Chicken Dewormer: 7 Best and Safest Options to Use
Deworming your backyard chickens is vital for keeping a healthy and productive flock. Chickens of all breeds, ages, and sizes may have problems with intestinal parasites, such as gapeworms, tapeworms, and threadworms. Getting a good chicken dewormer can help rid your flock of these worms.
With many types of chicken dewormers, it’s best to know the different dewormers and the best and safest dewormers for your flock. Understanding the factors a chicken raiser should consider when purchasing a dewormer for their flock is also advisable.
Types of Dewormers
It’s vital to deworm your chickens when they exhibit signs of worm infestation. Chicken dewormers fall under two categories: chemical and natural/ herbal dewormers. These two have different properties, pros, and cons. Kindly check this summary of different types of chicken dewormers.
Chemical dewormers are the type of chicken dewormers you purchase from the vet or poultry store. Chemical dewormers contain synthetic ingredients, such as albendazole, levamisole, ivermectin, and Fenbendazole. These chemical ingredients are safe for chickens. They can also kill different types of intestinal worms in chickens.
Chemical dewormers work by making it unpleasant or unattractive for intestinal parasites to live inside a chicken’s body. Consequently, chemical dewormers can kill and control chicken worms affecting backyard flocks.
The main advantage of chemical dewormers is that they can kill a broad spectrum of chicken worms. They are effective for backyard chickens picking on worm-infested food items when foraging outdoors.
The ingredients in these dewormers are highly effective, so they are the right bet for backyard chickens with heavy intestinal worm infestations. Furthermore, chemical dewormers can kill worms within days.
Like other chicken dewormers, though, chemical dewormers aren’t without cons. For instance, the chemical ingredients in these dewormers could be allergic to some chickens. The ingredients could also cause adverse reactions when interacting with other medications you use on your birds.
While most ingredients in chemical dewormers can kill a wide array of intestinal worms, some can only kill a single type of chicken worm.
Take Piperazine, for instance. The ingredient is common in many chemical chicken dewormers. However, Piperazine strictly kills roundworms, so you can’t rely on any dewormer with this ingredient to kill gapeworms and tapeworms in your flock.
Furthermore, some commercial chemical dewormers may contain ingredients unlikely to eliminate all the intestinal worms affecting your flock. Chemical dewormers have withdrawal periods, whereby consumers aren’t supposed to consume chicken products, such as meat and eggs, when a flock is on a chemical dewormer.
Some flock raisers think chemical dewormers can harm their birds, so they opt for natural deworming methods, such as herbs. Some herbal or natural chicken dewormers include apple cider vinegar, diatomaceous earth, garlic, and raw pumpkin seeds. You can add these natural dewormers to chicken feed or your flock’s drinking water to help it overcome worm infestations.
Natural dewormers like apple cider vinegar and diatomaceous earth work by maintaining an acidic environment inside a chicken’s gastrointestinal tract, consequently creating an attractive and unfavorable environment for the intestinal worms.
Unlike their chemical counterparts, natural dewormers have natural ingredients that can kill and control various intestinal worms in chickens. Natural dewormers are readily available and sometimes free.
The ingredients in these dewormers are all-natural, so they don’t have withdrawal periods, unlike chemical dewormers. They are also sustainable deworming options for chickens since they can kill many worms. One natural dewormer, such as diatomaceous earth, can kill different worms.
While natural chicken dewormers are effective in killing chicken worms, little evidence proves their effectiveness. Again, they may not be sustainable for deworming large flocks, so worm infestation reoccurrence can be evident when using natural dewormers on your flock. Furthermore, natural dewormers may not be ineffective in dealing with heavy worm infestations in chickens.
Best and Safest Dewormer for Chickens
Your flock’s safety is paramount when choosing a suitable dewormer, whether chemical or natural. No matter the worm infestation you are grappling with, it’s advisable to go for the best and safest dewormer for your flock. These are among the safest and best dewormers for chickens.
Diatomaceous earth is a type of finely processed fossilized algae. It’s one of the best and safest natural worming remedies for chickens. Mixing diatomaceous earth with chicken feed can be an excellent way to kill and prevent intestinal worms in chickens. The fossil remnant makes worms uncomfortable.
It can also fight against various types of chicken worms. Diatomaceous earth is also one of the safest natural chicken dewormers because it doesn’t have chemicals that can expose your chooks to harm or death.
Mixing 2% of this natural fossil remnant with chicken feed can help prevent many intestinal worms and protect birds against heavy worm infestations. Besides killing and preventing internal chicken worms, diatomaceous earth can also help deal with external parasites in chickens, including mites and lice.
Oregano oil comes from the Oregano plant, making it a safe, natural dewormer for chickens. Oregano oil also boasts potent anti-parasitic and antimicrobial properties that help chickens fight diseases and stay healthy. As a natural dewormer, Oregano oil can treat different types of intestinal worms in chickens, including tapeworms and roundworms.
Oregano oil is a natural deworming alternative to synthetic chicken dewormers. You can administer the essential oil to your chickens in different ways. For instance, you can mix Oregano oil with chicken feed or put a few drops of Oregano oil into the mouth of a chicken with a worm infestation.
The latter is an effective deworming method for chicken enthusiasts with small flocks, while the former is effective for large flock raisers. However, given how potent Oregano oil is, diluting it before using it on your birds as a natural dewormer is wise.
Furthermore, it’s good to administer the oil to your chickens for at least seven days, particularly if your flock is struggling with a heavy worm infestation.
Flubenvet is among the safest and best chemical dewormers for chickens. The broad-spectrum chicken dewormer kills various poultry worms, including caecal, roundworms, gizzard, and gapeworms. Flubenvet is also effective against the life stages of these parasitic poultry worms.
It targets each phase of a worm’s lifecycle, helping it prevent future reoccurrence of worm infestations in chickens. Unlike other chemical dewormers, there isn’t any egg or meat withdrawal period when using Flubenvet on chickens. Most importantly, the chemical dewormer kills worms without suppressing a chicken’s gastrointestinal tract.
Verm-X is an all-natural chicken dewormer suitable for free-range chooks that are more susceptible to worms. Besides killing various chicken worms, Verm-X also helps maintain good intestinal hygiene in chickens while remaining gentle on a chicken’s digestive system and gut.
You can deworm your chickens with Verm-X by putting the dewormer over chicken feed for three consecutive days. Verm-X creates an environment in a chicken’s gut that can eradicate and expel worms from the bird without causing intestinal upsets.
When using this chemical dewormer on your flock, there is no meat or egg withdrawal period. Verm-X can also help you control all intestinal parasites in chickens. You can count on Verm-X to eliminate threadworms, pinworms, gapeworms, and hookworms.
Aviverm is an excellent all-round chicken dewormer. It treats intestinal poultry worms, including roundworms, hairworms, cecal, and threadworms. It can help expel both immature and mature parasitic intestinal worms.
A single dose of this synthetic dewormer can remove immature and mature worms from ducks, chickens, cage birds, and turkeys. Unlike most inorganic chicken dewormers, Aviverm eliminates chicken worms without affecting chickens’ growth rate and egg production.
Durvet Strike III
Durvet Strike III, natural chicken dewormer, combines natural ingredients like Oregano, pumpkin seed, and garlic to create a dewormer that kills poultry worms while supporting a chicken’s digestive health. Durvet Strike III is suitable for deworming chickens without subjecting the birds to gastrointestinal problems.
The veterinary-formulated chicken dewormer can expel roundworms, gapeworms, gizzard worms, and threadworms from your flock. Durvet Strike III is particularly suitable for removing heavy worm infestations in large flocks and preventing infestation reoccurrences.
Wazine is a chemical dewormer suitable for chickens of all ages. The active ingredient in this dewormer is Piperazine Anhydrous, which treats parasitic poultry worms and maintains good gastrointestinal health in chickens.
Wazine is easy to use on chickens because you only need to mix the dewormer with your flock’s drinking water. While Wazine can kill different types of chicken worms, it’s incredibly excellent at eliminating large roundworms from chickens and turkeys. Swine farmers also use Wazine to kill nodular worms.
Factors to Consider When Choosing a Dewormer
Choosing a chicken dewormer is straightforward if a chicken keeper understands all the critical factors to consider when selecting a dewormer for their flock. Kindly consider these factors when choosing the perfect dewormer for your flock.
Type of Worm
Consider the type of worm your chickens have. Different worms need different dewormers, so you should choose a dewormer that suits the specific worm infestation you are experiencing in your flock. Some common chicken worms include:
- Roundworms– Roundworms get into chickens, ducks, and turkeys through hosts like earthworms. Water and food contamination can encourage the spread of these worms in your flock. Roundworms cause chicken death by blocking intestines and consuming the food your birds eat.
- Tapeworms-These segmented worms rob chickens of the essential nutrients they require for survival. A tapeworm infestation can affect your chickens’ overall health and cause death in the long run.
- Gapeworms-Gapeworms live in a chicken’s windpipe. Chickens with these worms struggle to breathe and may succumb to them, especially if they have a heavy infestation.
Different dewormers are suitable for chickens of different ages, while others are ideal for chickens of a specific age. Some dewormers, for instance, are appropriate for adult chickens, while others are suitable for chicks and young chickens. It’s prudent to pick a dewormer that suits the age of the chickens you want to deworm.
For example, choose a dewormer for adult chickens to deworm your adult birds. Similarly, pick a dewormer suitable for baby chicks if your baby chicks are struggling with a worm infestation. Choosing a dewormer that doesn’t suit your chickens’ age can be disastrous because it can lead to gastrointestinal problems.
Dewormers are suitable for chickens. After all, they are the only remedy to those disease-causing internal worms that threaten your flock’s wellbeing. However, a chicken’s health can affect the effectiveness of a dewormer. Some dewormers aren’t suitable for chickens with severe conditions, such as botulism.
Chickens shouldn’t take dewormers if they are already on other medications. A combination of dewormers and medications can result in adverse reactions that can lead to death or have serious health consequences for your chickens. Ideally, dewormers work perfectly for healthy chickens not grappling with any health condition other than a worm infestation.
Worm Prevention Tips
Treating worm infestations in chickens can be challenging, mainly if a chicken raiser doesn’t choose the perfect dewormer for their chickens. You can use these tips to keep worms away from the flock.
- Sanitation and Cleaning-Poor sanitation and dirt can encourage worms to frequent your chickens’ environment. Adhering to proper sanitation and cleaning practices can help control the spread of worms in your flock. Keep the coop clean and discard dirty items that harbor worms and internal parasites.
- Pasture Management-Free-range chickens are more susceptible to worms because they consume many contaminated foods, including grasses and weeds. Pasture management ensures your chickens consume healthy forage weeds and grasses free of internal parasites. For instance, moving old, tall grasses can encourage the growth of new grasses that don’t carry internal parasites.
- Feed Management-Chickens can get worms from contaminated feed. Feed management is hence vital for preventing the spread of parasitic worms in your flock. For instance, discard feed leftovers and always feed fresh feed to your flock. Also, keep chicken feed dry to discourage bacteria and worm growth.
- Regular health checks– Regular health checks will help you diagnose a worm infestation in your flock before it wreaks havoc. Regular health checks by a certified vet will help treat worm infestations before they become too severe to deal with.
Deworming is a vital task that chicken owners need to commit themselves to when keeping chickens. Luckily, chicken owners can use many deworming options to rid their birds of nasty internal parasites. You can pick either chemical or natural dewormers for deworming your flock.