How to make runs less parasite friendly?


12 Years
Nov 20, 2007
I just got done de-worming my chickens for the first time ever. I'm very happy I've done it as I've lost 2 in the past year, and one appeared to be headed in the same direction. I'm about 99% sure worms were the problem, however, I'd like to not have to do that twice a year, or even once a year if I can avoid it. I've never had a problem with worms until I built them a fixed run, rather than the tractor or free-ranging they're used to. I would like to continue using the run once spring hits and the four feet of snow in it has melted, but I was wondering if there are some tips to help make the run a less worm/parasite friendly environment in a non-chemical way. My two thoughts are either to regularly (not sure how often) dust the run with DE. Would that do anything outdoors? Otherwise, fill the run with several inches of sand. Would that do the trick? Our soil is already pretty sandy, but not sandy enough to prevent the run from getting muddy in very wet weather. What are some opinions on these ideas, or what are some of your methods?
I would also like to see some experts chime in on this. I have had no problem with anything yet. I do use a can of sevin dust around the run and also in my dog run that shares a fence with the chicken run. I am not sure if you can eat the eggs after using sevin? So I don't.
As long as chickens feet touch the ground, they will eventually get worms. The best thing to do is set up a regularly scheduled worming program...once every year and a half, once a year, twice a year...however you see fit. The environment should figure into your decision when to do it. If you live in northern or cold mountainous states, you might only have to worm once a year. The further south you go, maybe twice or more a year... I worm once a quarter due to our warm/moist soil. It's best to have several wormers on hand and rotate each time you worm your chickens to prevent worm resistance. DE and sevin dust wont prevent nor treat worms.
Thank you. I suppose if I had to de-worm once a year it wouldn't be the worst thing. Would covering the bottom of the run with sand also help? I would think so.
Sand helps. I just added 2 cubic yards of sand to their run. If anything it absorbs water and no more nasty mudpuddles that they like to drink out of.
ACV is a great addition and has many uses with chickens; like helping with calcium absorption, possibly helping to prevent sour crop and other things. Unfortunately, it's not a wormer.
What worm species are involved? My free range birds not impacted (does not mean not infected) although confined birds sometimes have problems. I move confined birds or actually their pens periodically which may reduce exposure / re-infection.
If their feet touch the ground, they can possibly get the following; large roundworms, cecal worms, capillary worms, tapeworms, gapeworms...just to name a few, there are other worms as well.
I have never wormed my chickens but instead have a fecal test done once per year. So far I've done this for 5 years and no parasites have been found. This is what my vet recommends, it feels right to me. I'm a former vet tech and know these tests aren't 100% accurate but since I do the test on many chickens per year, and do it each year I feel I have my bases covered. What I really should do is buy my own microscope like another person on BYC did - I know how to do the test myself. Hmmm...

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom