Worming your layers?

FarmerJen76

Hatching
5 Years
Apr 21, 2014
2
1
9
How do you all handle worming your layers? I've had chickens for about 8yrs, but being of the "doing it naturally" mentality, I've never wormed as I've never seen any signs of worms. However, I just lost a bird to what seems like it may have been gapeworm. She died yesterday after several days of gurgling, gaping and labored breathing. No other symptoms, except becomming increasingly weak. I didn't cut her open to verify the worm... though I might do so when I get home today, because I REALLY want to know.

Anyway... it brings up the thought that I should probably be worming them. Several of them do have "dirty butts" - I'm not seeing the clean fluffy rears I used to. Which makes me think they probably have worms of some sort. They're otherwise they have nice shiny feathers and are healthy and active. I do NOT see any sign of worms IN the poop... though I've not examined it that closely either. They are kept free-range with access to grass, though they often co-habitate with my dairy goats. Not sure if that adds to the potential for worms or not. I do worm the goats, though not often. Mostly just after kidding, due to the added stress which can trigger a worm load spike.

Thing is... the sole reason I have the birds is for eggs. I don't eat the birds. But it seems like most of your poultry wormers are supposed to be given pretty regularly, but all have pretty lengthy egg withdrawal periods.
I'd prefer to go "au natural" - but I do want healthy animals. Appreciate any thoughts here.
 

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