Is there a way to deworm chickens without using harmful chemicals?
Lincoln County Wisconsin
Some helpful strategies to decrease parasites in the environment include moving the birds often to fresh pasture or paddocks, keeping the birds in dry areas, and keeping the litter in the house as dry as possible. Try to limit contact with wild birds as they may be infected. Ingestion of worms and insects from freshly plowed ground may result in infection. There are a few products that can be added to conventional poultry feed to control internal parasites. These drugs can NOT be used in organic poultry production. There are no materials that can be used to treat a worm infestation, especially in egg layers, but food-grade diatomaceous earth can be added to the feed to control minor infestations of Capillaria and Heterakis worms. Diatomaceous earth consists of fossilized remains of diatoms which are a type of hard-shelled algae. Food-grade diatomaceous earth is different from the pool-grade used for swimming pool filters. Only food-grade diatomaceous earth should be used for worm control. Examples of diatomaceous earth products:
- Barn Fresh® (OMRI-listed)
- Perma-Guard (OMRI-listed)
- Red Lake Earth® (OMRI-listed)
See the eXtension article on the different types of intestinal worms - http://www.extension.org/pages/66279/internal-parasites-of-poultry#.Us03s_swFi8
Thank you for your speedy response.