Natural remedies for worms in Chooks

Chook with dirty pants - a sign of wormsSweetie (chook on the left) has a dirty behind – a possible sign of worms. If I get in quick, I’ll save the day with herbs! Spring’s a common time for worms, so lets be prepared with some natural solutions.

Worms are preventable. Here’s a checklist:

• Keep their house clean and dry (I use macrocarpa sawdust on the floor under the perches and in the nesting boxes too)
• Clean water
• Fresh ground, no bare or muddy ground please
• Garlic and cider vinegar in their water trough for a few days once a month
• Don’t overstock
• 1 teaspoon of food grade diatomaceous earth per chook in their feed regularly
• Fresh unpasteurised milk left a few days to curdle then fed out, is another very effective preventive
• Grow lots of vermifuge herbs in forage areas (or give them some to eat once a month) Horseradish leaves, garlic tops, garlic, wormwood, tansy, carrot, pumpkin seeds, mustard seeds, elder leaves, nasturtium seeds. All of these herbs are very strong, so little and often is the key. They will eat what they need.

If your chook has worms it’ll have a dirty backside. As the infestation takes a hold and gets worse the chook may have bloodstained poos; lost feathers (check this is not from hen pecking or moulting); weepy eyes; no appetite and be huddled up quietly on its own

If you want to manage your chooks naturally then prevention really is the best cure.  If problems come along treat them at the first signs to avoid needing to use a chemical solution.

Garlic is a simple and very effective worm treatment. (Treat all your chooks at the same time) To hand feed simply chop up 1 garlic clove per bird (If you just scatter it in their feed some may not take it.) Or if they wont take it like this then make garlic water: (a great way to use up those annoying undersized bulbs) Crush a couple of garlic cloves per bird and put in a stocking. Hang this in the water trough. Make this their only drinking water so you know they are getting it. Do either of these week on, week off for a couple of months (use a fresh garlic stocking each time).

As well as this you could make an anti worm mash and feed it out every second day, three times. This recipe is for one bird.

1 clove chopped garlic, 1 cup of oats, 1tsp cider vinegar, 1/2 tsp slippery elm (or live yoghurt), 1 fine chopped leaf of comfrey, 1 teaspoon finely chopped wormwood or tansy

Mix with enough water or raw milk to make a thin paste. Give this as their only food every second day, for three days. If you don’t have all the herbs don’t worry just leave them out.