Today we are going to talk about how to deworm your chickens naturally. Deworming is a regular part of owning chickens. The average flock will need preventative deworming at least twice a year. And if your chickens test positive for worms, you will have to treat them again. While this is a natural part of owning chickens, have you ever questioned this process?
Most of these medications used to treat and prevent worms have harmful chemicals in them. With most over-the-counter medicines, you can’t eat the eggs for several weeks. And some more potent deworming drugs make the eggs inedible for life. So what are our alternatives?
Does Natural Deworming Work?
Organic and natural treatments often get a bad rap. Most people think it’s a bunch of “woo” that does work. But that isn’t always the truth. There are some great deworming treatments and preventatives that have worked for hundreds of years.
Most of these natural methods work by paralyzing the worms in your chicken’s digestive tracts. They also help your chickens go to the bathroom faster to expel the worms from their systems. With daily treatments and regular preventative measures, your chickens are good to go.
How Can I Tell If My Chicken Has Worms?
So we know that your flock should have preventative treatments every six months. Most owners choose the beginning of spring and the end of summer as the best time to do this. But you might be wondering what the signs and symptoms of worms in chickens are. Well, here’s a good list of symptoms of worms in chickens.
- Weight loss
- Bloody diarrhea
- Excessively fluffed
- Pale wattles and combs
- No eggs from hens
- And visible worms in stools
If you notice any of these symptoms in your chickens, it might be time for deworming. And you don’t want only to treat the one chicken. Worms are highly contagious, so if one chicken is sick, your whole flock has been exposed. Treatment of the entire flock is a must and a close watch on the sickest ones.
Can You Eat The Eggs Of A Chicken With Worms?
If your chicken is still laying eggs, you might wonder if her eggs are OK. Will they be infested? In most cases, the eggs are still safe to eat. The worms shouldn’t make their way into an egg unless the case is very severe. And in those cases, it isn’t likely that your chickens are feeling well enough to lay eggs anyways. But there are rare occasions where you might find a migrated worm in the egg if it found its way into the oviducts.
What Is A Natural Wormer For Chickens?
How to deworm your chickens naturally starts with their diets. There are plenty of foods that you can give your chickens regularly to stave off worms. It’s important to remember that these foods can help prevent, but they do not treat infestations. You can plant these foods around the yard and let your chickens graze off them. Or you can feed them in a chicken salad of sorts every so often to keep the preventative action in motion. Here are some of the best options out there.
Pumpkin And Pumpkin Seeds
Pumpkin is probably one of the best known for preventing worms in chickens. The pumpkin flesh acts as a natural laxative that is gentle for your chickens and won’t cause too many problems. And the seeds are coated in a natural antiparasitic property called cucurbitacin. This amino acid paralyzes the worms until the rest of the pumpkin flushes out the system.
For thousands of years, people have used garlic as an antibiotic and deworming medication. And now we know why. Fresh garlic is high in a compound called alliin that is powerful. This compound paralyzes worm larva and kills any eggs. So it might not kill the worms themselves, but it does prevent them from reproducing.
The problem with using this as a deworming chicken treatment is that it can cause issues with your chicken’s stomach. Your chicken will need to eat one whole clove every day for ten days to complete the lifecycle of worms and stop reproduction. For some chickens, that is too much garlic and could lead to toxic levels.
A great flower to have around that garden is hyssop. These beautiful flowers contain a natural anthelmintic that destroys parasites. You can give these to your chickens to eat every few weeks to use as a preventative. Or you can have it available all the time. These flowers are tasty, and your chickens will love the extra enrichment. And you might find that they benefit your flock in other ways too.
Mint is an herb known to repel mosquitos, mice, and even snakes. If you don’t already have mint growing in your chicken run, you might want to give it a try. Mint is another herb to prevent worms in chickens. In new studies, scientists found that mint kills worm larva and stops the lifecycle in its tracks. So you will want to feed this to your chickens every few weeks in a salad for the best benefits.
The cucumber has a lot of the same excellent properties as a pumpkin. The seeds are exceptionally high in cucurbitacin that stops worms from getting any further. We especially love that when pumpkins aren’t in season, you can easily pick up a few cucumbers for deworming chickens. You can even make a cucumber mint salad for your chickens on a hot day to do double duty. It’s a nice refreshing snack that keeps them hydrated and does a little worm prevention too.
Wormwood is known throughout history for healing many ailments. So it should come as no surprise that it is also commonly used in anti-coccidiosis medications as well. Wormwood is also the only natural supplement on this list scientifically proven to prevent and treat worms in large-scale studies.
And finally, if you are looking for a wonder-wow plant, you need chicory. Chicory has several antiparasitic properties that not only prevent worms in chickens but also treat them. You can give your chickens a little chicory every few weeks with confidence that this plant will treat anything your hens have. And you still get to eat the eggs!
How Do I Use These?
Most owners prefer to concoct a chicken salad of sorts. It combines the best ingredients from everything on this list. So that no matter what, they are getting some to help with deworming chickens. You can pick two or three things on this list, or you can use everything. That is up to you and what your chickens will eat.
As a bare base, we recommend using the following:
- Raw pumpkin seeds
- Dandelion greens
- Any ingredients listed above
- And a small amount of yogurt or molasses
Mix all of these ingredients and feed them to your hens. They will love their little salads and be none the wiser that it’s so healthy for them. You can give this to your chickens every one to two weeks as a preventative.
Over The Counter Treatments
So feeding the right foods to your flock might prevent a worm infestation. Is there another way how to deworm your chickens naturally? The answer is yes! In recent years, companies have heard the cries of chicken owners worldwide needing a natural medicine that works. Here are a few of those fantastic brands.
GoodEarth Diatomaceous Earth
One of the most well-known natural supplements is diatomaceous earth or D.E. You can use this miracle powder for everything. You can use it around the home to prevent bugs. Or rub it on your pets to get rid of mites, lice, and fleas. And the food-grade options are lovely at preventing internal parasites. Just sprinkle a little into your chicken’s food daily, and you will never have problems with worms.
Verm-X Liquid Poultry & Fowl
If you need an excellent monthly supplement, Verm-X is the way to go. This supplement is all-natural and combines only the best ingredients to deter worms in chickens. Verm-X started in the UK and is finally available here in the USA too! And we couldn’t be happier because the ingenuity and science that went into making this supplement are superior to any other.
The Poultry Store DeWormer
And finally, let’s not forget The Poultry Store DeWormer. This supplement combines all of the best things found in nature to solve all problems. This powder works at deworming chickens, and it also helps boost the immune system and repel all parasites. All you have to do is sprinkle it into your flock’s food, and you are all done. No more worrying or setting reminders for scary deworming chemicals.
Deworming Chickens Doesn’t Have To Be Hard
Now that you know how to deworm your chickens naturally, you can see that. Most of your chicken’s favorite foods are probably great for deworming. Now that you know it’s possible, you can use mother nature to your advantage. And you won’t waste a single egg ever again.
Below is a Pinterest friendly photo…. so you can pin it to your Backyard Chicken Board!!