Poultry - Worms (& other internal parasitic organisms)
A Check Sheet
- Prevention is always better than cure!
- In this case, preventative measures will help reduce unnecessary regular worming. The use of ‘drugs’, often not needed - ‘for the sake of it’, can lead to drug resistance, making eradication in the future a much harder job.
- Good hygiene in the poultry’s living quarters is essential, regular cleaning out – provision of fresh clean bedding and flooring material prevents the possible accumulation of unseen ‘nasties’,
- Always disinfect with a product effective against worm eggs and other bacterial and viral diseases,
- Between thorough cleanouts, regularly remove droppings from housing and worst areas in runs,
- Where possible expose external run/range areas to natural sunlight. Rake / turn over regularly to prevent compaction or areas of slurred mud and droppings, this will also expose worm eggs and larvae to the suns’ harmful UV rays – a very effective natural treatment to help reduce infection from ground burdens.
- Often difficult on smaller enclosures, but where possible move feeders and drinkers every couple of weeks to reduce local ground poaching and associated build-up of worm eggs,
- Apply dehydrating agents (mainly powders) to flooring areas both internal and external, these are effective as a desiccant to many of the infective parasites and eggs. When applying in outside runs and range areas consider the use of ‘natural’ / non-hazardous products where possible to preserve the quality of your land.
- Regular testing for worms and other internal parasitic organisms is far better than unnecessary regular treatment,
So, when should we test?
- i) January to March ready for the breeding season or just to ensure good health and egg production,
- ii) Newly acquired stock, to be safe against infecting existing birds, or again, just to ensure good health and egg production,
- iii) Any individual bird where you have concerns/showing signs of ill health,
- iv) A general check mid-summer/laying season,
- v) Late in the year/pre-winter to ensure your flock is worm free and healthy for the harder months.