, may cause deformity of the emerging feathers.

Leviamisole Solutions

52 gram (1.84 oz) pkt Tramisol in 100 gallons water
13 gram (.46 oz) pkt Tramisol in 25 gallons water
52 gram (1.84 oz) pkt in 3 qt water (stock solution)

Dissolve the 52 gram packet of "Tramisol Cattle and Sheep Wormer" or the 13 gram packet of "Tramisol Sheep Drench Powder" into the appropriate amount of water. If the stock solution is used with a water proportioner, be sure that the stock solution is dispensed at the rate of 1 oz/gallon in the drinking water.

Any of the solutions are effective at treating Capillaria (capillary worms), Heterakis (cecal worms), and Ascaridia (roundworms). The solutions contain .5 gram of leviamisole per gallon of water. Allow the birds to drink the solution for one day, then remove. In severe cases, the treatment can be repeated every 5-7 days.
for one day.

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