POULTRY &parasites

Chickens, ducks & game birds are essential and much loved members of the small holding.

But it often feels like everything is out to get them!

From Mr Fox to red-mites - being a poultry keeper can be a heart breaking roller-coaster.

There are lots of worms trying to infect your flock - but with regular poo-checks you can keep them safe.

Recommended  WEC testing frequency: 3 times per year

Highest risk periods: POL, after heavy rain

Poultry Test: £8.50, up to 5 named samples

ASCARIDS

aka the Large Roundworm Nematodes:

Ascaridia Galli (all poultry) & 

Ascaridia dissimilis (turkeys)

SYMPTOMS

Large, thick white worms, up to 12cm long

Diarrhoea

Lethargy

Poor body condition

Slow growth rate

Death

The turkey worm migrates through the liver - causing liver disease

HAIRWORMS

aka Capillaria:

SYMPTOMS

Small thread-like worms - barely visible to the eye

Diarrhoea

Weight loss

Depression

Death

tapeworm

aka the Cestodes:

Davainea, Raillietina 

SYMPTOMS

Look horrible when wriggling out - but surprisingly harmless!

Heavy burdens in Chicks causes:

Anorexia

Reduced gut motility

Poor growth rate

coccidia 

aka Coccidiosis:

Eimeria

SYMPTOMS

Diarrhoea (often pasty)

Blood & mucus in faeces

Skinny & weak

Abdominal Pain

Permanent gut damage

Reduced egg production

Death in chicks

Healthy adults will often have coccidia in their faeces - interpret positive samples with care before using a coccidiostat

 

HETERAKIS

aka Heterakis gallinarium:

the caecal worm

SYMPTOMS

15cm worm which causes little damage itself, but transmits:

HISTOMONAS: 'BLACKHEAD'

Turkeys & game birds

Listless

Droopy wings

Unkempt feathers

Yellow diarrhoea

Death

Heterakis isolonche is highly pathogenic in pheasants, causing up to 50% mortality

GIZZARD WORM

Amidostomum anseris

SYMPTOMS: 

Slim reddish worms, lives in the gizzard

mainly game birds:

Depression

Anaemia

Stunted growth

Poor condition

Weight loss

GAPEWORM

Syngamus trachea 

(Cyathostoma bronchialis in geese & ducks)

SYMPTOMS

Particularly a problem in turkeys & pheasants, but any young bird can be affected

Dyspnoea (laboured breahing)

Head shaking

Coughing

Anaemia

Emaciation

Weakness

Asphyxiation

DUCK GIZZARD WORM

Amidostomum anseris

SYMPTOMS

Ducks & other waterfowl

Listlessness

Weakness

Diarrhoea

Anaemia

Poor growth rate

Mainly affects chicks, but adults can be affected

 

Worming Treatment Options

  • Always ​keep a precise record of dates of administration and batch numbers

  • POM-V products require a vet prescription, POM-VPS are obtained from a licensed pharmacist (eg online) who will ask some relevant questions

Flubendazole

Treats: ascarids, gapeworm, large roundworm, heterakis, hairworm, and gizzard worm in chickens, turkeys, and geese

Brand names: Flubenvet 1%, generic flubendazole 1%

Broad spectrum powder, added to food daily for 7 consecutive days, repeated after 3 weeks if birds were symptomatic.   POM/VPS

Drug

Method

Dose

Egg Withdrawal

Meat Withdrawal

Flubendazole

Oral

30 ppm

ZERO 

7 days

Fenbendazole

Treats: ascarids, gapeworm, large roundworm, heterakis, hairworm, and gizzard worm

Brand names: Panacur, Lapizole, generic 2.5 or 10% fenbendazole

Broad spectrum. Liquid - easy to accurately dose and administer by crop tube, helpful in sick individuals or birds not eating their ration of flubenvet in-feed. Is off licence, so strict withdrawal periods of 7 days for eggs and 28 days for meat - from the last dose given.

In sick birds give 50mg/Kg once daily for 3 days, otherwise use 100mg/Kg as single dose

Drug

Method

Dose

Egg Withdrawal

Meat Withdrawal

Fenbendazole

Oral liquid

50 - 100 mg / Kg

7 days

28 days

Toltrazuril

Treats: Coccidia

Brand names: Baycox

Oral liquid, added to drinking water.  POM-V a prescription from your vet is required

Accurate calculations are required to get the correct concentration in drinking water . 

Highly alkaline & irritant - must be diluted 1 in 20 in orange juice if administered to a sick individual

Drug

Method

Dose

Egg withdrawal

Meat Withdrawal

Toltrazuril

Oral Liquid

7 mg / Kg

Not to be used in a commercial egg laying flock

16 days

Verm-X

Ingredients: Cinnamon, Garlic, Common Thyme, Peppermint, Fennel, Cleavers, Nettle, Slippery Elm, Quassia, Elecampane.

Organic in-feed additive. No data to support efficacy.

Drug

Method

Dose

Milk Withdrawal

Meat withdrawal

NONE

liquid

1.5ml / bird for 3 days

ZERO

ZERO

Diatomaceous Earth

Ingredients: microscopic fossilized diatoms, ground into a powder 

Brands: generic, multi-mite

DE works by physically traumatizing the external walls of parasites. 

Multiple clinical trials have proven reduction in worms burdens from roundworms, heterakis, gizzard worms and tapeworms, with some effect against coccidia.

Trials have found flocks with DE added to feed have a higher egg yield and lay larger eggs with bigger yolks.

Drug

Method

Dose

Milk Withdrawal

Meat withdrawal

NONE

powder added to food

1 tsp /bird

ZERO

ZERO

 

controltips

Good parasite control is about more than using a drug every 3 months,

you can reduce risk & use of anthelminthic drugs:

  • Avoid previously flooded grazing

  • Reduce mud - eg. add gravel around pop-holes

  • Always use a feeder, avoid scattering feed on floor

  • Keep grass short to increase sunlight on the earth

  • Rotational graze if possible

  • Ensure new animals have a clear faeces check

  • Be fastidious with food & water bowl cleanliness

Follow our Small Holding at Orlestone Farm for 'Worm of the week' and 'Plant of the week' tips:

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Small Holder's Worm Advice Service

Tomtebo, Nickley Wood Road, Ashford, Kent TN26 1LZ

Tapeworm

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