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Is there a safe, effective wormer for egg laying chickens?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by happyreds, Mar 30, 2012.

  1. happyreds

    happyreds Out Of The Brooder

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    I only have two Rhode Island Red hens and they are three years old. One is showing signs of worms by laying only soft shell eggs that break open even before she lays it. I have searched the net for both natural remedies and drugs. The gentlest drug, Piperazine, and it only covers round worms, does say on the label NOT for egg layers. I have been using some diatomaceous earth mixed in crumbles but obviously not enough. I just started putting 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar in I gallon of water. I realize these natural things are probably only going to control the worm population and not really get rid of them. So it looks like the odds are slim my hen will ever be healthy again and could likely infect my healthy hen or already has. Any suggestions from more experienced chicken keepers would be most welcome.
    Thanks!
     
  2. klmclain1

    klmclain1 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 14, 2011
    If soft shelled eggs are your only symptom, I don't think I'd jump to the conclusion that she has worms quite yet. Do you give your girls oyster shell? I mix it right in with their feed - others put it in a separate feeder. REALLY hardens the shells. I had some very soft shell problems until I started that.

    As for safe/effective worming, and lice/mite prevention, here's advice from dawg53 - he's the guru!

    Sevin dust will kill lice/mites. I use hay as bedding and when I change it out or put fresh hay inside the coop just as a replacement for soiled hay (not a complete changeout,) I lightly sprinkle sevin dust on the fresh hay. I lightly sprinkle some in the nests and pat it all down to let it settle.
    As far as worming goes, there are many wormers to choose from. Worming depends on your environment where you live. If you live in a warm, wet area and the soil is moist most of the time, you might have to worm several times a year. If you live in cold, mountainous or desert area, you might only have to worm once a year or maybe even longer than that, it just depends.
    Soil conditions are what you need to be concerned about, whether it's dry or moist. Due to my environment where I live, I worm once every 3 months, rotating wormers to prevent worm resistance to one particular wormer. I use Safeguard liquid goat wormer, Valbazen liquid cattle/sheep wormer and sometimes Zimectrin Gold equine wormer. Ivermectin due to its overuse in chickens as a miteacide has been been seeing large roundworm resistance in chickens. It will not kill cecal nor tapeworms. Ivermectin will not kill lice in chickens, only mites because they suck blood and chicken lice dont. Same for Eprinex. Wazine only gets rid of large roundworms. There are many types of woms that chickens can get. Therefore it's best to use a broad spectrum wormer to get rid of them.
     
  3. happyreds

    happyreds Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you, "Over run with chickens", and yes, I've provided oyster shells from the start, both in the feed and separately in a bowl and some scattered around. My one hen eats them regularly and her shells are strong but the second hen has been a picky eater and I can't remember seeing her going after them. I allow some free ranging and during the season they both eat lots of grasshoppers and bugs. To get calcium in this picky eating hen, I've given plain yogurt and broken sunflower seeds. Recently I've tried some whole milk but none of these things have brought her around to making a strong egg shell. I've fed commercial crumbles and pellets that are always available and in the ingredients they both say there is sufficient calcium that it is not necessary to feel oyster shell on the side. These reasons are why I've concluded it must be worms stealing this hens nutrients. She seems to have lost a bit of weight over the winter here in Ohio, and her feathers are a bit dull. I have never wormed these hens and they both dig in the dirt a lot. This extreme soft shelled egg laying has been going on for 2 or 3 weeks now. There were times the shells were brittle but at least usable. So the condition has been there off and on over the winter and has progressively gotten worse. We love this little sweet hen, she is so gentle and obedient and never any trouble like the head hen is, who is always sneaking outside the fence and scolding us when she doesn't get what she wants. But we are disgusted with what started to happen, the head hen watches for the soft shell egg to come out and eats it! I don't think I can stand to allow this for too long. I can hardly separate them since they are all the other one has, I think the stress would be too much for both of them. I will study the advice you posted from dawg53 and may try a serious worm remedy, if it promises to be safe to still eat the eggs after the appropriate time off.
    Thanks again!
    Linda
     
  4. klmclain1

    klmclain1 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 14, 2011
    I believe with at least the Valbazen - it's a 14 day withdrawal of eggs. Re: calcium, I've also hear of crushing up Tums (with calcium) into a favorite food is a good way to get calcium in them. Are you by any chance giving her spinach? Apparently, spinach can inhibit the absorbtion of calcium and thus is not a good treat to give them.
     
  5. happyreds

    happyreds Out Of The Brooder

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    I could try the Tums idea and I don't treat the hens with spinach. I feed dandelions and kale when available cause thats what they eat well.
    I got on the net and researched all the chemical ideas and had trouble finding the amounts to give chickens. I happened to run into a herbal product called VermX that was easy to order and easy to use and safe all around, so I will try it. One lady said it saved her hens life. I realize it will depend on what worms my hen has and how bad she may have them. Also, it is still a guess on my part about what the problem is. The hen is doing ok except for pooping out her eggs instead of laying them.
    Thanks again, I appreciate all your thoughts and ideas.
     
  6. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble

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    VermX is useless as a wormer, waste of money IMO. I dont think worms are your problem. Putting ACV in water is good, it helps in calcium absorption. You can always boil some eggs, then crush the eggshells into fine pieces and sprinkle it into their feed to eat. Crushed oyster shell as free choice helps as well. Here's a link about kale, cabbage and other veggies:
    http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/vm029
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2012
  7. happyreds

    happyreds Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks, Gentleman from GA,
    I will study this thyroid disease possibility and check the hen's neck. I haven't fed the kale since last summer and the only greens eaten since Spring is grass and dandelions. I will be careful about feeding more kale or cabbage in the future. I have some Lugol's iodine on hand and can easily start adding it to their water along with the ACV. About crushing egg shells, this hen acts picky about them too, whereas the other hen greedily gobbles them up, when I've presented them in food or alone. The head hen is so aggressive that I think some of the trouble with lack of nutrition in the sick hen is stress from being overly bullied. She is often afraid to eat! I started with three hens but lost one early on from SERIOUS aggression, so with only two hens, the number two hen gets ALL stress on a daily basis. I noticed it was worse than ever over the last few months.
     
  8. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble

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    I absolutely agree with your assessment. You could seperate the 2 somehow so that the lower hen gets to eat and gets her health back to normal. You dont need a sick hen due to the stress of being bullied. You could give her one or two drops of poultry nutri drench orally once a day for about 5 days then stop. Poultry nutri drench is loaded with minerals and vitamins and should help boost her strength. No need to add iodine to the water. I just wanted you to be aware that too much of the veggies mentioned in the link could be harmful and the outcome deadly.
    Your other option would be to get rid of the aggressive hen; adopt her out, sell her on craigslist or cull her.
     
  9. happyreds

    happyreds Out Of The Brooder

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    It has helped me a lot, in considering what to do about this problem, to hear you agree with me that STRESS could be the root cause of my sickly hen. I have tried to separate them but then run into the problem that it really appears to stress them both out. They do nothing but pace and pace. During the day they are rarely separated from each other, they eat together, drink together, go in or out together, perch together, scratch together, preen together and preen each other. They also lay beside me together on a lounger. They used to dust together and often lay eggs together, but stopped that and have shown more independence lately. I have thought the aggressive hen is slowly working at culling out the weaker hen. I had a nightmare about that a few nights ago, when I went to greet them in the morning and the head hen had pecked the sick hen's head off.
    Not sure what approach to take at this point. I like your idea about giving the sick chicken a boost by hand feeding a supplement. I'm also considering allowing them to free roam with summer coming on. The head hen is acting out because she wants more freedom to forage. I've restricted this because we have large prey birds, but the hens do run for cover every time one flies close. So it is worth a try, before drastic culling, and see if it makes a big difference in stopping the stress being inflicted on hen number two.
     
  10. willy546

    willy546 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 17, 2012
    What would you recommend as a wormer?
     

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