What is a Chicken Wormer?

chicken wormer featured image
A chicken wormer helps your chickens to remove worms and other internal parasites from their body. It'll help protect their vital organs such as their brain and lungs while helping maintain their egg-laying expectations. 

Like other animals, chickens are vulnerable to worms as they are kept outside and in constant contact with the ground. Chickens usually feed from the soil, which increases the risk of getting worms and decreases their egg-laying capacity.

The good news is that there’s a simple solution: a high-quality chicken wormer. In this article, you’ll learn more about the best chicken wormers in the market to help you keep your chickens happy and healthy.

What Is A Chicken Wormer

A chicken wormer helps to remove worms and internal parasites from the bird’s body and protects vital internal organs such as the brain and lungs. A chicken wormer could be either a natural solution or a chemical product.

Chickens are omnivorous creatures that feed on grains and insects, often pecking at the soil in search of earthworms, leading parasites and worms to enter their bodies. Even healthy birds could pick up parasites and worms since they enter a bird’s system through the soil, mice droppings, grasshoppers, slugs, and snails.

It is quite easy for healthy birds to flush out small worms but bigger worms aren’t so easy. That’s where the best chicken wormers come in handy.

Types of Worms That Affect Chickens

There are many different kinds of worms that are known to cause harm to poultry. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Hair worms: these are mainly found in the crop, stomach, and intestines.
  • Roundworms: these are typically found in the digestive system. Infected hens will eliminate the worm eggs through their poop; other chickens can ingest it and infect themselves.
  • Gape worms: these are found in the lungs and the windpipe.
  • Cecal worms: these lead a direct lifestyle and occur in the cecal of infected birds
  • Capillary Worms: are tiny thread-like worms that are mainly found in the crop, cecal, and the intestines of chickens.
  • Tapeworms: these are flat, ribbon-like worms that live in the intestinal lining:
  • Eye Worms: these live in the eyes of infected chickens. Infection is mainly caused by cockroaches and mites, but poop, bedding, and food can also transmit the disease.
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How Chickens Get Worms

Let’s face it; worms are everywhere. Their eggs are hidden in the ground, passed along in bird droppings, carried by earthworms and grasshoppers, and blown around by the wind.

No matter where you keep your chickens, they will always be exposed to worm eggs. Fortunately, healthy birds in healthy living conditions have natural defense mechanisms against various types of worms and are hardly in danger.

If you notice your chickens have a parasite problem, chances are the problem is not just worms, but something more serious. Worms often live in unhealthy birds with poor defense mechanisms.

Overcrowding, unhealthy living conditions, poor diet, and lack of rotation can put your birds at the risk of getting worms and parasites.

Unfortunately, even the healthiest birds in a healthy living environment could get worms from infected chickens as well. That’s why a four-week quarantine of all new chickens is important before adding them to your flock. This will not only allow the new birds to become adjusted to their new environment, it will also allow you to monitor their health and provide the proper treatment to ensure they don’t pose any risk to other chickens in your flock.

Best Types of Chicken Wormers

There are two major types of chicken wormers:

  • Natural remedies, such as diatomaceous earth and food.
  • Chemical chicken wormers

Natural Remedies

Diatomaceous Earth(DE)

Diatomaceous Earth (DE) is usually mixed with chicken feed since it is a natural chicken dewormer. DE works by desiccating the worms and parasites that live inside the chicken’s body.

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While it might not be the most effective natural chicken dewormer out there, DE provides chickens with essential minerals, so it is healthy for them.


Apple cider vinegar offers many amazing health benefits to chickens because it is rich in vitamins and minerals.

When it comes to its worming ability, apple cider vinegar works as an antibiotic and antiseptic. This allows it to eliminate disease-causing micro-organisms and prevents worms from living in your chickens’ bodies.

Garlic also helps to prevent worms and parasites from living in a chicken’s body. Adding ground garlic to chicken feed can boost your chicken’s immune system and respiratory system.

Other natural remedies like pumpkin seed are also known to keep chicken worms and internal parasites at bay.

Chemical Chicken Wormers

Here are some of the chemical chicken wormers you may come across:

AlbendazolePrevents a wide range of worms. Unfortunately, it can interact negatively with many other drugs.
PiperazineWorks effectively against roundworms only. Advisable not to use in egg laying hens, but should be fine in meat chickens. Over-dosage could lead to death.
FenbendazoleThis is the most commonly used medication, so it may be your vet’s recommendation. Certain products containing it recommend a zero-egg withdrawal period, while others require a seven-day withdrawal period.
IvermectinA seven-day egg withdrawal period is required. This medication can be toxic, and hence, it’s unlicensed for chickens, but your vet might still recommend it under certain circumstances.
LevamisoleA 7-day egg-withdrawal period is required. It prevents hair worms, roundworms and cecal worms.

Remember that these are just the active ingredients in various products; they are not the brand names of any particular product.

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Why is chicken de-worming so important?

It’s extremely important to use chicken wormers from time to time as a preventive measure. Chemical wormers could cause some serious side effects; so make sure to contact your vet first.

Chickens require regular de-worming to remain healthy. Some worms like the cecal worm, roundworm, and flatworm can deny your chickens any form of nutrition.

Chickens with internal parasites and worms will be thin and inactive. Their feathers are affected and more importantly, you could see the negative impact on their egg production. Both older chickens and young chicks could also suffer from severe diarrhea.

Even if just one bird in your flock has parasites or worms, the issue could escalate very quickly. That’s because worm eggs can build up very quickly and could be present in the affected chicken’s droppings.

Other chickens could get the worms and infect the entire flock quickly. Certain worms can affect egg production and quality. To make matters worse, infected eggs might be harmful to consumers.

That’s why you should do chicken de-worming once in a while which can be administered through chicken feed or drinking water.

How often should you worm your chickens?

Ultimately, it’s your choice. Some chicken owners worm their birds regularly while others don’t do it at all.

You could worm your birds regularly through your chicken’s water or food, especially if there’s a serious worm infestation that requires more regular doses of wormwood or garlic to help break the worms’ life cycle. You should also keep your chickens’ living environment clean at all times to eliminate any worm eggs.

If you use chemical treatments, make sure you know the correct dosage and treatment schedule to avoid overdoing it.

How do you prevent chicken worms?

The best preventive measure against chicken worms is proper flock management. Chemical treatments can never compensate for poor-quality food and unhealthy living conditions.

If you cannot free-range your chickens, make sure your chicken coop is always clean. The coop must have clean bedding and fresh drinking water at all times.

You should also supplement the chicken run with bulk material for your birds to enjoy scratching through. Ground rotation Is also recommended at least once per year.

After removing the old material, make sure to add new material as soon as possible. Bare ground is boring for chickens and creates a good environment for worms to thrive.

Patrick Anampiu

Patrick is an avid pet lover and passionate writer who enjoys crafting stories and feels most alive when telling stories about people whose lives have been enriched by their pets. He enjoys adding more chickens to his flock and loves sharing insights on how to take better care of pets and other animals in our lives. When not writing and raising chickens, Patrick enjoys traveling and exploring nature in all its beauty.

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