It is important to deworm your chickens. There are many internal parasites that affect chickens, causing weight loss, poor growth, pale egg yolks, anemia, droopy combs, diarrhea and even death in severe cases. There are several options when it comes to choosing a chicken wormer. The easiest way is to make a natural chicken wormer from common garden herbs.
Natural Chicken Wormer
Many backyard chicken keeper prefer to use a natural wormer for chickens. This is the best chicken wormer for laying hens, because you can continue to eat the eggs without worrying about ingesting any chemical residues.
There are a variety of ingredients you can use to make your own homemade chicken wormer:
- Oregano – This herb is a true anti-parasite powerhouse. In fact, many naturopaths recommend oregano for treating many human parasites.
- Epazote – You can find this herb in most Mexican markets. It is traditionally cooked with beans to reduce their flatulence-provoking effects, but it is also a powerful natural chicken wormer (it works on goats, horses and people too!).
- Wormwood – An herb that gets its name from its potent anthelmintic properties, wormwood is also an ornamental addition to your garden.
- Garlic – In addition to fighting internal parasites garlic boosts the immune system and wards off external mites and lice.
- Raw Fruit Vinegar – The most commonly seen is raw apple cider vinegar, though any raw vinegar works well. Simply add it to their water. Raw vinegar is also a rich source of minerals and boosts the immune system.
How to Give Natural Chicken Wormer
There are many natural ways to worm chickens. You can offer herbs free choice, and add raw vinegar or a crushed garlic clove to their water. A clever way to give chicken wormer is to grow an herb garden for your hens. Cover it with a low fence and roof of chicken wire. The herbs will grow through the wire and the chickens can self-medicate as needed.
If you suspect a bad infestation you can make a tea of the herbs listed above, adding in rosemary, thyme and mint as well (these herbs also have anthelmintic properties). Add a dash of raw vinegar and dose each bird with one mL of your homemade chicken wormer each day for 5 days. Follow by feeding free choice pumpkin, squash or cucumber seeds. The seeds help flush out the dead parasites left in the intestines.
Deworming Chickens with Ivermectin
Many people use ivermectin as a chicken wormer. Keep in mind that this common dewormer is used for various livestock, but it’s use in chickens is off-label. This means there hasn’t been much research done. To be safe, you should not consume meat or eggs from chickens treated with ivermectin for at least 1 month. Organic chicken wormer made from quality herbs is more effective and safer than ivermectin.
How to Give Ivermectin Chicken Wormer
Ivermectin can be given to chickens in several ways:
- Skin – Apply one drop of 1% injectable ivermectin to the back of the chicken’s neck. Do not inject this chicken wormer, simply put one drop directly on the chicken’s skin. It will absorb into her blood stream.
- Drinking Water – Place 4-8 cc of 1% injectable ivermectin per gallon of drinking water. Do not allow chickens to drink any other water. Place treated water in the coop for two days.
- Internal – Mix one drop of 1% injectable ivermectin with 3 drops propylene glycol. Use a syringe to put down the chicken’s throat. Be sure to mix thoroughly before dosing.
With any chicken wormer, be sure to re-dose after 10 days. Any eggs inside the chicken will have hatched in this time and will be killed in the second round.
The Guide to Backyard Chickens and How to Raise Chickens
Watch as Becky shares her tips and tricks for natural chicken wormer.