There are many reasons why chickens are infected with different types of worms but for backyard and free-range, they are typically limited to five common types. These include large roundworms, a thread of capillary worms, cecal worms, tapeworms, and gape-worms.
How Chicken Get Worms
Internal poultry parasites, or worms, are very common and, at some point, most chicken owners have to deal with them. It’s important to realize that all worms are not created equal, making identification an important step when assessing the significance when finding worms.
Worms can be picked up from the feces of other chickens or birds—including wild birds. Often insects act as the intermediate host by carrying the worm eggs, which are then deposited in the chicken after they ingest the insect. In general, worms can be found in the respiratory or intestinal tract.
How to Minimize the Chances of Your Chicken from Getting Worms
- Keep the coop and surrounding area clean. Lack of cleanliness is a common cause of poultry disease. There are several general sanitation measures that should be taken, including the complete cleaning and disinfecting of house and equipment before starting baby chicks or housing layers; daily cleaning of waterers; and keeping litter dry and clean. For example, one way to help control tapeworms is by reducing the flies that act as intermediate hosts. And a good way to control flies is through proper manure management and overall general cleanliness.
- If at all possible, after a heavy infection, move your flock to land that hasn’t been occupied by chickens. Any area that has manure on it consistently will eventually have a high load of bacteria, viruses, and parasites.
- Practice good biosecurity. Worm eggs can be introduced into new facilities through contaminated equipment. Make sure to not share equipment with other flocks before properly disinfecting it.
- In addition, controlling worms can be difficult in backyard flocks due to the common presence of mixed-aged flocks. In mixed-aged flocks, older, apparently “healthy” chickens can shed eggs in their feces and subsequently infect the younger chicks. If you do have mixed-aged flocks, consider treating or testing the older birds before introducing chicks.
Common Types of Worms and Symptoms
- Roundworms – Long, yellow-white worms in the intestine, droopiness, weight loss, diarrhea, death.
- Capillary worm – Hair-like worms in crop and upper intestines, oral inflammatory masses, hemorrhagic inflammation of commissure of beak droopiness, weight loss, death.
- Cecal worm – Short worms in the ceca, unthrifty, weakness, weight loss
- Tapeworm – Long, white, flat segmented worms in the intestine, unthrifty, slow growth, weakness
- Gapeworms – Red, forked worms in the trachea, gasping, coughing
10 Ways to Deworm Your Chicken
There are many types of drugs both veterinary drugs and natural remedies to deworm (purga) your chicken but in this article, we present 5 drugs and 5 natural and organic dewormers so you can choose which is the best for you.
5 top deworming veterinary drugs
- Bastonero Plus – Application on the 30th day of the chicks. Mix 5 grams (1 sachet) per gallon of water for 1 day. Repeat every 21 days until the chickens are healthy.
- Vermex Eco – Effective in the removal of roundworms (Ascaris), hairworms (Capillaria spp.), and tapeworms in fighting cocks, doves, canaries, quails, and cockatoos.Stags and Pullets: ½ tab/head. Bull stags/cocks/breeders: 1 tab/head. May be given without fasting. Although formulated for fighting cocks, Vermex is also effective in all types of free-range chicken.
- Volatex Anthelmintic Tablet – best dewormer for adult chicken
- Hammer Anthelmintic – for adult chicken, 1 tablet per chicken per month.
- Pidro Worm Killer – 8 mos old and above: 0.2 g/kg/BW. Mix contents well into finished feed or into drinking water for 1 meal. Make sure animals take in all medicated medium for proper dosing. Repeat the procedure after 14 days for swine and 2 mos thereafter for layers and breeders.
5 top organic deworming plants
- Betel nut of bunga. Betel nut is considered to be the best organic deworming fruit. You can find the full details here.
- Tobacco leaves – Powdered tobacco leaves (2 parts) mixed with 12 parts feed mash and sodium sulfate is a salt solution for discharging chicken roundworms when given for 3 days.
- Papaya leaves – Researchers from UPLB tried using finely chopped papaya leaves combined with the feeds for 3 days. Results showed that the worm infestation was controlled and destroyed. Also, powdered tobacco leaves that were dried under the sun may also be used.
- Ipil-ipil leaves – Ipil-ipil leaves have been used by rural Filipino chicken raisers for decades and is proven to be effective. Chop ipil-ipil leaves before feeding. You may also give your chicken fresh young Ipil-ipil leaves.
- Garlic and Onions – this can be given fresh and finely chopped or you can give dried flakes or powders. Whatever form you choose, you will want to treat with an equivalent amount of one to two cloves (garlic) and ½ onion per hen per day for 10 days. If feeding garlic as a preventative measure, merely ensure it’s available and mixed in with their feed from time to time.
Depending on the age of your chicken, you have several options to choose from above.
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