WORMING

The place to discuss worms, mites, lice, rodents, wild birds, foxes, badgers, dogs etc.
Chicketeer
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WORMING

Post by Chicketeer » Fri Mar 03, 2017 7:29 pm

I have always wormed my 3 bantams every 3 - 4 months with Flubenvet as recommended by the breeder from whom I purchased them. They are very fit hens and have never shown any sign if being "challenged". I was interested to read Tim's article on the possibility in the future of worms becoming immune to prescribed wormers with over-use. I personally don't like using chemicals that are likely to strip the gut. I learned from a blogger on poultrykeeper.com that they had found a service offered by HappyChicks.co.uk called Eggsamine whereby you can purchase a small sealed bag and a return P&P paid plastic envelope to send off a small sample of poo and they will check it for worm egg count. This costs £3 + P&P which is a minimum of £4 which is OK if you are buying some other supplies at the same time. I haven't used the kit yet. I have started to feed Verm-X to my hens for 3 days each month as perhaps a way of keeping worms at bay. Probably, though, as I keep my hens on concrete with EasiChick bedding they are unlikely to pick up anything over the winter having been wormed with Flubenvet at the end of October and they have obviously been confined to the coop and run since 6 December as a precaution against Avian Flu. They will be allowed to free range in the garden again when we are given the all clear. I would like to ask what other Members' views are on the Verm-X product. Some keepers swear by it and others say it has no benefit at all. My hens love it and gobble it down! So, I'm a bit confused as whether to use Verm-X or not. I gather that in the "olden days" garlic was used to combat worms so I can't believe that the properties of some herbs do not have some benefit. If the test comes back showing the presence of worm eggs then I will use Flubenvet to kill them but I plan to use the Eggsamine test on a quarterly basis to keep a check on things. I don't think using Flubenvet on a regular basis as a precaution as before is a good idea. Sorry my Post is a but "wordy" and I would be interested to read the views of other Members on the Worming issue and the Verm-X product in particular. :D
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dinosaw
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Re: WORMING

Post by dinosaw » Fri Mar 03, 2017 8:50 pm

Hi Chicketeer

There is no published evidence that Verm-X works as a wormer and I believe they had to stop describing the product as such after an ASA ruling. Given how long it has been on the market and the amount of marketing behind it I would be very surprised to find they had carried out clinical trials which had a positive outcome and were keeping it quiet. On the other hand if they are so confident in their product why not conduct trials?. My conclusion therefore has always been that it is probably useless as a wormer. It may have some preventative properties, I don't know. My advice would be to continue with Flubenvet and invest in keeping the worm burden down by killing eggs with a ground sanitiser like Stalosan instead.
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rick
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Re: WORMING

Post by rick » Fri Mar 03, 2017 10:09 pm

I don’t know about Verm-X but would go with Dinosaw's opinion that if anything it may make their gut a little less habitable (like garlic) but not cure anything of problem proportions.
I do know a bit about worm counts having bought a microscope and carried out my own float tests. Its a fascinating thing to do (if you like that kind of thing.) I have found that a single count is a bit hit and miss - Worm eggs are shed at different rates throughout the day and from day to day so that there can be a large swing in result from one count to the next. I have also found that, contrary to what you might think, one hen can reliably have a high count and another reliably show nothing or very low in the same flock. Add to that a range of possible species, some of which can be in the thousands without undue concern and others that indicate a serious problem if only one egg is found.
That said, if you carry out more than one test and supply a sample collected from at least a couple of birds then the likelihood of catching a significant problem would rise greatly. Be careful not to squish the sample - the eggs are quite fragile and when broken no longer float and show up in the test. With three tests over three weeks I reckon you could be very confident of the results and avoid worming.
That said (again) I do test and find its flubenvet time again at least every 6 months! Maybe Verm-X would extend that time further? And/or the ground sanitiser. Hmmmm...

And that reminds me its about time I took some samples! A great trick (thanks Marigold) was noting the positions where they were roosting at night. Then you can collect a sample from each from the little pile of poop where they were sitting and get a whole flock result!
Of course, for my few chickens that would be a relatively modest £24 and arguably an interesting thing to do (if I couldn’t do the tests myself.) I reckon Dinosaw would probably be looking for a serious bulk discount given the size of his flock.
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chrismahon
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Re: WORMING

Post by chrismahon » Sat Mar 04, 2017 7:45 am

We can tell by their poos and behaviour if worms are an intermediate problem and use Verm-X first because it is so easy to administer on bread cubes. It certainly does work to some unquantifiable extent, but Flubenvet every 6 months is really essential, unless you are doing egg counts and can prove otherwise.

We are concerned about worms building up resistance and now don't worm unless we feel it is necessary. In our case we have found some birds are far more prone to worms than others, despite being on the same ground. Treatment with Verm-X is then quickly followed up with Flubenvet.

We have a new system now, which I don't recommend anyone using (choking risk) but works for us. Based on 7 days of Flubenvet being prescribed for simplicity we give them a 'shot' of wormer on days 1 & 2 and a final dose on day 7. Based on our observations this routine seems fully effective. The 'shot' is made by mixing olive oil with Flubenvet 2.5% (not 1%) which makes the volume of fluid administered very small.
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Marigold
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Re: WORMING

Post by Marigold » Sat Mar 04, 2017 9:03 am

I would have thought that every six months with Flubenvet was adequate for a few birds kept in clean conditions, I.e, in a frequently poo-picked run and coop. Larger flocks kept on ground which has had chickens on it for a long time and not been cleaned up would probably get re-infected faster. Flubenvet is getting very expensive nowadays, and less frequent dosing maybe keeps down the risk of their getting too used to it for it to work. I don't give mine Vermex, along with ACV it seems to me to be a unnecessary extra of unproven worth for healthy hens in clean conditions on a varied and suitable diet.
I would like more info on the effectiveness of Flubenvet if given as 'shots," as Chris suggests. People with larger flocks usually use pre-treated pellets, which rely on each hen eating an adequate dose over a week, relative to her body weight - which seems a bit random to me as birds who need it most may have depressed appetites and not get enough, whereas the greedy ones at the top of the pecking order may get more than they need. Also, to be effective, the birds have to be confined and fed nothing else but pellets for a week. I think Chris gives his concentrated dose via syringe, is that right, Chris? This does seem to me to be unnecessarily invasive since you have to catch each bird and there is the risk of choking from the procedure.
I use a third method of dosing. I make a specially delicious mix of mainly pellets (80%}) plus mixed corn and a few mealworms if I have them, approx 250 grams per bird. This is around a quarter of their total intake of 1 kilo of pellets for the week. I mix in the right amount if Flubenvet powder , I.e, half a scoop per bird, my 5 hens need 2.5 scoops. I measure this out into 7 portions and each day I make one portion into a warm damp mash and serve it on a big plate. I watch them eat it, it all goes down very fast and I can see they've all had a share. The rest of the time they eat normally, I.e pellets plus greens or grass. All gone, no pre-treated pellets left over to get out of date, hens are happy, easy!
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chrismahon
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Re: WORMING

Post by chrismahon » Sat Mar 04, 2017 10:15 am

You are right Marigold, there is a serious risk of choking and that is why I cannot recommend it. Needs two people to administer and it is essential the 0.5mL shot misses the airways (one under the tongue is the problem) and is swallowed. However it has the advantage that all get the full dose and they can free range afterwards. It is always given after they have eaten pellets in the morning, so never on an empty crop. Catching them in the runs is easy but best done wearing old clothes! It works very well for us, but we now have an awful lot of experience handling chickens. The 'shot' calculation is based on a laying large fowl consuming 150g of feed a day- the shot is halved for bantams. It ends up as 1 scoop of 2.5% Flubenvet mixed with 15mL of olive oil, a mixture which requires constant stirring as it settles out very quickly.

The 'shot' approach started 5 years ago with a badly wormed (we thought) cockerel who was far too ill to eat medicated pellets. He improved dramatically within the first few hours. Since then all our worming is with shots and is totally effective, even reduced to three over 7 days as previously mentioned.

We couldn't see any noticeable benefit of ACV at all -just extra time and expense. The only additive we put in water now is Avipro Avian, which is an excellent product, although we rarely have to use it.
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rick
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Re: WORMING

Post by rick » Sat Mar 04, 2017 12:36 pm

Well I seem to be in an ideal position for an experiment as my chooks currently have a moderate population of Ascaridia spp. worms (between 600 and 750 eggs per gram.) Well within the safe limits for that worm.
Going to pick up some Verm-X today and see what happens over the next few weeks.
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dinosaw
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Re: WORMING

Post by dinosaw » Sat Mar 04, 2017 1:54 pm

Agree with Marigold about supplements. I gave up feeding them years ago with no ill effects. Another winter without them and all the birds have come through fine again. I don't get the fuss about Flubenvet dosing. Just buy the pre-medicated pellets, keep your chickens confined for the week and feed as directed. If you have a very ill bird like Chris you may have to change tack but that's not going to be typical. Approximately £12.50 for up to 9 birds, £16 for up to 18 (minus what it would have cost for feed that week). If you are struggling to afford that twice per year then you are probably struggling to afford to keep chickens period.
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chrismahon
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Re: WORMING

Post by chrismahon » Sat Mar 04, 2017 2:09 pm

We can't get the pre-medicated pellets here Dinosaw- in fact we haven't a clue what they do about worms, if anything at all? There are no pet chicken vets locally, except one in Condom ('preservatif' in French), half an hour drive from here. He charges €60 for a consultation plus medication! Vets are very expensive here anyway- take your dog for a checkup and that's €100 please.
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dinosaw
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Re: WORMING

Post by dinosaw » Sat Mar 04, 2017 4:07 pm

Yes, it must be a right pain over there Chris. Was talking in a UK context where the product is readily available.
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