Even the healthiest of chickens can get worms or internal parasites. Luckily, there is an easy solution – a quality chicken wormer.
A chicken wormer is important whether you have a small flock or a large one because the problem can easily spread to healthy chickens and could impact egg production.
In this guide, we will talk about the best chicken wormer products as well as some natural alternatives to keep your birds healthy.
The Best Chicken Wormers
1. Durvet Strike Poultry Natural Dewormer
Durvet Strike poultry dewormer contains diatomaceous earth powder and pumpkin both of which are natural, gentle de-worming ingredients. This makes it ideal for use on young and old hens as it does not cause any unwanted side-effects.
- Easy to use; simply soak the pellets in water and feed them to your chickens once or twice a month.
- It can take care of roundworms and gapeworms.
- Comes with a scoop for easy dosing
- You can regularly use it safely to prevent worms in your flock
- Some ingredients in the wormer are just flavors and not the real herbs.
2. Fleming Wazine Turkey and Chicken de-wormer
Wazine from Fleming is one of the best chicken wormer products available on the market. It has received rave reviews from the small flock, backyard chicken, and turkey and duck owners.
- Clears up worms within a week
- Easy to use: pour it in water or mix it up with food
- Works on chickens, turkeys, ducks, and geese
- Not for use on chickens or turkeys used as meat for human consumption.
3. Zyfend Natural Dewormer
This is a natural product that you can use during a worm infestation or as a preventative remedy to keep worms at bay.
A single bottle can be used for treating 90 gallons of water. It is an all-natural product devoid of synthetic chemicals.
- Preventative and curative
- Easy to use
4. My Pet Chicken Organic Worm-guard with Flax Seeds
My Pet Chicken organic worm guard is a natural defense against worms and parasites.
With regular use, you can prevent odor in the coop. It also stimulates metabolism and is a natural alternative to harsh de-worming chemicals.
- Prevents fly-larvae from developing in manure
- Easy to mix with feed
- Useful in preventing gapeworms
- Value for money
- Mainly preventative for gapeworms but might not treat the condition if the worms have attached to the throat and trachea
- Some chickens refused to touch it.
- Ineffective against coccidiosis – a disease in poultry that occurs when a microscopic parasitic organism attaches itself to the intestinal lining of the bird.
5. Durvet Ivermectin Pour-On De-wormer
This is a FDA approved de-wormer for cattle which can also be used on chickens.
A few drops applied on the backside just beneath the tail can work wonders. It works on internal and external parasites.
- Easy to use
- Value for money
- Can be safely used every 6 months as preventative and a worm-treatment
- Leaves a bad odor
- Could cause neurological or behavioral issues in some animals.
6. Merial CORID 20% Soluble De-worming Powder
Merial CORID is mainly used for treating bovine and poultry coccidiosis – a disease that occurs when protozoa parasite attaches itself to the intestinal lining.
- Works on geese, ducks, chickens, and goats as well.
- Powder form lasts longer and is a lot cheaper than other liquid de-worming alternatives
- Prevents and treats worms in poultry
- FDA approved
- No instructions provided.
What is a chicken wormer?
Chickens feed on insects and grains and they often peck away at the ground for finding earthworms – their favorite food.
This sometimes results in parasites entering their systems. Even the healthiest of chickens could have worms as they can easily enter chickens’ bodies through the earth, through mice droppings, and even from snails, grasshoppers, and slugs.
Most healthy chickens in good health can flush out tiny worms easily. However, certain pesky worms need some external help for removal. This is where a chicken wormer can help.
Chicken wormers could be natural or chemical. They help eliminate internal parasites from the chickens’ tummies, including roundworms and pinworms, and prevent them from reaching vital organs like the lungs and the brain.
Why do you need to do chicken deworming?
You need different wormers for eliminating different kinds of worms although some chemical preparations contain multiple wormers that work on various worm species.
Chicken wormers can be administered through chicken food or water. Some come in powdered form; others in liquid form.
Many wormers even come as pellets which can be mixed with the flocks’ food. You must de-worm all your chickens from the flock at the same time; else the problem will not be completely eliminated.
If you look at your chickens’ droppings, you will know whether they need deworming as infestation will be clearly visible.
All that high-quality food you are feeding your flock will go to waste if your birds have worms, as, in effect, all the nutrition would be going to the worms.
So it is a good idea to use chicken wormer once or twice a year as a preventative remedy. Chemical wormers can have side effects; so, it is best to consult a vet before use.
Chickens need regular de-worming to stay healthy. Worms like roundworms and flatworms take away all of the nutrition from the chickens’ bodies.
A chicken with worms will be lifeless and thin. Its feathers would be affected and most importantly, you will also see the ill-effects in egg production. In young chicks and older birds, some worms can cause severe diarrhea as well.
Even if a single chicken in your flock has worms, the problem is likely to get out-of-hand. This is because worms lay eggs on a massive scale which will be present in the infected birds’ droppings.
The other hens could pick up the worms quickly and soon the entire flock would be affected. Some worms like roundworms get attached to the oviducts and can even enter the eggs. This can impact egg quality and production. Worst part: infected eggs could harm the consumers.
That is why you need to de-worm your chickens from time to time.
Types of worms that can affect your chickens
Gapeworms are usually seen in free-ranging chickens or those in pasture pens. These are the most serious types of worms, because, when present in large numbers, they can interfere with your chicken’s breathing.
They attach to the bird’s trachea and try to gather nutrition from there. A chicken with gapeworms might breathe with its mouth open, produce snot, cough, and may make a strange, grunting sound while breathing.
Your chickens could acquire gapeworms from hosts like earthworms, snails, or slugs. Treatment for gapeworms is only available through a vet’s prescription although there are products for other poultry that can be used on chickens as well.
It is best to consult a vet since certain harsh insecticides could harm your birds.
Roundworms are the most common type of worms that affect chickens. Your birds might pick them from the ground while foraging for food.
The worms get inside the bird’s digestive tract where they lay hundreds of eggs. Their eggs have a very hard shell that does not disintegrate easily and can remain in the environment for years. That is why roundworm infestations recur so frequently in chickens.
Older chickens with roundworm infestations often do not show any signs or symptoms.
However, younger chicks can get seriously impacted and could also die. Common symptoms include diarrhea and weakness.
You might see roundworms in chicken feces or droppings. They are whitish in color and about 8 cm in length.
Sometimes, roundworms pass into the chicken’s oviduct where they could even enter the eggs. That is why it is important to de-worm your chickens regularly.
Most chicken owners, as a precaution, treat their flocks twice a year for roundworms.
Chickens tend to pick up tapeworms from beetles, mice droppings, slugs, grasshoppers, snails, earthworms and other primary hosts.
No immediate symptoms of tapeworm infestation may be seen other than an increased appetite; after all, your birds have to ‘share’ their food with the worms.
The immature tapeworms enter the chicken’s digestive tract from the primary host, and here they mature and lay eggs. These eggs are passed off through the chicken’s feces, picked up by other hens and the lifecycle continues.
Sometimes, chickens may pass off ‘segments’ of the tapeworm’s body and you might see it as flat white ‘moving’ pieces in the bird’s feces.
There is no registered treatment for tapeworms but your vet can recommend some medicines that are available for tapeworm infestations in other poultry.
It is important to follow the proper dosage in order to eliminate the infestation completely.
Natural DYI chicken wormers
Lisa Steele, author of Gardening with Chickens, believes that many natural wormers can help de-worm chickens. She keeps her flocks healthy by feeding them a steady supply of plants from the cucurbitaceous family including squash, gourds, and melons.
Ms. Steele believes that the coating on the seeds of these vegetables helps expel worms. She also recommends feeding garlic, dandelions, and nasturtium as they are all herbal wormers. Her chickens also eat pumpkins, carrots, cucumbers, zucchinis, and watermelons all year-round.
These plants are thought to keep the worm load in your chickens in check. While these plants may not completely prevent parasites, they will certainly reduce the worm-load by helping chickens expel them properly. Chickens love these vegetables and will gladly eat them.
Here are some of the best natural wormers for chickens:
Garlic – Allium Sativum is a great natural de-wormer. You can add crushed garlic to your chicken feed or in their drinking water. Use it in moderation else the eggs will acquire a garlicky flavor.
Nasturtium – This is another herbal dewormer. Its flowers are delicious for chickens and you can add them to their salads. Nasturtium also has antiseptic, antibiotic, and insect-repellent properties
Carrots – Purified raw, grated, or cooked hulled carrots are great natural de-wormers. They contain pectin which coats the intestine to prevent inflammation. Carrots are especially beneficial in eliminating threadworms.
Pumpkin – Pumpkin is a great natural deworming remedy. It repels worms and its seeds are particularly beneficial against tapeworm. Add powdered pumpkin seeds to chicken feed or chop up the seeds in small pieces and add them to your pets’ food.
Cantaloupes – Cantaloupes are filled with water and they make a refreshing and hydrating treat for chickens in summers. They also act as natural dewormers and chickens will gladly eat their seeds, flesh, and even their rinds.
Bee pollen and propolis – Propolis is a natural worm treatment. Studies have also shown that chickens fed bee pollen showed better development of the intestinal villi which enhances immunity to worms and bacteria .
Propolis also strengthens the overall immunity of the birds. You can add propolis to chicken food for treating mild worm attacks and also as a preventative treatment. Propolis tincture is readily available in pharmacies.
Coconut oil and desiccated coconut – Both can be added to chicken feed to prevent worms.
Coconut oil acts as a dewormer and also helps enhance egg production. Cold-pressed, organic coconut oil is an excellent worm-treatment for chickens .
Diatomaceous Earth powder – Food grade Diatomaceous earth is a fine powder that can be added to the chicken’s food.
The molecules of DE powder are sharp and crystalline in structure and they literally rip the worm’s exoskeletons apart. This kills the parasites instantly without harming the host chicken.
Always use organic, food-grade DE powder to de-worm your chicks.
Related post: The Best Chicken Supplements & Vitamins to Buy
There are many effective chicken wormer products available in the market. However, not all of them are FDA or USDA approved. So it is best to consult the vet before using them. We hope the above reviews help you select the best chicken wormer for your flock.