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How to de-worm a chicken in five (ah-hem) simple steps

Chickens get parasites.  This is a fact of chicken life.  At some point, if you have chickens, you will need to de-worm them.  Or, I suppose, pay someone to do it for you.  However, it’s not very hard, and you can certainly do it yourself.

Now, it’s very important to de-worm your chickens on a day that is cold and wet and generally miserable.  This will ensure that you are just as unhappy about the proceedings as the chickens.  They will appreciate this.

1. The first step, the one that absolutely must not be skipped, is to make a drink to as your reward for going out in the rain to de-worm the chickens.  You may substitute cookies or chocolate or your particular poison. Just do it first so you can have it right away when you’re done.

How to de-worm a chicken in five simple steps

Jeff: Old Fashioned. Jessica: Corpse Reviver #2.

2. Corral your chickens.  We tossed some chicken crack into the coop and trapped them in there when the greedy guts ran in there to eat it.  Note that there are only three of four chickens in the coop.  Nugget is a little too suspicious and so became our first victim participant.

How to de-worm a chicken in five simple steps

Three out of four chickens are total suckers.

3. Next, prepare your wormer.  I got it from the vet.  According to the instructions, draw up a dose into the syringe.

How to de-worm a chicken in five simple steps

Yes, I did get rid of that air bubble and draw up a proper dose after the photo.

4. Grab your chicken and worm her.  Pictured here, I am holding Nugget, but I would advise you to have another person hold your chicken.

How to de-worm a chicken in five simple steps

Nugget is just so very happy.

Hold your syringe in your dominant hand and with your non-dominant hand, stick your thumb in the chicken’s beak and gently open the beak. The chicken will not enjoy this.

Once you have the beak open, stick the syringe in the side of the chicken’s beak and gently and slowly depress the plunger.  Go slow so the chicken doesn’t aspirate on the wormer. The chicken will not enjoy this, either.

Toss your chicken back into the run with some crack, then rinse and repeat steps three and four with your other chickens.

5. When all of your chickens are done, try to get them to like you again by giving them more crack.  They may or may not buy this peace offering.

How to de-worm a chicken in five simple steps

Chickens do not buy it.

And that’s it!  Not so hard!

Don’t forget to wash your hands when you go back inside and have your drink.  You’ve earned it!

21 comments to How to de-worm a chicken in five (ah-hem) simple steps

  • Thanks for the step by step.

    Maybe a dumb question, but how do you know if you need to deworm them?

    • Jessica

      That’s not a dumb question at all! You can simply assume they have worms and you’ll be right. However, we had it confirmed by a fecal test done by our vet’s office.

      We are going to start working them twice a year, and we shouldn’t have any more problems. Worms can be quite a problem for chickens, so it needs to be taken care of right away.

  • Mom

    You make it look SOOOO easy. Except for the whole catching them-holding them-prying their beaks open thing. Hope you enjoyed your reward and that the grandchicks like you again.

  • Debbi

    Can you eat the chickens after you have to worm them? Can you get chicken parasites if you eat a chicken who has worms??

  • Nancy

    Thank you for posting this, it is very helpful! Can you eat the eggs of the hens after worming, or do they need to be disposed of for a period of time?

  • Most worms are species specific…meaning what effects avians will usually not effect mammals…however, you should never eat raw or undercooked meat anyways…cook all meat well and you have really nothing to worry about anywyas… As for wormers..all drugs, including wormers have a withdrawl time. I caution you on eating eggs froma a chicken right after worming them…I raise pigs, chickens, geese, goats, etc…and each type of wormers has a withdrawal time for each animal. Your vet should mention this to you. Even with the wormer chemicals in the chicken, I am sure your eggs are still healthier then what you would buy in a store :)

  • BB

    I was told natural Apple Cider Vinegar at 25cc per liter worms chickens. I am new at this, so I want to do the right thing. Also, would’nt the chickens just eat the white wormer medicine if you put it in a dish? This would eliminate wrestling her!!

  • Lynda

    This is hilarious and great info. I think I’ll have a drink to think about this. Since it’s 104 degrees outside I guess I’ll have to wait until December… I’ll have a drink to ponder that, too. Wait – doesn’t alcohol kill worms? I wonder if chickens like beer…????? I think I’ll have another drink and reconsider…. Good information, thanks for sharing!

  • kate

    Awesome and funny.

  • Sharon

    My vet says not to eat the eggs laid after worming for 14 days. We wormed our chickens after dark when they were roosting. Had no problems catching them or worming them. They are quite docile after dark.

  • doyletoo

    Thanks for the entertaining and informative post! I had previously put the dewormer in
    the water, but wasn’t convinced it was getting to them. Catching them at dusk was easy
    and my son held them while I squirted the dewormer in. Got a little better with each
    hen.

  • Laramie

    Could you please tell us the name of the wormer you’re using? Our hens could use a round, and we can’t really find anything in the US for egg hens.

  • James

    It is reccomended that you not eat the eggs for 14 days after worming. Wazine it a good de-wormer if you know what type of worm your chicken has, Wazine will only treat round worms. I reccomend buying Valbazan or safeguard. Valbazan and safeguard are both cattle wormers but can be used on chickens too, they treat pretty much every type of worm that your chickens will typically get.
    Give 1/2cc orally to large fowl
    Give 1/4cc to Bantams or fowl under a year of age
    Safeguard has been known to make chickens feathers curl if your chickens are in molt.
    I reccomend giving Wazine in drinking water (2TBS per gallon) for 24hrs then dump and give fresh water without Wazine. Wait ten days then give Valbazan or Safeguard then wait an additional 14 days until you eat eggs. The day after treatment with Valbazan or Safeguard I would reccomend giving Yogurt with canned cat food. (yogurt helps stomach get out the worming medicine and the worms so you can eat eggs quicker & canned cat food helps give chickens back much needed protein)
    I love your steps.

  • TigerGirl

    um can u help me with something? One of my Blue-Laced Red Wyandottes (Honey) isnt doing so well. She is opening and closing her mouth and what looks like is having a bad time breathing. I think she might have a gapeworm inside her. How can i save her or is it too late for her? please help me!!!

  • So why don’t just use diatemacious earth?

  • And what breed of chicken isnthe little pig, and what is chicken crack? For me it is black eyed pea dip! Lol

  • Debbi

    I guess I solved it myself because I have a box of diatomaceous earth in my chicken house in which they give themselves a bath and probably eat some of this when they preen their feathers. I’ve never had any problem finding fleas or lice on them.

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