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Let's talk about worms....

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by DreamsInPink, May 10, 2016.

  1. DreamsInPink

    DreamsInPink Chillin' With My Peeps

    I live on a farm. I've had many different species of farm animals on my soil. Horses, cows, goats, chickens, ducks.... not to mention dogs and cats... any of which could have had or have had some type of worms.

    With my horses, goats, dogs and cats, I use a worm preventative schedule. What is the best way to deal with this situation with chickens? I've read a lot that says you only need to worm one time per year... Hmmm... I am not sure that's really going to do it. It will certainly help, and maybe keep the worms from getting totally out of control, but it will not keep them worm free.

    I also read that if you treat for worms with chemicals you have to toss your eggs for 2 weeks.

    So, let's hear it from the pros. What is the best practice to keep my chickens happy and healthy?
  2. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Runs With Chickens Premium Member

    Jul 16, 2015
    central Wisconsin
    I never worm my chickens, I have personally never seen worms or signs that they are a problem to my poultry. A healthy bird carries a reasonable worm load and you will never eliminate them, only cut their numbers initially. In my opinion they only become a problem when something else is wrong with the bird. I personally believe worming only creates worms resistant to the medication used to kill them. So can't help you with what to use or how often to use it. I actually never heard of folks worming their chickens until the last few years, and on this website. My other animals are wormed if necessary but never on a schedule. Worms are becoming resistant to many wormers, and many no longer work. That's my way.[​IMG]
  3. CTKen

    CTKen Monkey business Premium Member

    Jan 30, 2015
    Africa - near the equator
    I've read that some members worm their flock twice yearly, unless they see evidence of round worms (the only ones that we can actually see). The duration of egg disposal varies with the actual brand of de-wormer.

  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    OHLD and CTK have made valid points.

    I don't worm either, unnecessary chemical intervention is not something I want in my food,
    and I don't think it benefits(and could actually be detrimental to) the birds heath.
    I have not seen any evidence of worm overload, or at all, in my birds during butchering.
    If I did suspect a worm issue, I would send a fecal sample here,
    and then research a treatment if needed.

    The wormers many will cite using are not approved for poultry, some are banned, and thus there is no really accurate data for withdrawals.
    There's a FB group, now dormant-tho you maybe able to join and view posts and files), that has some good info on med withdrawals in their files section.

    Whether to worm on a schedule can be highly dependent on your climate, site, population, and management.
    Folks down south that don't have the benefit of killing cold in the winters can have many more issues with parasites than those in northern climes.
    Resistance is a real concern, and folks who do use scheduled treatments should take that into serious account.
  5. Folly's place

    Folly's place Overrun With Chickens

    Sep 13, 2011
    As aart says, the whole story is 'it depends'. Having fecals run at your veterinarian's office is a good plan, and of course seeing roundworms or tapes in their stools, or when you butcher, is a sure thing. Some flocks will be fine for years, others will have big problems without treatment on some kind of schedule. I have more issues with mites, thanks to the wild bird population, and I do use Ivermectin, totally off-label, once or twice annually, because it kills both mites and the intestinal worms that can occur here. Permethrin works fine for mites, but is harder to use on individual birds, so it goes on the coop under the bedding. Approved wormers are VERY limited! My friends a mile down the road, on clay soil, have had deaths in their flock from intestinal parasites, (confirmed by necropsy) so they follow a firm treatment schedule. Mary
  6. DreamsInPink

    DreamsInPink Chillin' With My Peeps

    That is a lot of information to mull over. I understand the reasons many choose not to worm... though I'd never use a product not labeled for chickens, and I'd definitely rotate to avoid resistance being built against certain medicines... that's what I do with my horses too.

    I just feel a little negligent waiting for a serious problem to arise. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure and all that. :)

    I guess I could just wait until they are on my soil a while, have them tested and go from there.

    So many variables in chicken keeping. :/
  7. paneubert

    paneubert Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 20, 2015
    That right there is going to answer your question for you. There are literally only one or two wormers that actually are labeled as for poultry, and one of them is from Australia.....but you can get online in the states. 99% of the people who worm do so "off label" with goat, cattle, sheep, etc... wormers.

    If you do want to look into some that are labeled for poultry (one only "sort of" for poultry), check Rooster Booster Triple Action, and "Worm Out" Gel. "Worm Out" is technically for aviary birds, pigeons, parrots, etc..., but works for chickens as well. Not many people eat their parrot eggs though....so thats why I say only "sort of" for poultry. They dont talk about egg withdrawl for that, so you would need to research your own conclusions based on the knowledge that the wormer is Praziquantel 200 mg/ml and Oxfendazole 200 mg/ml. Rooster Booster uses an antibiotic, hygromycin B, (that kills worms), and as far as I know has wording that says "no need to stop eating the eggs". FYI, Rooster Booster Triple Action will not be sold starting next year (at least not with their current antibiotic ingredient) since the FDA is locking down control of most animal antibiotics. So if you want some Rooster Booster Triple Action (that uses hygromycin B), buy it now/stock up.
    Last edited: May 11, 2016
  8. Folly's place

    Folly's place Overrun With Chickens

    Sep 13, 2011
    Piprazine is the only other approved wormer for chickens, and it only kills roundworms. HygromycinB seems like a poor alternative, as it is an antibiotic, and apparently will be gone next year. Commercial flocks live short indoor lives, and are the major economic driver of meds for poultry, so there's been no real incentive for manufacturers to develop products for small flocks. The current focus on preventing antibiotic/ drug resistance by limiting overuse in livestock is a very good thing, and it's been shown that the yolks in the hen absorb and retain many things. That's why so few products are now approved for laying hens, and that's why many of us make the choices we do. Mary
    1 person likes this.
  9. DreamsInPink

    DreamsInPink Chillin' With My Peeps

    Hmm, well, as I said, I guess I'll just wait it out. And see.
  10. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Well, that's interesting.....I didn't know that.
    How odd(not) that is is described so many places as a poultry wormer...tho I haven't researched it fully.

    Also, I believe that it is meant to be used continually in the feed, more as a preventative than a treatment for an outbreak.

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