Worming-what did I do wrong-still getting worms. :/


5 Years
Aug 8, 2014
I have digested so many worming threads here but I still need help.

I de-worm my girls 2x a year, and I rotate between safeguard, and valbazen. I individually syringe each bird, with doses recc in threads here. Then repeat 10 days later.

In July, I noticed some large round worms in poop, even though it wasn't time to worm the girls again. So, I gave them wazine, followed by safeguard. For wazine, I follow bottle dosing(give only source of h2o for a day w/ wazine dose). What I did not do is give them wazine 30 days later as the bottle suggests. I did, however, dose them with safeguard 10 days after their wazine dose.

3 months later, I find a roundworm in poop.

So what gives? How should I be dosing to rid them of these round worms? I thought that wazine, followed by safeguard or valb, 10 days later was the answer. Should I wait longer for the second/final worming dose? Is there a chance that I just have wormy soil, so they may develop a load every 3 months?


I am going to dose these girls, again, tomorrow, and I really need to kill them this time. Thanks!
Chickens have worms. Worming merely decreases the load. Anything that stresses the bird environmentally or systemically can cause their immune systems to get behind the load faster.

I presume you are rotating your fields (if possible) and picking up litter. As you can imagine, chickens peck and eat everything on the ground including another's poo, and thereby ingest the worms. So field rotation, litter rotation, as well as wormer rotation can help with loads.

You've used safeguard (fenbendazole) and valbazen (albendazole) repeated times as a standby....it may not be as effective on your worm loads if the worms were not knocked out by the first round, then you changed wormers to another wormer med that would have had a different efficacy...you may have inadvertently harvested the strongest worms against those meds by not following the protocol for either effectively.

If you change wormers, I would follow the protocol with one wormer only. Then, next time follow protocol with another wormer only.
Usually it is good to not throw everything at an animal, espeically if you only do half protocol, as you begin to limit your options of effectiveness with over exposure.

I would use the Wazine again as full protocol and see what happens.

If you still have heavy worm load, I would try Ivermectin (there are those who swear against Ivermectin as ineffective, but numerous studies show it can be a good choice for the right situation and I have personally had very good results with it.) If you go Ivermectin cattle pour on, it only takes a couple of drops at the base of the neck and below the vent (being careful to never get any in the vent), but to be effective it is essential to treat 3 times, 7-10 days apart. Studies show Ivermectin removes at 50%, then about 80% then after third does 99%.

So you can see what I mean by the importance of following up appropriate dosage with the appropriate wormer...otherwise you are simply growing worm resistance with a half effort.

After that, it is a matter of keeping stress free, happy hens. If you aren't doing so, I recommend apple cider vinegar in the water (raw with mother, plastic containers only) and regular probiotics either in feed additive or yogurt in mash treat. Neither are de-wormers, but they can help with gut flora which strengthens the immune system, the bird's first defense against worms.

Pumpkin seeds and cayenne pepper act as worm flushes, but you have to keep pristine field rotation or you simply flush for the next bird to eat.

My thoughts
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I agree with the above poster and would use Ivermectin next worming. The eggs in the soil don't die anytime soon, so reinfection is likely happening. Rotating their run area, or refreshing the surface soil, will help. Your birds may have to cope with some level of infection, and you may need to select for the healthiest individuals in your flock, able to cope with your environment. Mary
I wanted to note exactly what I did--

when I worm with safeguard, I give 1/2-3/4cc(depending on the hen size) to each hen. Then, 10 days later, I re-dose with same dose. Withdraw eggs 14 days. This is what I do when I use valbazen as well. I alternate, so if I used safeguard last, 6 months later, I will use valbezan, and so on. I think from everything I read that is the appropriate dosing and the right protocol, right? I have also only done these 3x(safeguard, then valb, then safeguard-hens are only 1 1/2 years old) So they should not build a resistance to this, right? If that is wrong, do let me know. :)

So, in doing the above, this year, about 3 months after their valbazen dose, I found the worms. So, I gave them wazine. This was the first time I used wazine too. I gave them safeguard the day after their wazine, then 10 days later, their second dose of safeguard. Now, that is NOT protocol for wazine, but it is for safeguard, so I do wonder what happened with them getting worms so soon after that. This would be only their second time getting safeguard too. I will follow through with a total protocol of wazine this time, however.

As for rotation-we have 11 acres-I let them out to range for half the day, and they go where they please. I am not sure how I could rotate as we don't have fencing...We use ACV, pepper, and feed yogurt too.

Thanks LadyoFmc and Folly's Place-I can use ivermectin next then. I do have one hen that seems to show the signs of worms while others do not-i treat them all, but it is only her poop that ever looks bad. Any insight on why that would be the case? She is the last of my craig-list hens that were not the healthiest when I got them. She is fine now, but she is always the first to let me know that the worms are back. :(
I have a coop that stays in the same place all year. The girls are free to wonder the backyard, does rotating their "run" apply to me?
Rotation applies to all birds as it is the worm build up in the soil that they ingest, harbor, drop worm eggs in feces, then re-ingest, then re-infect, at an exponential rate as the worms grow in population. Worming and field or litter rotation breaks that cycle.

Most of us small holders (I'm on 1/3 acre), have little ability to field rotate as the OP does with 11 acres (albeit, the birds probably tend to frequent the same areas again and again unless you contain them on separate fields and systematically rotate....my daughter does this with her birds on her farm by using a tractor coop they pull to separate areas on the 10 acre farm).

For those of us with small acreage, it is important to change litter or top out your soil from time to time. I use bark chips and each spring lay a deep new layer. I also have friends who love my chicken area and will come each spring with wheel barrow and shovel in hand to scoop up for their gardens from my rich, fertile loam the birds have created from the chips and soil and poo. I do have the ability to subdivide my pens so that I can force the birds to new areas if I so desired. That way, with a little help from my friends, I attempt to keep a soil/litter rotation. It is important to deep clean your coops annually to really get the poo out of the feed areas and roosting areas. (I've made monthly maintenance easy by using feed bags cut as coop liners so that poo does not dry into or crust onto the wood like it did before...also helping me keep my litter changed and poo build up down).

To OP: Without doing sequential fecal float tests (which may be worth it as you may be over treating the majority of your flock), it is hard to know the effects of the wormers on your flock general.

The particular bird you mention, since you stated was in unhealthy state, one of the last purchased as such from Craigslist, would have brought in a new load of worms and spread them over your area and to other birds in coop and feed areas. Birds who are in poor condition have poor immune systems which will factor greatly in worm load. In essence your sick or weak birds will act as vectors (carriers) to your other birds of general disease, bacteria, and worm over load (dropping more worm eggs as they are growing more worms with lowered immune system) and thus part of the worm build up in the soil. Worming removes the load from the birds but adding new birds to the flock who are in unknown/poor condition will add worm load again. (I presume you quarantined for a time??? Best protocol for that is to isolate any poor performing bird and either cull or care until completely in full health before adding back to flock).

If this one bird is still the issue, I would isolate her and treat her singularly, do a fecal check/test on other birds (who may be okay). Isolating her will allow you to treat her specifically, test her specficially, then clean up after her in a confined area (saves having to clean up her poo all over the fields)....otherwise she is your little happy worm seeder on your fields and to your flock....and while you have 11 acres...birds flock together, graze/forage together, and eat each other's poo in the process.

My personal approach if I have a problem, weaker bird, that always seems to usher in the next whatever...culling. It is just not worth them constantly infecting the flock as they indicate a lower overall stamina in health. Those are the ones that will catch something like IB and spread it to the rest. My experience.

My 2 cents
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