Worming during molt?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by JayJo, Sep 6, 2016.

  1. JayJo

    JayJo Chillin' With My Peeps

    My chickens are starting to lose a few feathers and I think that a molt is imminent. I've read, here and elsewhere, that it's a good idea to pre-emptively worm during a molt since there won't be many eggs anyway so it's not as big a deal to toss them. Also, there have been a few stinky runny poos out there and something just seems... off. So I was thinking about worming them when they molt.

    I've never wormed. My girls range in age from 3 (those were inherited from someone else, and I don't think she wormed them) to 4 months.

    FWIW I usually use ACV and probiotics in their water and only give organic food, and we try to eat organic as a family. I usually try to avoid antibiotics but sometimes they are called for, and I'm trying to figure out if this is one of those times.

    Questions -
    Should I do a fecal test before I worm? The lady at the pet store suggested I do this so I don't build up antibiotic resistance in my birds for no reason.
    If I do a fecal test, do I have to test poop from all the girls, or just a random sample?
    I read here that I should first use Wazine 17, then Valbazen. The pet store only carries Wazine, not Valbazen. They also carry Rooster Booster and Ivermectin. If I do treat, what are my best options?
    The lady at the pet store says that I have to throw out all eggs for a month each time I use one of the stronger antibiotics, but that if I use Rooster Booster we can still eat the eggs. Thoughts?

    I've read a fair amount on these boards and talked to the pet store lady and now I'm just confused. I know this is kind of a controversial topic and I apologize if I'm, err, opening a can of worms (pun not intended). Just trying to figure out the best way to proceed here.

  2. sunflour

    sunflour Flock Master Premium Member Project Manager

    Jan 10, 2013
    IMO do the fecal tests on the suspect poops - if you do find positive ones at least you will then be able to decide which wormer to use and research egg withdrawal timing - I don't recall any needing a month of egg discard - I think most suggest a couple of weeks?
  3. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Flock Master Premium Member

    Apr 3, 2011
    southern Ohio
    You're very right about worming being a controversial subject here on BYC. Using a dewormer does not create antibiotic resisitance, but using the same wormer over and over can make the worms resistant to the product. There has been some discussion on use of SafeGuard (fenbendazole) during a molt, could cause a problem in feather pattern rerowth, but almost as many people report having no problems with this. Wazine only treats roundworms, the most common of chicken worms. SafeGuard Liquid Goat Wormer (and equine paste) and Valbazen are safe to use even for a first time worming, despite some older posts on BYC. Those 2 products, although not commercially approved for chickens in the US, will kill most any chicken worms, such as roundworms, capillary worms, gapeworms, and cecal worms. Multiple daily doses for fenbendazole may be needed for some worms. Tapeworm is very hard to get rid of, but fortunately, is less common. Praziquantil is useful in control. There are other products used by some including Worm Out Gel, levamisole, and others in different ountries and the US. Generally, waiting 14 days after the last dose of a wormer to eat eggs is generallly thought of as best.
    Many people who deworm will use a different wormer each time in rotation to help prevent resistance. In warm humid climate, worming may be needed more often, while in dry cooler climates, worming may be necessary once a year. Some people never worm their chickens, especially if they free range on fresh grass year round. Getting several fresh collective droppings from your flock would be a good way to find out if your chickens have worms, and what kinds. Here are some good links to read to help you make up your mind:
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2016
    2 people like this.
  4. Not to open that can of worms......I have never wormed my Chickens...My friend has once...My birds have not needed it...If no worms a present? No need to worm them.....

    Just my thoughts on worming Chickens...
  5. chickcrack

    chickcrack Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 27, 2016
    Ontario, Canada
    An avian vet told me that by the time you see worms in poop that bird is carrying a very large load. She advised either scheduled deworming and/or fecal float tests then targeted deworming. If your birds are on ground they likely have worms. It's never my goal to keep them worm free 365 days a year but to manage their health. My two cents :)
    2 people like this.
  6. Yes, Exactly what I was leaning towards...
    So far no need to worm my birds...Healthy conditions and Chickens fight off most things...Years with Chickens, great friends that help in a pinch...I have not had one really bad issue..Only my Ameruacana had a heart attack when the tarp blew off...RIP Esther...
    Have LT1 here on my property but all birds are doing great with proper management..Not easy but better than culling and starting over....

    Cheers to Chickens!
  7. JayJo

    JayJo Chillin' With My Peeps

    Thank you so much for your responses! Super helpful. I will find a local vet who can do a fecal float test. I see that I can buy the Safeguard on Amazon and it's really good to know that I don't have to use Wazine first, and that the withdrawal period is only two weeks. I will go read those threads. Good to know which ones to read, sometimes it's hard to know. All in all great information!

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