Worming Chickens 101: A Step-by-Step Guide to Maintaining Parasite-Free Poultry

Why Worming Chickens is Important

As a poultry owner, ensuring the health and well-being of your chickens is of utmost importance. One crucial aspect of chicken health is worming. Chicken worms are common parasites that can wreak havoc on the health of your chickens if left untreated. Worming chickens is essential to prevent these parasites from causing harm.

Worms in chickens can cause a variety of issues, including weight loss, decreased egg production, poor growth, and even death in severe cases. By regularly deworming chickens, you can drastically reduce the risk of these problems and maintain a healthy flock with chickens free from worms.

Common Parasites in Chickens

Before diving into the various methods of worming chickens, it’s important to understand the common parasites that can affect them. The most common types of worms found in chickens are roundworms, tapeworms, and gapeworms, each presenting unique challenges to chicken health.

Roundworms are the most prevalent and can be easily transmitted from chicken to chicken through contaminated soil or feces. Tapeworms are flat, segmented parasites that attach to the intestinal lining of chickens and feed on their nutrients. Gapeworms primarily affect the respiratory system, causing chickens to gasp for air and exhibit symptoms of respiratory distress.

worming chickens with ivermectin

Types of Wormers for Chickens

When it comes to worming chickens, there are several effective options available. The choice of chicken dewormer depends on your preference, the severity of the infestation, and the specific parasites affecting your flock. Here are some commonly used poultry dewormers for chickens:

Worming Chickens with Ivermectin

Ivermectin is a broad-spectrum antiparasitic medication that is highly effective against a wide range of internal and external parasites, making it a popular treatment for worming chickens. It comes in various forms, including injectables, oral solutions, and pour-ons. When using ivermectin to worm chickens, it’s important to follow the dosage instructions carefully and administer it according to the manufacturer’s guidelines.

Worming Chickens with Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is a natural remedy that can help control parasites in chickens. It has antimicrobial properties that can help prevent the growth of harmful pathogens. To use apple cider vinegar as a wormer, simply add it to your chickens’ drinking water in a ratio of 1 tablespoon per gallon. Regular consumption of apple cider vinegar can help create an inhospitable environment for parasites.

Worming Chickens with Diatomaceous Earth

Diatomaceous earth, a natural wormer, is a fine powder derived from the fossilized remains of diatoms. It functions as a mechanical wormer, causing microscopic abrasions on the parasites’ outer shells, which leads to dehydration and death. For effective use, sprinkle food-grade diatomaceous earth in your chickens’ bedding, coop, and dusting areas to ensure their safety.

Worming Chickens with Garlic

Garlic, with its natural antiparasitic properties, can act as a preventative measure against worms in chickens. Incorporating garlic into their diet can enhance their immune system, making them less prone to worm infestations. You can bolster their health by crushing garlic cloves to mix with their feed or by providing garlic water for them to drink.

Worming Chickens with Safeguard

Safeguard, also known as fenbendazole for chickens, is a widely used deworming medication that effectively eradicates a variety of internal parasites, including roundworms, tapeworms, and gapeworms. Safeguard can be administered orally or mixed into their feed, but it’s imperative to adhere to the manufacturer’s dosage instructions and seek a veterinarian’s advice when necessary.

worming chickens with diatomaceous earth

Natural Alternatives for Worming Chickens

For those who favor a more natural approach to worming chickens, alternative methods are accessible. These natural worming remedies may not have the same potency as conventional wormers but can still be effective in warding off worms and enhancing the chickens’ overall health.

Herbal Remedies

Certain herbs with antiparasitic properties, such as wormwood, thyme, and oregano, can be incorporated into your chickens’ diet to help prevent worm infestations. These herbs contribute to creating an environment that is hostile to parasites and bolster the chickens’ immune system.

Pumpkin Seeds

Pumpkin seeds, recognized as a natural dewormer, can aid in the expulsion of parasites from the chickens’ digestive tract. Feeding your chickens a modest amount of pumpkin seeds regularly or incorporating ground pumpkin seeds into their feed can serve as a preventive measure, though it may not be as potent against severe worm infestations.

Fermented Foods

Fermented foods, such as yogurt and sauerkraut, are rich in probiotics and can support the chickens’ gut health, thus helping to fend off worm infestations. Including these probiotic-rich foods in their diet can contribute to a robust digestive system and diminish the likelihood of parasitic infections.

Best Practices for Worming Chickens

When worming your chickens, it’s essential to follow best practices to ensure their safety and the effectiveness of the treatment. Here are some guidelines to keep in mind for the safety of your flock:

  1. Rotate Wormers: Regularly rotate between different types of wormers to prevent parasites from developing resistance.
  2. Follow Dosage Instructions: Always read and follow the dosage instructions provided by the manufacturer to ensure the correct administration of wormers.
  3. Quarantine New Birds: Quarantine new birds before introducing them to your existing flock to prevent the spread of worms and other diseases.
  4. Practice Good Hygiene: Maintain a clean and hygienic coop environment to reduce the risk of worm infestations.
  5. Monitor Flock Health: Regularly monitor your chickens for signs of worm infestation and seek veterinary assistance if necessary.

Signs of Worm Infestation in Chickens

Detecting worms in chickens can be challenging as symptoms may vary depending on the type and severity of the infestation. However, some common symptoms to watch out for include:

  • Weight loss or poor growth
  • Decreased egg production or abnormal eggs
  • Lethargy and reduced activity levels
  • Pale comb and wattles
  • Diarrhea or abnormal feces
  • Poor appetite or increased appetite
  • Respiratory distress or gasping for air

Preventing Worm Infestation in Chickens

Prevention is key when it comes to worm infestation in chickens. Here are some preventive measures you can take to minimize the risk and safeguard your flock:

  • Maintain a clean and dry coop environment.
  • Regularly clean and disinfect feeders and waterers.
  • Practice rotational grazing to reduce exposure to contaminated soil.
  • Provide a balanced diet to promote a strong immune system.
  • Quarantine new birds before introducing them to your flock.

By implementing these preventive measures, you can significantly reduce the risk of worm infestation in your chickens and ensure their health and well-being.

worming chickens with apple cider vinegar


Worming chickens is an essential aspect of poultry care that should not be overlooked. By understanding the common parasites, choosing the appropriate wormer, and following best practices, you can effectively maintain a parasite-free flock. Whether you opt for conventional wormers or natural alternatives, regular worming and preventive measures can help ensure the health and longevity of your chickens. Remember to monitor your flock closely, seek veterinary assistance when needed, and always prioritize the well-being of your poultry. With proper care and attention, you can enjoy a thriving and parasite-free flock of chickens.

CTA: Ensure the health and longevity of your chickens by implementing regular worming practices and following preventive measures. By prioritizing their well-being, you can maintain a parasite-free flock and enjoy healthy, productive chickens. Start worming your chickens today and witness the positive impact it has on their overall health.

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David Gange

I love keeping and raising chickens in my back garden but when I started wow I wasn't sure on what to feed them how to keep them I loved the idea of eggs but where do you start? I will show you how!

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