Unless there is a problem of growth or condition (loss of weight, rough feathers, not molt) or you see worms in the dropping OR KNOW that your neighbor's free range birds show signs of worms--well just forget about worming. I have wormed my birds several times in 30+ year. (Never saw worms in the droppings following treatment). It was probably a waste of money for the wormer--and dumping of eggs. When I raised fryers/roasters, no sign of worm problem, as Uno experienced! (Different climate, different management.) All chickens likely carry some round worms)if they are allowed outside on ground. They can get themn from ingesting insects, earthworms, NOT TO WORRY. If you live in an area where ground freezes deeply, in winter, likely worms will not be a problem. HOWEVER, if you live in warmer climates, you can be assured your birds will have worms that may not cause any problems at all--or, if they DO, TREAT THEM at 3-6-mos. intervals, if this is what your local poultry people find is effective. Don't let the feed store sell you products that you must store safely, may never use, effectiveness will expire,--you can obtain them IF you need them.
Where do they come from? Roundworms are most common, and no one source can be named. Wild bird droppings? Maybe?, maybe not. This would include Pheasants, Wild Turkeys, Waterfowl, although each kind of worm may have species-specific hosts that will never be more than a temporary threat to your chickens, so you will likely not be able to name a source of chicken-fowl worms. Wild pigeons droppings are one that can be a source. Of course the greatest source is from a chicken that carries worms. The life cycle includes reinfection by unclean ground/coops. This is one reason that Droppings trays, that the birds cannot get into, can reduce ingesting the eggs of any that are deposited there!! Eye worms, Gapeworms that sound so awful are not common. Again, NOT TO Worry, good management and observation of your bird's condition can give you an idea of whether to have the droppings, checked by a Vet--or if you have done a little microbiology, have a microscope, could check yourself. It is not an emergency treatment, so I would not have the Piperazine on hand to get old and usesless. Just knowing about the possibility is enough for now.......Good luck, CJR
Edited by CJR (03/03/12 05:32 PM)