All farm animals, including chickens, are capable of harboring a variety of parasites, including worms. Worms are typical “endoparasites,” meaning they are inside your chicken rather than “ectoparasites,” which are parasites on the outside of your chickens, such as lice or mites.
There are multiple types of worms that affect poultry. Clinical signs of a parasite infestation include poor growth, poor appetite, decreased egg production, and, in severe cases, death. Additionally, parasites can make a flock more susceptible to disease or worsen a current disease condition.
How do chickens get worms?
These parasites can spread in all your poultry in different ways: the first is through the direct life cycle and the second through the indirect life cycle, but what do these two cycles mean?
- Direct life cycle
The hens will collect worm eggs as they search for food. Chickens love to peck at the ground. This is an instinctual trait for them. Unfortunately, this means that they pick up a lot of waste while eating. Infected hens will shed worm eggs by the thousands and these eggs can survive for up to a year under the right conditions. A healthy chicken wanders in and picks up the eggs while scratching and pecking at the food on the ground. Suddenly the chicken has unwanted guests inside.
- Indirect life cycle
The indirect life cycle involves other species (usually slugs, earthworms, or snails). For example, a pigeon drops its droppings near its chicken coop. These contaminated feces are then digested by insects such as beetles and snails. Since these are all tasty delicacies for chickens, it’s easy to see how chickens can get infested with worms hidden in their favorite snacks.
Different types of worms are transmitted in different ways, but understanding how they spread will help you prevent them in the future.
How do I know if my chickens have worms?
Chicken diseases can share many symptoms, so it can be difficult to know exactly what is wrong with them. In general, if they have a poor appetite, diarrhea, pale yolks in the eggs, it is very likely that they have worms. You can also check your chicken’s feces for signs of these parasites.
A good way to do this is to scrape up some of your chicken manure (fresh, preferably) and place it in a jar (it can be a small glass) filled with water (don’t tell your wife what you are using her glasses for ). In this way, the excrement will be separated and you will be able to detect any type of parasite more easily. They can be especially easy to see after you’ve treated your coop for them and the chickens remove the dead worms from their systems.
Do I need to deworm my chickens?
If you keep your chickens on a farm, very well fed, healthy-looking, shiny feathers, and with a unique energy, you probably don’t need to rush out and give them a dose of a dewormer. However, if your hens live in a very small space feeding and defecating in the same area, you should take steps to help prevent a maggot outbreak. You must follow preventive measures and be on the lookout for possible infestations.
How do I treat my chickens for worms?
It is good practice to treat chickens for worms during sunny seasons. This is when conditions are ideal for worm eggs to become active. Chances are that if one of your chickens has worms, the rest have them or will have them too. Treat your entire chicken coop. In general, it is a good idea not to mix treatment methods. Wait a few days before changing methods.
Apple cider vinegar with garlic
The oldest and most natural method is through the use of apple cider vinegar with garlic, and much better if the mother is still in the bottle. The “mother” in apple cider vinegar is a piece of fermented material from the vinegar-making process. There is no difficult recipe, but generally, apple cider vinegar is added to the water supply, along with ground garlic cloves. The theory is that vinegar makes the chicken’s digestive system an unpleasant place for worms by increasing acidity. Garlic plays with this as a kind of natural cleanser.
Does this work? Well, it is disputed. Apple cider vinegar has good probiotics in the fermentation process (kind of like yogurt) and therefore can help your chickens rebuild their intestinal flora after they have been removed. worms. It can also help them if they are infested with worms because it helps their digestive system work better.
Will they kill worms? Some say yes, others say no. What is certain is that it will not affect the health of your hens to try it. I guess it is a better preventative than a cure. You can buy traditional apple cider vinegar at any supermarket or you can buy it online. Brands don’t really matter that much. The most important problem is making sure that it is not pasteurized and that it has the “mother” in it.
A better way to treat worms that is still “natural” and does not require medication is to use food-grade diatomaceous earth. It is a fine white powder that you can find in many farm stores or veterinary supply stores. Amazon has it too. This follows the same theory as apple cider vinegar, except that this method is accepted as more effective. Put 1/4 cup of food-grade diatomaceous earth in every 32 oz of food. Be careful not to breathe in the dust as it can be harmful to you (it is safe for your chickens, however). Repeat this for four to five days and see if you notice an improvement. You can use it every few months as a preventive method.
5 top organic deworming plants
- Betel nut of bunga. Betel nut is considered to be the best organic deworming fruit.
- 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 are 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.
If these methods don’t work, you may need to see a vet.
Prevention is the best remedy
We would all love to let our birds run free in the wild. However, not all of us can raise our chickens in the open field. When chickens are kept in confinement, worm infestation becomes a greater risk. Steps can be taken to prevent worms from entering the environment.
Keep the chicken coop clean and dry.
If you live in the fields, cut tall grass and weeds so UV rays will naturally kill the worms and their eggs.
- Use natural repellants like food-grade diatomaceous earth, garlic, apple cider vinegar, and pumpkin and cucumber seeds.
- Dry rake your coop area and remove manure.
- Be on the lookout for weight loss, diarrhea, gurgling sounds, strange behavior, lethargy, or other unhealthy conditions in your chicken coop. These could be signs of a worm infestation. If your egg yolks are no longer bright orange and appear less thick, it may be time to deworm your chickens.
Consequences of not deworming your chickens
Not deworming your chickens in the event of an infestation can have serious consequences for your birds. Their health will continue to deteriorate if the life cycle of the worms is not broken. Your chickens will become anemic and will likely die. Save your birds and precious eggs with good worm prevention measures and let prevention be the best medicine.
Related: 10 Ways to Deworm Your Chicken
- How to start a free-range chicken egg business
- Can Humans Get Coronavirus from Chickens?
- How do chicks develop and breathe inside the egg?
- The Faverolles, a Breed of Chicken with Many Qualities
- What is ISA Brown Chicken Breed