Organic flock worming/treatment protocol question - need help

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by BennieAnTheJets, Apr 7, 2016.

  1. BennieAnTheJets

    BennieAnTheJets Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 4, 2016
    Virginia, USA
    Hi everyone,

    we have a flock of Guineas and are having issues with Gapeworm that is currently being treated with Fenbendazole.

    we wanted to add a flock of chickens next year - with the goal to keep them organically fed and treated and now I am wondering how one could do that

    if they get sick or get parasites, how do you treat them without using drugs that would ruin your organic egg status?

    I heard mixed opinions about using DE internally, since it works by scratching the "bug's" skin and killing them by drying them out, which would not happen in the moist environment inside a bird's gut

    also garlic is supposed to work great in the gut but is not systemic, like some pharmaceuticals and would only work on "critters" in the gut, not something like Gapeworm in the trachea or quill mites inside the feathers - we had to use ivermectin (cattle pour on) to get rid of those in the Guineas one year after weeks of trials with DE and even poultry dust (Sevin is supposed to be off-label for poultry now, too) - the Ivermectin went through and through and the mites were gone, but so were my organic eggs

    what do you do if your free ranging birds catch something and you want to keep them organic?


    any links or hints much appreciated!

    Thanks, Bennie
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2016
  2. OrganicFarmWife

    OrganicFarmWife Overrun With Chickens

    Oct 21, 2015
    No where Nebraska
    I do not certify my birds, so I cannot tell you everything you can do for them and remain organic. If you do certify, contact your certifier and ask for approved medicines, antibiotics, treatments, you can do and keep your organic statistics. They should be able to send you a list.
    One thing I have found with the "natural" treatments, they work much better as preventative then they do if you have a full blown infestation. I use garlic, 2 or three times a month. I also use DE under their litter (DE is more like little knives cutting and stabbing then scratching, though I do not know how it works against a mature worm)
  3. Folly's place

    Folly's place True BYC Addict

    Sep 13, 2011
    southern Michigan
    There are (short!) lists of approved meds for certified organic flocks. Sick or injured birds need to be treated as needed, and removed from the organic flock, if non-organic meds are necessary. Sevin is no longer approved for chickens, but permethrin is still okay (but not for organic). DE doesn't work if damp, so does no good if eaten. Gapeworms are tough to deal with organically. Mary
  4. BennieAnTheJets

    BennieAnTheJets Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 4, 2016
    Virginia, USA
    Thank you so much, OrganicFarmWife and Mary!!

    Great idea to get a list / input from the folks who would certify the flock.

    Thanks also for the hint that Gapeworm is hard to treat organically. I may decide against this chicken flock project, since I do want the birds to be well, and I already have one flock (Guineas) that technically can no longer serve to provide eggs for humans since they have been treated with Ivermectin and Fenbendazole. We seem to have gapeworm on this property, in the ground.


    Good to know things ahead of time, though! That makes for less disappointment and better planning.

    You'all are great! [​IMG]I even had an appointment with a vet to talk about this, but they don't know much - much like human docs are mostly trained in applying drugs and surgery, rather than preventative and less invasive methods. Sad but true.

    This forum is a real life saver for getting great information when you cannot get it from other places! Thank you!

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