How do I know if they have worms?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by confusedturtle, Oct 4, 2011.

  1. confusedturtle

    confusedturtle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My chickens do not seem sick at all. & I've seen no worms in their poop. I've never given them the dewormer, just DE which says it will kill or prevent worms in the chickens. I haven't mixed it in their food (or on bedding etc) for a couple weeks & just got our first egg. If they have worms could they be in the egg? I'm just worried I haven't done enough. There is no sign of worms I'm just afraid of cracking the egg open to an icky surprise. [​IMG]
     
  2. Wynette

    Wynette Moderator Staff Member

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    An EXTREMELY heavy infestation MAY show in the eggs by actually seeing a worm INSIDE an egg, but it would have to be an awfully heavy load.

    I just assume my chickens can get worms...they are on the ground, thus...parasites. I worm mine twice yearly with Ivermec Eprinex (I withold eating any eggs for 2 full weeks after dosing). There are many things you can use, but I recommend getting into a regular worming program and just making it a habit a couple times a year.

    ETA, DE will not deworm them, fyi.
     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2011
  3. Alas

    Alas Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Chickens have worms. The objective is to keep the number of them down to an acceptable level. If they have worms really bad they will be skinny (you can feel the bones in their chest when you pick them up). The LA state vet recommends that you alternate ivermectin and safeguard so that you have less risk of the worms becoming immune to the dewormer. The Ivermectin deworms and kills mites and lice. A lot of people on here are hardwired against its use because it isn't "natural". Ivermectin is the main ingredient for heartworm meds for your pets and it is used to treat worms in humans, cows, pigs, etc.

    DE does NOT deworm and Wazine is useless. I used both since I started keeping chickens. A few months ago, my chickens started getting "sick" and dying. I thought I was correctly deworming, so I called the state vet and they necropsied the deads hens. They said the chickens were full of parasites and that neither of the things I was using would kill the worms.
     
  4. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble

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    There is no acceptable level of worms. One large roundworm lays tens of thousands of eggs on your ground daily to be picked up by your other chickens starting the worms lifecycle all over again. One worm is one worm too many. A regular worming schedule is best. There are many wormers to throw into the rotation as well as safeguard and ivermectin. I quit using ivermectin and wazine long ago.
     
  5. Erica

    Erica Chillin' With My Peeps

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    A few worms cause no harm. A heavy load can kill. Since there's no way to completely stop worms from reappearing, it's quite acceptable to make a choice and either go with management/organic deterrents or with commercial wormers.

    Each side has its drawbacks, but a big drawback of being gung-ho with commercial wormers is the certainty of eventual worm resistance. The more often you use the same wormer, the quicker resistance occurs. Rotating wormers merely slows this process down. Alternatively with organics you have to work at managing worm loads by moving birds to new ground or replacing the top surface of soil twice a year (if they're cooped), mucking out and changing floor litter.

    Chickens definitely can handle a small load of worms. They have this thing called an immune system, which if the bird is in good health with optimum diet (especially minerals like copper and cobalt) and good management can actually inhibit worms from embedding in the intestine. This isn't true of all worm species but it's certainly the case with common problem worms like roundworms. It's also possible to breed birds for worm resistance, as there is some genetic difference between worm resistance in individual birds. This is why even in a flock with poor management and high worm burdens some of the birds will be in good health while others are dying.

    There's no way of eradicating worms from the soil unless you have a completely sterile (i.e. dead) backyard. You can't stop grubs, earthworms, ants etc from turning up, and it's pretty hard to stop wild bird droppings from appearing in the pen. What you can do is decide which way to go, whether to rotate commercial wormers hoping that there will be a next generation of effective wormers (it's been a while between scientific breakthroughs on that score, and in sheep in my country, for instance, agriculture departments are starting to suggest farmers select worm resistant animals to breed from, as the sheep worms are becoming resistant to all available wormers), or use some combo of management, diet, herbs and/or breeding for resistance.

    EDIT:

    Signs of a heavy worm infestation are diarrhea, mucky bottom and weight loss. That would be time to treat with something known to be effective (whether a herbal wormer or an industrial one). You can treat an individual bird if you see one showing symptoms, as there's no need to treat the whole flock, and all that does is increase speed of worm resistance against the wormer. [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2011
  6. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble

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    There are no few worms because they multiply rapidly once larva are hatched inside the chicken from the thousands of eggs from the soil.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  7. Alas

    Alas Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I did not mean to imply that it is okay for the chickens to have worms as long as they dont have a bad case. My implication is that you can not fully get rid of worms, since the chickens are constantly reinfesting themselves (esp if you free range or have a less than sterile coop). The best option, as I mentioned, is to regularly treat for them and to rotate the medicines to reduce chance of immunity. There are several dewormers available, for sure. I was just listing the ones recommended by my vet and which I have found easily at feed stores.
     
  8. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble

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    Quote:I agree with you. I recommend that you add valbazen (albendazole) as a wormer....you wont be disappointed, it gets tapeworms and flukes, as well as all the other types of worms.
     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2011
  9. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    I have read that roundworms can get into the egg. But I think it is probably not a usual thing, because you had better believe that I was inspecting my eggs right after discovering a roundworm!!! No worms in the eggs- yay!

    So I treated and now they are gone. I'm still waiting to eat the eggs though, as I have to toss them for two weeks after the last dose of wormer.

    Some of the usual signs of worms can be:
    loss of weight
    pale/purplish comb (one of my little Nankin roos had this)
    lethargy
    diarrhea- green or yellow
    may or may not have visible worms in poo
    reduced or nonexistent laying.

    All wormers have an egg withdrawal period. Some are used by many off-label, as Wazine only treats roundworms.
     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2011
  10. DestinysChicken

    DestinysChicken Out Of The Brooder

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    as a new chicken owner -- everyday has been a learning experience.
    If your chicken has worms (which I am guessing that most do due to the almost impossibility to avoid) are the eggs harmful to eat?
    I understand that if you use a de-wormer --not to eat the eggs for a few weeks. But what if you don't medicate. do the worms themselves hurt the eggs?
     
    1 person likes this.

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