|When you raise birds it is just a matter of time before you will have a sick bird. You may even lose a bird for an unknown reason. I believe in
prevention whenever possible - but I dislike giving medication unless it is absolutely necessary. This is what works for me, your situation may be
I am not a vet and do not mean to prescribe or diagnose.
WORMING WITH IVOMEC
I believe worming does more to keep birds healthy than just about anything else you can do. It is safe and easy.
I got the *DIRECTIONS (see below) from a very experienced lady who has been worming with Ivomec for more
than 20 years (and has raised birds for 35+ years). Her name is Iona McCormick and I thank her for sharing her
knowledge. Here is what she wrote (in red italics):
"What I'm going to write is my opinion from results of lots of years of using ivermectin. Some people will disagree with me, but I have live healthy
birds from using my method. And this is not about dogs and the problems ivermectin causes some of them . This is about poultry so don't get your
knickers in a knot. I live in the South where parasites are prevalent even if cages and coops are kept clean. Parasite eggs are hard to kill. They will
remain viable in extreme heat or cold. I find the every 2 month schedule of de-worming works well. I de-worm birds under a year old every month.
I lost lots of pea chicks and chicken chicks before using these methods. I use ivermectin because it kills the larval stage of parasites as they migrate
around the animal’s body where they do lots of damage. The only internal parasite ivermectin doesn't kill is tape worms. That doesn't bother me for
I have never had any poultry with tape worms. I have my birds tested for parasites a couple of times a year. Not all of them but a sampling of
them. I use the eggs from treated birds with no problems. Ivermectin is used on humans for some parasites with great results. If you want to find
out more do a search on ivermectin and river blindness. I read about using natural things -- garlic, pumpkin seeds, DE, hot pepper -- to prevent or
control parasites. I personally don't think these things work. If I used them alone I would take fecal samples to the vet to have them tested.
Logic just doesn't allow these things to work as I can see. Again this is my opinion.
De-worming Methods using 1% injectable cattle ivermectin:
Birds up to 6 months old get 1/4 cc of ivermectin in the mouth. I want to be sure they get a good dose since they are the most susceptible to
parasites and internal parasite damage. Grown birds are treated with 1cc of ivermectin per quart of water for 2 days. Mix a fresh batch as needed
each day. Birds drink what water they need according to size so I don't worry about them over dosing. Over dosing isn't really a problem though for
it takes a lot of ivermectin to cause a problem. A friend did a test on a bantam rooster by giving the bird 5 cc of ivermectin straight from the
bottle. The bird was droopy a day or two, but snapped right back and live another 6 or so years. If you want to find out more about ivermectin you
can find lots of information about it on the web. I have even called the Merial and talked to a vet or two there.
Iona McCormick, Quiet Place Farm, Jacksonville, NC USA"
Ivomec has withdrawal for meat (if you were going to eat the bird) but none stated for eggs. My family and my dogs eat the eggs and if there were a
problem with it surely we'd know about it by now. Ivomec (Merial) is the brand name, ivermectin is generic. I buy generic Ivomec from Jeffers
Supply. Some feed stores carry it. Jeffers has it on sale sometimes and it is cheaper than my feed store even with shipping. DO NOT GET POUR
ON. Pour on is oil based and will not mix with the water. GET INJECTABLE.
IMPORTANT NOTE - Ivomec's patent expired Jan 2008. There are now generic versions of Ivermectin that cost a fraction of the price
as Ivomec does. I used to pay $65.00 and $76.00 per bottle of Ivomec. Now I use a brand called NOROMECTIN (which is ivermectin)
made by Novapharm Ltd. It costs around $20.00 for the same size bottle. Ivomec has dropped it's price down to approx $40.00 to
$45.00 per bottle but I've been using the Noromectin and have had no side effects and it's cheaper.
Ivomec controls most intestinal parasites with the exception of tape worm (tape is rare in chickens). It also controls lice and mites. Parasitic insects
suck the blood of the host (your bird) and are poisoned. Ivomec can also help prevent gapeworm (picked up from eating earthworms). It will not
treat gape worm if a bird is already infected, that requires a different course of therapy.
The reason ivermectin works so well is it kills the migrating larva inside the bird and the grown parasites within the gut. None of the other de-
wormers do that. Most of us that use ivermectin have researched it to death. Here is a good paper on the use of ivermectin in both humans and animals.
At the very least, I worm in early spring and late fall, then re-treat 10-14 days after initial worming to break mite/lice life cycle. Some people
worm more often (at the beginning of each season).
URL for Jeffer's:
*Here are Iona's directions:
"Ivomec is a brand name of ivermectin and yes, it is a cattle de-wormer in that form. You may be able to find generic ivermectin at your local feed
store. I use 1% injectable cattle ivermectin mixed in water. You can purchases a syringe at the feed store to measure with.
1cc per quart of water/ 4cc per gallon.
NOTE: If your syringe has measurements in ml instead of cc, they are the same thing
"The mixture is the only water the birds get for 2 days. Mix small batches (a gallon) to retain freshness as more of the solution is needed. I did give
the meds for 3 days, but decided the birds were doing ok with only 2 days.I don't toss the eggs. Ivermectin is used for a de-wormer for people and
has not caused any problems as far as I know from my extensive reading. For those that want to jump on the previous statement -- Yes, once in a
while there will be someone with a rare sensitivity to the drug."
POUR ON IVOMEC
I have heard that you can also use pour on Ivomec. If you don't have a lot of birds, this is practical. Each bird is given 2-3 drops (bantams) of the
Ivermectin Pour-On (for cattle, the blue stuff) on the back of the neck. Standards get 4-5 drops.
If you are treating with Ivomec (either pour on or injectable) for lice/mites, you will need to re-treat in 10-14 days to break the
mite/lice life cycle.
LICE and MITES
Lice and mites can be a serious problem. By the time you see them, you may have a massive infestation. If you see mites on your birds, you need to
clean your coops thoroughly. Lice live only on the birds, but mites live off the birds and climb back on at night. Scoop all shavings out of the coop,
bag it and dispose of it in the trash (not the compost pile). Spray the entire inside with the Adam's Flea and Tick Spray (active ingredient 0.15%
Pyrethrins), or poultry spray from the feed store, especially under and on top of the roosts. Then apply Poultry Dust all over the floor and in the
nest boxes. Add clean shavings and some poultry dust to the nest boxes. Follow directions above for Ivomec treatment for worms, then re-treat 10-
14 days after initial worming to break mite/lice life cycle.
FOR Heavily infested birds and birds with or near the remainder of the flock (even if you don't detect mites):
A. Frontline (I buy generic Fipronil, Sentry Fiproguard 9.70%) drops for small dogs - placed at the base of the back of the neck
a. 1-2 drops for small birds
b. 3-4 drops for large birds
Coccidiosis is a common disease that mostly affects younger birds. It can quickly be fatal or cause permanent damage if not treated quickly. The
good news is it is treatable and preventable. I keep Amprol on hand in case of an outbreak. Here is a link to an excellent article on Cocci:
I have never had to deal with gape worm (knock on wood) but I read this is a way to check for it if you suspect you have an infected bird: Take a Q-
tip and gently twirl it as you push down his throat, and twirl it as you bring it back out as well. You only need to go just past the back of the bird's
mouth at the very beginning of his throat. Check the Q-tip for gape worms. Gape worms are red and appear to have two heads.’
First State Vet Supply carries meds to treat gape worm
'Levasole/Tramisol Wormer: Does not get the Tape Worms but does an excellent job removing most round worms and Gape Worms. Removes
Capillary Worms as well.'