Molting and Worming...

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by jecombs, Nov 23, 2012.

  1. jecombs

    jecombs Out Of The Brooder

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    My 9 mo. old Buff Orpingtons are molting, which means I we are getting about 1 egg per week. I was thinking that this might be a good time to worm them since we aren't getting many eggs anyway and would have to throw the eggs out. Is it safe to worm while they are molting or would that stress them too much? And what is the best wormer? I've read that Ivomec is good, but I have no idea how to dose chickens with it.
     
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    I know there are people on this forum that are going tio disagree with me, but I see nothing wrong with worming while they are molting with one exception I'll get to. When chickens molt they quit laying eggs and use the nutrition that normally goes into eggs to grow feathers. I don't see them as abnormally stressed out when they molt.

    The exception depends on what you use as a wormer. Fenbendazole, often sold as Safeguard, can cause the feathers to grow back all curly and funny-looking. If they are molting don't use Fenbendazole. Check the label for ingredients before you buy it.
     
  3. jecombs

    jecombs Out Of The Brooder

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    Ok thanks for the input! Anyone else have any suggestions?
     
  4. aggiemae

    aggiemae Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Personally I wouldn't worm at all unless I was sure it was necessary. Chickens get worms, the trick (IMO) is to keep them from overgrowing by keeping your chickens healthy. Consider including pumpkin and hot pepper flakes in your chickens diet as a preventative measure will make their guts into a hostile enviorment for worms. I do this once a week, more now that we have plenty of soft/rotten pumpkins from our garden. Adding a splash of active culture vinegar to their water is a good ideal too. I also give mine sour milk and yogurt, but I admit the they are pretty spoiled chickens.

    In any case even though it would be handy to worm when you don't have to toss eggs, molting is supposed to be a rest period and feeding them poison will result in the hens needing to work to get their gut flora back to normal when they should be working on getting nice shinny new feathers.
     
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2012
  5. Roy Rooster

    Roy Rooster Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi,

    I am so glad that I ran across this post. I have BO's which are molting. I was going to take this time to
    worm them while they are not laying well.

    I had no idea that safeguard(which I use) would make their feather grow back funny [​IMG]
     
  6. jecombs

    jecombs Out Of The Brooder

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    Yikes! Thanks for the input (Roy Rooster), I'll be sure not to use Safeguard. I'll have to do some more research on the Ivomec to make sure it doesn't do anything weird to their growing feathers.

    Aggiemae: I hear ya about healthy gut flora. However, I haven't found anything that is research-based that indicates this is an effective means to manage worms in the flock. Until I find some assurances in the area or a vet that recommends it, I'll stick with the drugs. BTW, I don't know that wormers will destroy naturally occurring good bacteria in the gut as they are not antibiotics. Although I guess anything that acts on the gut will definitely change the composition of what is in there.
     
  7. aggiemae

    aggiemae Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dewormers are poison they effect everything.In over 30 years I have wormed a handful of birds and that was because they came to us scrawny with parasites so to me the connections between good health and susceptibility is obvious. In any case it costs about $20.00 to take some chicken poop to a vet and have it screened, you can mix poop from 4-6 chickens and I would do that before I fed my flock poison "just in case".
     
  8. Roy Rooster

    Roy Rooster Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That is a good point. I am guessing that you do not worm on a regular basis. Have you ever had any problems?
    I am just wondering. I am afraid that if I do not worm them that I will be asking for trouble. How long has you had
    your chickens and not wormed?

    Thanks
     
  9. lorain's fids

    lorain's fids Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That is exactly what I do. I only have 5 chickens so it is easy to mix the poop together from 5 of them. I also give them kefir and yogurt just about every other day. When I feed them cooked quinoa /rice I mix a tiny bit of cayannne pepper in. I also give them a clove of garlic mashed up in the brown rice/qiunoa. I only have 5 so doing this is easy. They haven't tested positive for any worms.
     
  10. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    I have had problems with worms in the past and so worm every 6 months. If you don't have problems with worms, getting a fecal float at the vet is a good option (false negatives are possible).

    I wouldn't mind worming during molting either. But it is very hard on them. For example, this fall I wormed my Orps. I went from 20 eggs a day to 10 eggs a day. Immediately.
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2012

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