How to Worm Chickens

Three Methods:Worming NaturallyWorming With MedicationPreventing Worms

Chickens are prone to contracting parasitic worms, such as gapeworms, roundworms and tapeworms.[1] Although not all species of worms are damaging to the chicken’s system, others can cause weight loss, poor egg production and even death. There are several ways to worm chickens, including natural diatomaceous earth and worming medication.

Method 1
Worming Naturally

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    Check chicken droppings for signs of worms. Many types of worms show up in the feces. Others create dirty or poopy eggs.
    • If only some of your chickens seem to have worms, it is still likely that they will give the worms to the other chickens, so it is a good idea to treat the whole flock.
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    Send the feces to a veterinarian if your chickens are losing weight or having other problems and you don’t see signs of worms in their feces. They could have larger internal parasites that don’t leave through the feces.
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    Purchase a package of food-grade diatomaceous earth. It is sold in the form of a fine white powder at most ranch feed stores and online.
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    Add 1/4 cup of diatomaceous earth per 35 oz. of feed. Mix it thoroughly. Feed it to your chickens as you normally would.[2]
    • Diatomaceous earth is food safe for pets. However, humans should not breathe in the powder.
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    Repeat for four or five days to create an unattractive environment for parasitic worms. You can also do this for one day every three to four months as a preventative measure.
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    Treat the worms with vet-prescribed medication if chickens aren’t wormed in a week. Diatomaceous earth doesn’t effectively treat every type of chicken worm.

Method 2
Worming With Medication

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    Gather some of the chicken poop and send it to a local veterinarian to test for worms. Your vet should tell you what type of worms they had and the best medication for effective treatment.
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    Get a prescription for Flubenvet, Solubenol, Ivermectin or a similar treatment. Purchase enough for your chickens online or through the vet. In some countries you don’t need a prescription for 1 percent Flubenvet.
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    Administer the veterinarian-prescribed medication. Mix Flubenvet into food. 60g is enough to treat 20 chickens. Administer Solubenol by mixing it with the chickens’ water. Apply other types of prescription wormers directly to the skin or the beak.[3]
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    Treat every three weeks if worms recur. Many people move to a treatment every six months to prevent or treat worms at the beginning and end of the hot summer months.[4]
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    Change the landscape of your chicken coop and run if you find that worms are a common problem. You can prevent worms by making the habitat less friendly to bacteria and parasites.
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    Don’t eat the eggs for seven to 14 days, depending upon the medication label. One percent Flubenvet and diatomaceous earth do not require you to throw out the eggs during treatment.

Method 3
Preventing Worms

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    Don’t let them live on bare ground for longer than a day or two. This ground becomes laden with bacteria and parasites, creating a breeding ground.
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    Use a portable chicken run, so that you can move the run to grassy areas or those that can be sanitized. Avoid running chickens on concrete.
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    Use a pet-safe disinfectant on wood or non-grassy areas. They are available at ranch supply stores.
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    Keep grass short. Direct sunlight will kill worm eggs.
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    Add a few cloves of crushed garlic or a tbsp. of apple cider vinegar to the drinking water. This will raise the acidity of the water, making the chickens’ gut less friendly to bacteria.[5]


  • Don’t treat your chickens for worms if they have never shown any signs of them. These treatments can kill good gut bacteria as well as worms.

Things You'll Need

  • Food-grade diatomaceous earth
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Measuring spoons/cups
  • Garlic cloves
  • 1% Flubenvet
  • Chicken worming medications
  • Chicken fecal test
  • Pet-safe environmental disinfectant
  • Portable chicken run

Article Info

Categories: Chickens