The Essential Guide to Worming Chickens: A Step-by-Step Approach

Chickens too, like other living beings, can be hosts for various types of internal parasites, most commonly worms. These invaders can hamper the growth, productivity, and overall health of your chickens. But worry not! We have an effective and natural solution to this gnarly issue. Let’s dive into our beginner-friendly guide to worming chickens efficiently and naturally.

A Deeper Look into How Chickens Get Worms

Earthworms in sand

Principally, chickens can fall prey to two types of internal worms: roundworms and tapeworms. The source of these parasites is mainly through the chicken’s diet. Consuming infested food, most commonly found on the ground, leads to roundworm infestation. This scenario is more common in chickens reared in confined spaces. On the other hand, chickens raised free range can contract tapeworms via bugs or earthworms already hosting these unwanted guests.

Recognizing Worm Infestation In Chickens

Many Leghorn chicken in a free range farming, watching with curiosity
Jay-Dee / Shutterstock

Early detection of worm infestation in your chickens is critical for their wellbeing. There are several signs to watch out for:

  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Lethargic behavior
  • Drop in egg production, especially observed in elder hens
  • Failure to gain weight, noticed predominantly among young chicks.

Evidence in Droppings

Signs and treatments of common chicken health issues in a supportive setting.
Varghese K James, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Scrutinizing your chicken’s droppings can also provide valuable insight. If your chickens are infested, their droppings might be waterier than usual or even contain visible worms. Long, thin worms akin to coiled thread point towards roundworms, while shorter, rice-like segments hint at tapeworms. If you’re unsure, consider getting the droppings analyzed by a trusted veterinarian.

Assuring Health by Worming Chickens

Cozy and stimulating chicken coop design ideas for suburban backyards.

If worms are detected, immediate action is necessary not only for the health of your birds but also for the safety of your produce. Both, meat and eggs, can be contaminated, making worming chickens a crucial process. A minimum two-week treatment period is recommended. Moreover, as worms can easily spread among the flock, it’s best to treat all the birds rather than just the infected ones.

Nature’s Answer to Worming Chickens

Wyandotte Hen seen in a large back yard. Part of a larger flock of Chickens which are kept for there free range eggs. The birds are allowed to roam freely
Nick Beer / Shutterstock

While medicinal treatments exist, they can often lead to undesired effects like the contamination of eggs and meat, necessitating a waiting period. Moreover, medicating large flocks can be a costly endeavor. A more viable and equally effective option? Mother Nature’s own – Garlic! Known for its medicinal properties even for humans, garlic can be a potent ally in ridding your chickens of worms.

Giving Garlic To Your Chickens

Chicken together with their group in a coop.
Adoscam, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

There are two ways to introduce garlic into your chickens’ diet. Some chickens happily munch on chopped garlic, although this method can occasionally impart a strong garlic flavor to the eggs. The alternative is to infuse the chickens’ drinking water with garlic. Just soak 10 cloves of garlic in a cup of water overnight, strain it, and add this garlic-infused water to around 7 or 8 gallons of their usual water. This way, your chickens get the benefits of garlic without affecting the taste of their eggs!

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