Questions re worming

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by bawkbawkbawk, Jan 23, 2010.

  1. I have three hens, 7 months old, all gorgeous and (apparently) healthy. We've been free-ranging them a lot lately, and with all the rain we've had this past week in southern California, they have been feasting on bugs, worms and who-knows-what-else they're pulling out of the soft, wet ground.

    I've used the search function to read other threads about worming and it seems to range from people worming their chickens monthly to people who never worm their chickens. I'm not anxious to get into it if I don't have to, but I want to be a good flock manager, so is this something I should be doing?

    I understand that you can't eat the eggs for a certain period of time after worming. Does this only relate to chemical worming methods or to homeopathic remedies as well?

    Are the natural remedies as effective as the chemical ones?

    What is the "safe" interval after which it is permissible to eat the eggs again after worming?

    Is worming something that is relative to flock numbers? Is it more important in a flock of 30 than a flock of three or does that not matter?

    Is worming something unnecessary if your flock does not free-range?

    Do chickens who have worms manifest symptoms?

    If anyone knows how to use the poll function it might be interesting to set one up to find out how many people don't worm, do worm and how often. I know I've seen polls here but am not immediately seeing anything about it on the tool bar...


  2. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    Bawk, I can't answer all your questions but I will tell you what I do.
    I decided part of my flock management would be to worm once a year. Chickens, like other animals, can handle a low wormload, but by the time they start showing signs of a heavy worm load it's pretty significant.
    I chose a chemical wormer, actually two. Year one I used valbazen (albendazole). This past year I used ivermectin. Both are cattle wormers. Valbazen is used to treat worm infestations in humans. Ivermectin is familiar to alot of folks as an ingredient in heartworm prevention meds. for dogs. I discarded the eggs for two weeks in both cases.
    It's not that I don't believe in the homeopathic methods, but I consider them more as preventives than something that would treat a heavy infestation.
    Within a week of worming I noticed an improvement in the overall appearance of my flock, though I found no worms in their stools.
    I will continue to worm once a year. I figure my dog and cats get a routine worming once a year, why not my chickens?
    Other folks do things their way, some don't worm at all, and that's perfectly okay by me.
    I'm going to do what I think is best for my animals. [​IMG]
    By the way, there are 14 birds in my flock and they free range every day.
  3. Gonzo

    Gonzo Songster

    May 25, 2009
    Southwestern, In
    I've heard pumpkin seeds. The seeds have an enzyme that does something to flush out any internal worms or parasites. I toss a few punkins out for mine and they go to town!
  4. woolychicken

    woolychicken Songster

    Oct 3, 2009
    mesick michigan
    What Kind Of Wormer Should I Use On Full Size Chickens And Bantums And Where Can I Find It And How Much Do I Give
    Never Have Wormed Before But Sounds Like A Good Ideal
  5. Gonzo

    Gonzo Songster

    May 25, 2009
    Southwestern, In
    If you don't want to try natural wormers, I would check with your local feed store, rural king, or I think I've seen it in McMurray Hatcheries Catalog. It will give you a good idea and a place to start. [​IMG]
  6. chookchick

    chookchick Songster

    Aug 18, 2008
    Olympia WA
    Here's an excellent thread on worming and "organics"--

    Basically the long and short of it is that there are no true "organic" dewormers, just preventatives. If your hens are healthy and laying well, I would not worry about worms, unless you see one in their poo. I had an experience like Gritsar, in that I thought I saw a worm, wormed them, and have seen an improvement in their overall look. But I never saw anything come out of them, and believe me, I looked. Next time I am going to have a fecal float done so I have an idea what is going on.
  7. Thanks all for such great advice and clarity! My girls have no idea how lucky they are to have so much wisdom and support from BYC!

    If once a year is sufficient, that sounds great to me. I've heard that many people choose to do it around molt when the chickens won't be laying much anyway, so I think I'll just wait until then unless I see indications of anything less than good health. I have no idea how a chicken with worms presents, but my three seem to be the picture of health at the moment:


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