Tapeworms? If so, what to use?


In the Brooder
10 Years
Jul 19, 2009
I have a Black Brassy Back Bantam rooster that has been sick for months. He seems to be starving all of the time, has runny brown poo that stinks horribly, he now is super skinny, and he doesn't crow anymore. He is also really pale and I don't know what to do.

At first, I thought that it was just worms so I gave him and his hen Wazine. After a while, I stopped giving the Wazine to him because there was no improvement. He was still just as sick as before. So, I went to a local feed store and the owner gave me an antibiotic that he said would cure just about anything and he gave me a dosage. But the he added, if that doesn't work he probably has a really big tapeworm. Unfortunately, the antibiotic didn't work but it may have made him feel some-what better. He is such a fighter but I almost lost hope for him because I didn't know what else to do. (I stopped the antibiotics about three weeks ago)

I don't see him everyday (about every three days) because he is at my boyfriends house , but after seeing him yesterday made me want to fight for him all over again. My boyfriend loves the chickens but has the attitude of "I'm not paying money to get them fixed" so I just take charge of them all. He is so sick and seems to be begging for help and I don't know what to do. His hen loves him so much and I would hate to see her without him.

I think that it is tapeworms but I'm not positive. If it is, I don't know how to rid him of the parasites. Any advice would be helpful! Thanks!
He probably doesn't have tapeworms- they are gross to see on the feces (they look like cous cous), but don't do alot of harm. FYI if he did have tapeworm- you can use praziquantel or albendazole to kill them. Albendazole is also a good broad spectrum dewormer (better than wazine). Prazi will JUST kill tapes. If you want to know if he has internal parasites other than roundworms which wazine kills, you can have a fecal checked at a vets (you can see if he is shedding loads of coccidia or other things). You should check his skin and feathers for lice and treat if you see them. Pale usually means anemia, which can be due to excessive internal or external parasites. Check his crop in the morning before you let him out to eat anything- see if it is empty. If it is full in the morning before he can eat anything- his problem is likely there (impacted crop). What do you feed him normally? How old is he? Is he on dirt, free ranging, or in a cage?
I feed him a scratch feed and grower/starter since he is so skinny. He is in a pen and I usually let him out to scratch around but I haven't lately since it has been cold. He used to love to be out but he doesn't even seem to care since he has been sick. The only thing on his mind is food and water. I have no idea how old he is, I didn't raise him but have had him for a year and some odd months. If its not tapeworms, do you know what would make him that way? Also, if I did try those medications for tapes and he didn't have them, would it hurt him? Where could I get those and what's the dosage? Sorry for all the questions, I just don't know anything about this! Thanks so much for your help though!
I haven't checked for that. I will do that later on today for sure and if so, I have some spray for that.
Sometimes if really infested it will cause them distress and can also cause them to become anemic. Which could be why he is pale. You might want to separate him give him some scrambled egg to boost his protein level. It will help him fight what ever he has. Also look closely at eyes, nose for discharge. Listen to him breath does he sound like he is having a problem? You can also give him a physical when you pick him up. Just make sure there is nothing obvious you missed. Good luck!
Thanks so much! I will be sure to check him out later today and give an update. I also bought some Gatorade to give him some electrolytes so hopefully he will get better.
I would stop the scratch completely. He doesn't need it, and it is empty calories. Feed him flock raiser or game bird conditioner- something higher in protein, but balanced in vitamins/minerals. If he is an old rooster (they can live well past 5, over 10 sometimes), he could have any number of senior issues. If he is a younger fellow- you could be dealing with bacterial or parasite problems, or something else- diarrhea and skinny are not specific for any one disease- just says the bird is ill. Or diet- if he is mostly eating corn. If you want to do medications with him, without doing diagnostics like a fecal check or bring him to a vet---- No, tapeworm meds shouldn't hurt him. Praziquantel you can get in a tablet form at most feed stores. Albendazole comes in a big bottle, but is a better dewormer than prazi. 10-20mg/kg is standard dosing. If you want to deworm him, I wouldn't waste your time & money with praziquantel. Just get abendazole- it will get all of the worm types.
http://healthybirds.umd.edu/Disease/Deworming Birds.pdf
I would also get him out of the pen, and put him on clean ground or into a kennel. If this is a chronic parasite problem- there will be a huge load of parasite eggs in the soil, and he will reinfect himeself rapidly. I don't like wazine (piperazine) much as people give it thinking they are doing a good deworming- but all this drug will really get is big roundworms. If a fecal is done and all you have is big roundworms (acscarids), this is a fine choice- but if there are other smaller worms that can cause severe disease- that wazine won't touch. Some give wazine, then follow it with ivermectin- which is ok, but tapeworms are not touched by this combo.

Sorry, when I said he stays in a pen I meant to say that it's off the ground with a wire bottom. I will definitely check his crop and stop with the scratch. I will also go by the feed store and see if they have the conditioner that you mentioned and maybe even the albendazole also. Today before I posted the blog, I went to a home and garden store that carries cattle medications and I saw albendazole in a large bottle that was $55 so I didn't get it and I wasn't even sure if chickens could take that (I was actually looking for safe-guard for Brassy; I read that from someone else's post). Hopefully I can find a smaller bottle that is cheaper.

Thanks for the link. The symptoms that intestinal worms cause sounds exactly like what he has. Again, I am very appreciative of your help and once I check on him and go to the feed store, I will update!

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