Parasitic worms and their treatment in domestic waterfowl
Stock should be wormed routinely twice a year, and on any other
occasion which necessitates it e.g. a bird seems ill, or is
More frequent de-worming is needed where large numbers of birds are kept, where the stocking density is high, and where the ground has been used for a number of years and not been rested.
Ducks do seem to suffer less from worms than geese and chickens, but any bird which is under-weight or coughing should be wormed. Worms which affect waterfowl come in a variety of forms.
- Gizzard worm (Amidostomum)—more likely to be lethal in geese.
- Gapeworm (Syngamus) in the windpipe— these make birds cough and, in extreme cases, will asphyxiate them.
- Round worm—live in the gut (Ascarides). Occasionally seen in droppings
- Caecal worm (Heterakis) which inhabit the caecae (two blind-ending extensions from the gut).
- Also tape worm and fluke.
Most of these worms use earthworms and insects as a host, and wild birds are carriers. So, however clean the environment, there is always a low parasite presence. The higher the density of stocking in an establishment, and the greater the length of time over which the land has been used, the greater the importance of regular worming.
The preferred wormer for birds is Flubenvet. This vermifuge can be obtained from your vet and the dosage for ducks should be checked with a vet because ducks are not mentioned on the label. The white powder comes in a smaller 60g box (1%) which medicates 20kg of food, and a 240g tub (2.5%w/w) which medicates 200 kg of food (chickens and geese). The product usually has a very long use-by date. It is licensed for birds, and kills all the internal parasites (listed above) at the correct dosage.
60g box (1%) Just one 6 g scoop (supplied) treats 2 kg of food for chickens or geese,
240g tub (2.5%) The dosage for geese and chickens is 120g on 100 kg of food (half the dosage for pheasant). This works out at 1.2g per kilo—easier to measure at one rounded teaspoonful (3.6g) per 3 kg. Check the weight of a teaspoonful on digital kitchen scales.