resistant roundworms

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by courtneyq, Aug 10, 2008.

  1. courtneyq

    courtneyq Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 10, 2008
    Athens, Georgia
    I have two hens, one a Barred Rock, one a Rhode Island Red. The BR has suffered with roundworms for a while, and now the RIR has them as well. I have treated them with Worm Off and the pour on Eprinex (treatments I learned about on the boards here--thanks!), and I know they work somewhat, but the girls keep having worms. The BR is looking rather wan, and though she musters through and is still the bossy head hen, she does rest more than usual. Her breast bone seems prominent when I pick her up. She lays only every few days. Wasting away. I'm not sure what else to try. I don't think they could've developed a resistance quite yet, but I suppose that is possible. I am planning to build a solid chicken tractor next weekend so they can live on different soil for a while. (They have a fenced yard, and I let them out in a PVC tractor for a few supervised hours during the day. They used to free range more, but then came raccoons and hawks and owls.) I wrote to the vet school at the university, but got no response. I don't know any local vets that treat chickens. I put vitamins in their water. Any other suggestions? Thank you! I know you all understand my worried and helpless feeling.
     
  2. sammi

    sammi Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 21, 2007
    Southeast USA
    can you see any worms in the droppings?
    are you sure they have worms?

    most any vet can do a fecal test for worms and protozoa (cocci)

    please describe the droppings..in detail..color and consistency.

    is the Worm Off the piperazine in tablet form?
    how did you give it?
    how often?
    did you retreat after initial treatment in 10-14 days?

    another good wormer is levamisole.

    what all do you feed?

    do they have a coop and pen?
    are they kept clean of droppings?

    will wait for your reply to questions..
     
  3. courtneyq

    courtneyq Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 10, 2008
    Athens, Georgia
    Excellent questions. Thank you! Prepare for the gross answers. (I know you all will understand. Other people in my life wonder why I inspect my chicken poo.)

    I have seen where they've passed the adult roundworms (I suspect just the BR), usually just one, but one time several after a dose of the Worm Off tablet. Most of the time these seem to be dead, but one time one was moving. I have also seen the hens have runny brown (very smelly!) droppings with smaller live worms in it, maybe half an inch, but shaped like roundworms (with pointy heads). I haven't noticed any worms in their droppings since the last dose five days ago, small and live or large and dead, but they do still have diarrhea half the time they go. Usually the diarrhea is the runny smelly brown stuff, occasionally it is somewhat clear with white. Their regular droppings are round and brown with some white on top. The RIR is still laying most every day (I destroy the eggs because of the medicine), but the BR lays only every few days. The BR is about two years old and the RIR is a little over a year old.

    The Worm Off is the piperazine in tablet form. I don't know the chickens' weights, but given BR usual weight and the fact that she is underweight, I give her just one tablet, and that has helped her to pass some. The RIR is larger, but I just gave her one tablet too. The Eprinex is the pour on, and I gave them .25 ml between the shoulders--I might be able to apply more but was nervous about trying it since it's not labeled for chickens, even though it sounds like most folks here trust it.

    I haven't always treated a second time in 10-14 days, because I thought the problem resolved. However, this time I have. Right now is 5 days after the second treatment. (This round, both Worm Off / piperazine tablets--one each bird.) I haven't *seen* any worms the last few days, but clearly something is still off.

    I feed them Layena crumbles, and I mix in some oyster shells, and I give them lots of treats. Right now my fig tree is ripening, so I'll give them a giant fig or two. My mother (who has never had chickens) suggested this might be causing diarrhea, which makes sense. Can you give chickens too much fruit? I also throw them black oiled sunflower seed sometimes, because they're crazy for it, and give them cheese treats periodically. I just ordered some organic raw pumpkin seeds, because I read here that it helps with prevention. They both eat heartily.

    They have a coop and a pen, plus I let them out to limited free range in the lawn for two or three hours a day. (I put together a lightweight tractor of PVC pipe and netting after a hawk tried to take the RIR off, but somehow luckily missed.) The pen has a dirt floor, and I throw in hay. I add hay when it needs it and clean it out every two weeks or so, but even if I cleaned it out daily, their runny droppings would remain there somewhat. Should I increase how often I clean it? Not use hay? They poop in their nesting box at night, which is lined with hay, and I clean that out each morning, gathering the hay and the droppings. That's how I initially noticed the worm.

    Thank you for any insight you can give. I've just had two hens for a year and a half now, and though I've learned so much from this forum, it's a drop in the bucket. Thanks for sharing your wisdom. I do love my pet hens!
     
  4. chickenzoo

    chickenzoo Emu Hugger

    It is important to do a second treatment like you are doing now because the first round kills the larger ones and the second round kills what has hatched since the first ones died. Hope they do better....
     
  5. courtneyq

    courtneyq Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 10, 2008
    Athens, Georgia
    Update. I just cleaned out the hens' night's droppings from their nest box, and the Barred Rock's were minimal but the hay was wet way down--I think her droppings were mostly water. Today the Rhode Island Red's droppings seemed closer to normal, so maybe her dose is working. I will be sure to give her a second dose to clear it all out in a few more days. The BR is a week into her second dosing of Worm Off (piperazine) in a row (10 days apart) and seems to be getting worse. Any other ideas? Thank you!!!
     
  6. LynneP

    LynneP Chillin' With My Peeps

    Are you in a position to clean down the coop, treat the base/ nest boxes with DE and Stable Boy (or Stall Dri) and re-bed the hens? I'd want some DE in every crevice too. This way you can break the worm egg cycle and give the girls a break. This should be done the same day you next treat them, and all manure should be spot-cleaned as you get this under control.
     
  7. courtneyq

    courtneyq Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 10, 2008
    Athens, Georgia
    Yes, thanks. I will clean it out again this weekend and redose them. I haven't heard of Stall Dry--will see if I can find it. I do have food-grade DE, which I've put in their dustbath and they seem to enjoy. I didn't realize the DE would help with roundworm eggs.

    It's hard for me to spot clean the droppings in their fenced yard because I can't always see them--they scratch it all around in the hay. Is another bedding better for this? I read on here about pine shavings--are droppings easier to find in those?

    I'm also planning to build a sturdy chicken tractor so I can move them onto new soil. I hope to get started this weekend, but it might take a while.

    In the meantime, the BR's droppings seem worse and worse. She is pale (looks more pale because of the DE on her comb), but still eats and drinks heartily and is preening right now. She does rest, sitting down, more and more. Anything else I can do for her in the meantime?

    Thanks so much!!!
     
  8. Chicabee19

    Chicabee19 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 8, 2008
    n/a
    Will DE kill worms that might be alive outside the chicken gut?
     
  9. sammi

    sammi Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 21, 2007
    Southeast USA
    I think I would give them some plain live culture yogurt, or a commercial probiotic mix to help restore gut flora from the wormer..

    then I think I'd limit their treats..(veggies/fruits)
    maybe none for a couple days and see if the droppings firm up..

    also..don't mix the oyster shell with the feed..
    give in a separate feeder.

    hope this helps.
     
  10. courtneyq

    courtneyq Out Of The Brooder

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    22
    Aug 10, 2008
    Athens, Georgia
    Thanks! I'll try the yogurt tonight. I've already stopped the fig/fruit treats to see if that helps. The RIR's droppings are starting to look normal, but the BR's are still sickly. She's hanging in there though, still eating and preening, but not laying (not that I could eat the eggs anyway--just a sign she's not herself). I am ready to be rid of GROSS WORMS.
     

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