Treating worms in chicks?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Abronsyth, Jun 3, 2017.

  1. Abronsyth

    Abronsyth Songster

    Mar 19, 2013
    Upstate NY
    I've had a rough few weeks, having lost 6 of 7 chicks from an order. Right now I have one tiny pullet left, just under 3 weeks old, and we need to worm her (as well as the other chicks she's with, who range from 2 to 4 weeks old).

    Does anyone know the safest way to worm (with Ivermectin) in chickens this young and small?

    (Filling out the questions on the sticky:)
    She's a black sumatra pullet, just under 3 weeks old, and is underweight.
    Voracious appetite but not gaining weight, slow growth rate, lethargy.
    For about a week now, did not recognize the odd behavior at first.
    We have two other birds currently exhibiting similar symptoms, and we had several others previously who passed.
    No sign of external injury or trauma.
    Many of the chicks arrived in this condition from the hatchery (we were refunded for 5 of them who passed within 2 days). I believe they may have come infested, that or because her immune system was already comprised making it easy for worms to overtake her.
    She has been drinking water, initially with nutridrench, clean, then probiotics, clean, and right now they're all on antibiotics for respiratory issues. They've been eating chick starter (medicated but not with the typical chemical), and a lot of extras such as rice, bread, worms, grass, salad, and freeze-dried mealworms. (Along with grit).
    The poops have been kind of runny, and very small (smaller than usual), and occasionally foamy or just watery.
    They're on expanded wood pellets (like what you use for horse stalls), and it's cleaned regularly.

    We do not have any local vets that have proven to be reliable in treating poultry (having lost several birds due to misdiagnosis from the vet or a total lack of diagnosis and refusal to run tests) this is pretty much entirely up to us to diagnose and treat our birds. We have run my sibling's pigeon to Cornell for treatment, as they're way better with birds than any of the vets in a two hour radius...and I have the funds for that to be an option, but traveling that far would be exceptionally stressful on the tiny chick.

    These chickens are our pets, each individual is an important part of the family. They're not production birds, and the cost of the chicks themselves does not determine how much I am willing to spend to save them. (Just putting that out there to avoid any unsavory commentary).

    So if someone could help me out in figuring out a safe dosage of ivermectin, or an alternative, for such young birds I would really, really appreciate.

    Thank you.
  2. debid

    debid Crowing

    Jan 20, 2011
    middle TN
    Ivermectin works well for leg mites but the information I found when I researched pointed me toward Safeguard for broad-spectrum worming.

    That said, I don't think worms are likely in chicks that young. And, I think you may do more harm than good trying the Ivermectin considering how small the dosage is for a grown bird.
    Wyorp Rock likes this.
  3. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Enabler

    Sep 20, 2015
    Southern N.C. Mountains
    What is the medication in the feed?

    Chicks that young usually don't have a worm overload, though it's not unheard of. Taking several fresh poop samples to your vet for testing of worms and Cocci would be a good idea. If they do have worms, you need to know what kind, so you give the correct treatment.

    Since they have a good appetite, but don't seem to be gaining, try eliminating or reducing the "extras" - fillers like rice and bread are fun to give, but don't have the nutritional value or protein required for growing chicks. A good rule is to limit treats (extras) to no more than 5% of daily intake. Let the chick starter be their main food.

    It sounds like you have more than one thing going on. You mention that you are treating with antibiotics for respiratory issues - what symptoms are you seeing? Seeking vet care would be best since you have lost several.

    Keep us posted.
  4. Abronsyth

    Abronsyth Songster

    Mar 19, 2013
    Upstate NY

    I lost Grace last night, found her this morning.
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2017

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