Worming Recommendations For Free Range Poultry

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It is recommended that all free-range poultry should be treated regularly for gastro -intestinal parasites routinely. Birds pick up worms from wildlife and from each other leading to various problems. These parasites can cause blockages in birds and can in severe cases make birds ill. They also reduce egg production, and weight gain and can decrease fertility in breeding stock.

Routine Treatment Of Poultry

Best practice is to have faecal samples from your birds examined by a vet every 3 months. This allows targeted dosing of birds and avoids unnecessary dosing when worms are at a very low level. Wern Vets offer this service at a very competitive price and recommend this in order to care for your birds optimally.

If you want faeces from your birds examined please bring them to any of our surgeries. If you require a pot to put them in these will be provided free of charge upon request.

For those poultry keepers unable to adopt a targeted approach then routine treatment of poultry should be carried out every six months, usually in the spring and autumn. If possible after worming it is advisable then to move the birds on to clean pasture. Regular cleaning and disinfection of the housing, using a poultry specific disinfectant will also reduce the spread of worms between birds.

Choosing a Worming Treatment

There are various herbal products on the market, but none have proven efficacy and this is why Wern Vets do not stock such products. Do not rely on such products to effectively treat worms in your flock and if you are in any doubt then please phone the surgery for advice.
The only licensed product for treating worms in poultry is Flubendazole. This is sold in a number of forms to be administered either through the feed or the drinking water. For most small producers (under 1000 birds) in feed worming will be by far the cheapest treatment option. Larger producers please contact the surgery for advice.

Wern Vets stock Flubendazole which comes in a 60g tub. Flubendazole needs to be fed at the correct dosage for 7 consecutive days, and it is perfectly safe to keep eating the eggs from birds even during treatment. The Flubendazole is mixed with the feed at a rate of 6g per 2kg of feed. This works out at one tub per 20kg sack of feed. Mixing using a little bit of corn oil will help the wormer stick to the feed evenly ensuring effective dosing.
Use of other wormers such as Fenbendazole is not recommended as it does not carry a license to treat poultry. This means that its efficacy and safety have not been proven for use in poultry.

For producers of large numbers of birds it is recommended that advice be sought as to the most efficient and cost effective method of worming as that described above would be impractical and is designed more for the small holder.
Wern vets also stock poultry specific virucidal disinfectant that will be effective when used to clean and disinfect poultry housing.

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