Chicken Wormer and Endoparasites
Worm infestations are common in chickens and although not life-threatening, they impair the health of the birds. Worms take nutrients from their hosts and this can cause weight loss. Worms may also damage chickens’ digestive tracks, cause birds to feel unwell and result in a fall in egg production. Happily, both tests and treatments are available. At Little Peckers we are pleased to bring you The Westgate Laboratories Worm Count together with treatments from Flubenvet and Trilanco.
How to check for worms in chickens
Chickens can be infested with roundworms, gapeworms, tapeworms and more. It’s important to check your chickens’ droppings. This task might not be at the top of your wish list but may help you to detect an issue. Healthy dropping should be reasonably firm and rounded with two distinct sections. The largest and darker portion should be black, brown or grey in colour and the smaller portion should be white. The latter appears as a cap at one end. If droppings are green, yellow or runny, this could be a symptom of worms.
A mucky bottoms, a depressed appearance, worms visible in droppings, weight loss, a pale comb and a fall in egg production are also symptoms of worm infestations.
How to prevent worms
Prevention is always better than cure. A few simple measures can considerably reduce the chances of your poultry becoming infested:
• Give your birds clean ground regularly.
• If your birds are in a fixed run, move this regularly to clean ground or install a surface that can be cleaned.
• Add apple Cider Vinegar to your birds’ drinking water regularly. This will change the balance of acid in their guts, creating an inhospitable environment for worms to live and breed. One teaspoon per litre of water is all that is required.
• Keep grass short as sunlight will destroy worm eggs.