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Deworming chickens

 
Posts: 149
Location: Iron River MI
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We’ve had chickens for 5-6 months now and I’ve never dewormed them. I noticed the other night one of the hens was stretching her neck out and making a yawning motion several times. She shook her head a few times too. I thought gapeworms but a few people on Facebook said thats very unlikely and she might be adjusting her crop.

Either way, parasites are inevitable and I should probably figure out an effective plan for dealing with them. After looking online it seems most of what’s recommended is non FDA approved drugs that are prescribed off label... not my cup of tea. You all must have some tried and true methods of dealing with natural parasites in your birds right?

Here are a few of my ideas, which are only ideas. I haven’t researched any of this and dont even know if these things are safe for chickens:

Cayenne pepper/spicy foods
Garlic
Oregano oil
Apple cider vinegar
Barberries
Medicinal mushrooms (chaga, reishi, red belt, birch polypore)

Any thoughts, advice or experiences are appreciated!!
 
pollinator
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Location: the mountains of western nc
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i use one of the non-fda approved things, not as prescribed, as was recommended to me by someone with a lot of experience on a chicken forum. the one i use is prescribed for people and dogs. i know this isn’t really what you’re looking for, so i won’t keep typing too much. works well, though, and the idea of residues from the meds in eggs doesn’t bother me much since it’s people-meds, too (we don’t eat the eggs for a bit anyway).
 
pollinator
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Location: Northwest Missouri
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Poultry deworming is a research nightmare! So many commercial meds are not meant for poultry, and those that are seem to be for the poultry INDUSTRY, so getting dosing right for a small flock involves mind numbing math. The FDA makes this all very difficult but I'm still surprised there's not anything marketed for us small time chicken keepers.

That said, I've used two "off label" products. One or both are "on label" if you're in Europe.
Fenbendazole in the form of Safeguard Goat Dewormer dosed into their water. Egg withdraw required
Pyrantel Pamoate in the form of 50 mg/ml solution, 1ml per bird, soaked into a bread cube and painstakingly fed one per bird. Egg withdraw not required.
Both require a second dose 10 to 14 days later to kill any eggs that have hatched into new parasites.

I seemed to have good results with both. I saw worms in poop, as well as watery loose stool and after dosing things went back to normal. I would have stuck with the Fenbendazole (since dosing into water is easy) but the second time I needed to medicate, my flock was molting and that product is not good for incoming feathers.
 
Posts: 101
Location: Far Northern California Coast, Far South Pacific Northwest
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hugelkultur fungi chicken
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I've had chickens for 5 years without worming them but I do give raw pumpkin seeds regularly, though opinions are mixed on that being enough. As stated before research is a nightmare. I don't like the idea of medications in my compost or yard, if evidence of worms ever appear I'll be trying any natural means.

Just realized I do add DE to their food blend, that may help?
 
pollinator
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How about Black Walnut hull? Like pumpkin seed, it's an antihelminthic. I've heard of folks giving it as a tincture, some as a powder. I wonder about the alcohol in the tincture though...I've generally understood it to be unsafe for birds.
Perhaps you could just feed black walnuts to them, if they're available to you? I know where I live, people often give away massive quantities of them on the Craigslist and the like. Or they're easy enough to collect.
Mugwort or possibly wormwood could be worth considering, though the latter is a powerful plant, so some research would be needed.
 
pollinator
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Walter at Sugar Mountain Farm did a study of different dewormers, including both natural and conventional. From what he found, it looks like garlic powder is the clear winner. Dosage is 1 oz of powder per 500 pounds of animal, once a day for 7 days. It can be mixed right in with their food.
 
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Location: Southern Utah
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The kids use these for the chickens.
Garlic oil
Oregano oil
Apple cider vinegar

I know the Apple Cider Vinegar goes in their water everyday, pretty sure the garlic oil and oregano oil go in the water everyday too.

The best information the kids got in the beginning of our Chicken Venture 3 years ago was the book from My Pet Chicken,
https://www.mypetchicken.com/catalog/All-Birds/My-Pet-Chicken-Handbook-p1461.aspx

I did a quick search about garlic oil and oregano oil for chickens and found this, I am sure there are several more write ups if you search for them.
https://www.backyardchickens.com/articles/essential-oils-their-benefits-for-chickens-oregano-oil.74543/
 
Brody Ekberg
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Location: Iron River MI
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Melonie Corder wrote:I've had chickens for 5 years without worming them but I do give raw pumpkin seeds regularly, though opinions are mixed on that being enough. As stated before research is a nightmare. I don't like the idea of medications in my compost or yard, if evidence of worms ever appear I'll be trying any natural means.

Just realized I do add DE to their food blend, that may help?



I feel the same way about the medications in my yard, soil and birds.

I’ve heard that diatomaceous earth is only effective dry and so it’s immediately useless when ingested, but I dont know how true that is. A lot of people swear by it.
 
Brody Ekberg
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Location: Iron River MI
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Heather Sharpe wrote:How about Black Walnut hull? Like pumpkin seed, it's an antihelminthic. I've heard of folks giving it as a tincture, some as a powder. I wonder about the alcohol in the tincture though...I've generally understood it to be unsafe for birds.
Perhaps you could just feed black walnuts to them, if they're available to you? I know where I live, people often give away massive quantities of them on the Craigslist and the like. Or they're easy enough to collect.
Mugwort or possibly wormwood could be worth considering, though the latter is a powerful plant, so some research would be needed.



I never considered black walnut hull, but love the idea since we have a tree in the back yard. I’ve actually tinctured some hull the last 2 years for personal use, so ill add it to the list of questionable things to maybe give to the chickens. I doubt I’ll find much research on these ideas but personal experience is just as valuable in my opinion.
 
Melonie Corder
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Location: Far Northern California Coast, Far South Pacific Northwest
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Brody Ekberg wrote:

Melonie Corder wrote:I've had chickens for 5 years without worming them but I do give raw pumpkin seeds regularly, though opinions are mixed on that being enough. As stated before research is a nightmare. I don't like the idea of medications in my compost or yard, if evidence of worms ever appear I'll be trying any natural means.

Just realized I do add DE to their food blend, that may help?



I feel the same way about the medications in my yard, soil and birds.

I’ve heard that diatomaceous earth is only effective dry and so it’s immediately useless when ingested, but I dont know how true that is. A lot of people swear by it.



When killing insect with an exoskeleton DR won't work if wet,but I've successfully gotten rid of parasites drinking it mixed with water.
 
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I use kilverm you just had it to their drinking water ... (read back of bottle for required doses) and that worked for my chickens ducks and ducklings.... hassle free and no stress....
 
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Location: Appalachian Mountains
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You can grow oregano for your chickens.  I used to plant outside the run, so it grew into the run or they could stick their heads through the fencing and eat it without destroying all of it.  Or just pick it, chop and mix into feed for them.  Gets rid of most parasites and also keeps their immune system strong.
 
Melonie Corder
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Faye Streiff wrote:You can grow oregano for your chickens.  I used to plant outside the run, so it grew into the run or they could stick their heads through the fencing and eat it without destroying all of it.  Or just pick it, chop and mix into feed for them.  Gets rid of most parasites and also keeps their immune system strong.



I'm hoping to do this soon. Currently have some kale and lettuce under a wire tunnel, plan to plant "rattlesnake" grass and millet around back section of coop to grow through. Hope to add some herbs to the kale cage when the weather warms.
 
Brody Ekberg
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Faye Streiff wrote:You can grow oregano for your chickens.  I used to plant outside the run, so it grew into the run or they could stick their heads through the fencing and eat it without destroying all of it.  Or just pick it, chop and mix into feed for them.  Gets rid of most parasites and also keeps their immune system strong.



I planted oregano in our perennial herb garden and it’s thriving. I fed some to the chickens in the summer and they seemed to love it. I wonder how potent the fresh leaves are compared to an essential oil though, for treating parasites. I feel like fresh would be more preventative and an oil would be for an actual problem.
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