Worm Load in Chickens

Melky

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Jul 23, 2018
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Question. In chickens does anyone subscribe to the theory that hens always carry a worm load? Do you think they require regular chemical dewormers? Also what is the best to use? Can you get a negative fecal float for them?

I have struggled with this batch of hens and they have been treated twice with Panacur Febendazole. They have no visible sign of the condition and it just shows on regular check ups. Two different kinds gapeworm and round worm.

My last batch of hens I raised organically and dewormed twice year organically with items from the garden. No issues.

My new girls came from a farm and are not as hardy. So thinking I need to deworm chemically twice a year with new bunch hate the egg withdrawal period but want no revisits on positive testing. What do you think? Also dosing recommendations if anybody has any with egg withdrawal period my new vet put us on an 8 week withdrawal period last time. Longest one ever but we did it. Prior was one to two weeks. I started Vermix in water to give it a try since organic, we will see what happens. Get ready for Spring so preventive chemical deworm? Timing in the Spring? 🤔
 

dawg53

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What is your definition of a worm load? My definition is; one worm is one worm too many. Why? Because ONE female roundworm lays thousands of eggs on the soil each day. Birds constantly peck the soil and worm eggs are picked up and swallowed. Then the eggs are excreted and become infective. Then the eggs are picked up again by your birds and your birds become infected. This is the called the "direct lifecycle" of roundworms. If your birds are infected with just a few female roundworms, just think how many eggs are excreted onto the soil.

A lot of people say a chicken can handle a small worm load. What is a small worm load, 5, 20, 100? Ask yourself, what are those worms doing inside your chicken? They are multiplying, slowly sucking the life out of your chicken, contaminating your soil, weakening the immune system making the chicken susceptible to diseases. Death.
Ask yourself if YOUR dog can handle a small worm load. Can YOU handle a small worm load? How about children?

Your soil is contaminated with worm eggs. This is why your chickens keep getting reinfected. Insects can be hosts for worm eggs as well. Rotating foraging areas where your chickens roam will help reduce worm infections as well as monthly wormings. Keep in mind that some types of worm eggs can survive in soil for years.

Fecal floats are not 100% accurate. Organics might help reduce worm burdens depending on soil conditions. However... I've been there, done that years ago with organics and they were ineffective.

There are two different kinds of gapeworms: Syngamus Trachea and Cyathostoma. The latter are found in waterfowl and wild birds. Both can infect chickens.

As far as egg withdrawal periods after using benzimidazoles, ie fenbendazole, albendazole, oxfendazole, they are not very well absorbed in the bloodstream and are mostly excreted.
Valbazen (albendazole) stays in the chickens system for no more than 4 days. In other words, it is effective in eliminating worms for up to 4 days.
Residue in eggs are minimal after using benzimidazoles. We eat the eggs after worming chickens with benzimidazoles. We're still here alive and well after all these years and then some. As always, if you suspect that you or someone in your family might have an adverse reaction to the residue, toss the eggs in the garbage for two weeks after the last dosing.
Levamisole has a nine day withdrawal period. Ivermectin has a 28 day withdrawal period (I dont recommend it for worming poultry.)

VermX is useless as well as DE, a waste of money. Worming is always best in spring, that's when everything comes back to life after winter, including worms.
Here's a good link for you to read regarding worming your chickens:
https://veterinary-practice.com/article/common-poultry-worms
 

coach723

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When treating with fenbendazole for gapeworm the dose is 30mg/kg for 5 days in a row. That should have taken care of roundworm at the same time, if dosed correctly. . If treating for only roundworm, then it's two doses 10 days apart. You can get fenbendazole as Safeguard liquid goat wormer, or Safeguard horse paste also, tractor supply stores and many feed stores carry it. Roundworm in particular is very easy to pick up in the soil, the eggs survive a very long time, so reinfection is often common. For many people worming once or twice a year is adequate, for others it has to be done more often, every flock is different. I personally worm every 3 months, that's what I have to do in my flock for roundworm, my environment is a petri dish for parasites. You can also use albendazole (brand name Valbazen, for cattle) which you can get online. With albendazole you can treat both types with 2 doses 10 days apart, 20mg/kg or .2ml per 2.2 lbs.
Agree 100% with @dawg53 's comments on herbals and DE, I learned the hard way.
It may take a few cycles, and fecals if that's doable for you, to determine how often it's really necessary for your flock.
I also don't do a withdrawl for benzimidazoles, except for eggs I sell (liability). I personally continue to use them, never had an issue. For that, do what you are comfortable with. Most recommendations are 14 day withdrawls following dose for that class of wormers.
 

Melky

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Thank you all maybe I need to do more frequently thanks! Are there stool tests online that you can buy to test at home or vet testing only? Anyone know. I think I will switch to every three months with this flock and see what happens. :)
 

dawg53

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I dont bother getting tests done. I know the conditions of our soil. The soil here is warm, moist or wet most of the year, a sub tropical environment, conducive for worm infections. I worm monthly.
However this month has been an exception. We've had several off and on freezes (mid 20's several nights in a row) with heavy frost and frozen top layer of soil. Good enough to kill bugs.
I used Levamisole this month to worm my birds.
 

Melky

Spring has sprung!
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Edgewood, KY
I dont bother getting tests done. I know the conditions of our soil. The soil here is warm, moist or wet most of the year, a sub tropical environment, conducive for worm infections. I worm monthly.
However this month has been an exception. We've had several off and on freezes (mid 20's several nights in a row) with heavy frost and frozen top layer of soil. Good enough to kill bugs.
I used Levamisole this month to worm my birds.

So do you go through egg withdrawal once a month then and how long?
 

casportpony

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I have struggled with this batch of hens and they have been treated twice with Panacur Febendazole. They have no visible sign of the condition and it just shows on regular check ups. Two different kinds gapeworm and round worm.
When you treated them, how much did you give them?
 

Melky

Spring has sprung!
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Edgewood, KY
I’ll base my frequency on my test results. :) I know some do not believe in DE in the feed but my current food does not have it in it and I suddenly have a problem. When I had it in the feed no problem so probably will add back in myself. I sprinkle some in the coop anyway when clean.
 

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