The dilemma of worming 3 week old chicks

Liz Field

In the Brooder
Nov 8, 2019
Kurtistown, HI
Aloha from the Big Island of Hawaii - I just wanted to share my experience with worming chicks and hopefully help other folks who may be faced with an issue similar to mine
I had just brought home two Easter Eggers that a local person purchased from Ideal Hatchery as day old chicks and raised to 3 weeks, putting them up for sale on Craigs list - I’ve had other chicks from Ideal with no issues, and truthfully, I don’t think this was anything caused by Ideal - short story, I didn’t have the chicks 2 days when I found what sure appeared to me to be 3 or 4 roundworms that had to be at least 3 inches long - they appeared to have been pooped out by only one of the chicks, which one I had no idea - to say the least I was alarmed, I’ve never faced this before in either chicks or adults - the chicks seemed totally fine, but obviously I had to worm them
I turned to my favorite site for all things dealing with chicken health, PoultryDVM, and they had great info on worming adults, but zero about worming chicks - since I have known fenbendazole to be an extremely safe wormer, and it has always been listed as one of the best for killing roundworms, I focused on that - the site gave dosage of 3 ml per gallon for 3 days, repeat in 10 days, for adults - so I decided to just cut that in half, and since the waterer I was using for the chicks had a quart sized jar, it boiled down to .4 ml per quart for 3 days repeated in 10 days - so with fingers crossed, I gave them the first round of fenbendazole - they did just fine, whew! - a little reddish mucous stool from one of them, again, not sure which one, because I never saw that again, just normal, solid stool from both of them - today I finished the second round, and both are thriving with no further signs of worms - I suspect which chick had the worms, because the one that was visibly smaller than the other has literally shot up and grown since the first worming
The fenbendazole I used was the Safeguard for Goats 10% that can be purchased at any feed store or on Amazon - I had read that fenbendazole will settle out a bit in water, which it did, but that just meant it settled in the small red bowl that they were drinking out of anyway, so it all worked out
3" roundworms from a 3 week old chick? Something doesn't sound right. Are you sure they are 3 weeks old? Did you take a picture of these worms?

But you could have made a medicated mash with Fenbendazole instead of trying to dose in the water with it.

Redish stool sounds like coccidiosis. Corid will probably be needed.
Thank you for your concern - I already add Corid to the drinking water for all my chickens, ever since I lost a healthy adult to Coccidia before I knew how bad it could be - the humidity here in HI just sets up the perfect environment for that to flourish and mine free range, so I can’t know what all they may get into during the day - I even give amprolium to my goats just in case
As for the chicks age, unfortunately, all I have to go by is the seller telling me what their hatch date was from Ideal - these are good sized chicks, and to be honest, the worms may have only been about 2.5 inches, but they were long and stringy, and honestly, I didn’t even think about taking a picture of them - I have seen plenty of roundworms from dogs, so I was pretty sure that’s what these were - actually, I’m with you, I was pretty disgusted that something that big could even come out of a chick, but from what research I did about them, apparently the chicks were most likely exposed to roundworms at the place they were raised and ingested eggs can become adults in no time
Great suggestion about another way to give the fenbendazole - these guys drink lots of water so I felt that was a reliable way to deal with it - like I had mentioned, the wormer did settle out a little bit in the dish, right where they drink from, so as far as I could tell, they were getting a pretty good dose for the days it was in their water - their stools have been totally normal even since about the third day of giving them the wormer on the first round, and I have seen no further signs of anything - I will be sure to report if the worms come back
A heads-up since they are growing feathers. Fenbendazole has been known to cause curly feathers. Don't freak out if some feathers grow in weird, there is nothing wrong with the chicks. They will fallout at their next juvenile molt and come back as regular feathers.

This warning is usually associated with worming chickens when they are molting but may apply to you too. If they feathers do come in curly could you please post photos, those would be fun to see.
Advertisement Purina Flock Layer

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom