Worms in poultry, the basics


Many health problems that your birds have can be related to worms of some sort and it is important to worm your birds regularly as well as manage houses and runs. Keep litter in poultry houses clean and always ensure it is dry. Avoid feeding corn / scratch feeds in the litter if there are droppings in it. Resting land periodically helps prevent a build up of worms, as well as keeping grass short allows the sunlight to kill worm eggs.


The following types of worms can be found in poultry:

  • Caecal Worms – Cause little damage but transmit blackhead to Turkeys.
  • Gape Worm – Found in the trachea and lungs.
  • Gizzard Worm – Found in the gizzard, mainly in geese.
  • Hair worms – Found in the crop, oesophagus, proventriculus and intestine.
  • Round Worms – Found in the birds digestive system.
  • Tape Worms – Fairly uncommon, found in the intestine.


Ivermectin – An anti-parasite medication, effective against most worms (not tapeworm), mites and some lice including scaly leg mite and northern fowl mite. Ivermectin pour-on / drops is applied to the skin. Unlicensed for use in poultry so should only be purchased and used at the advice of your vet.


Panacur – A wormer that is commonly used for cats and dogs but is a broad spectrum wormer that some vets may prescribe for poultry. Unlicensed for use in poultry and only available on prescription from your vet.

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