How Often to Worm Chickens with Flubenvet

Worming is one of those healthcare routines that, unless you are very organised, can sometimes be tackled in a bit of an ad hoc way. But not only can this open the door to disease, it’s also an inefficient way to worm poultry. We are often asked how often to worm chickens with Flubenvet.

Now Elanco (Formerly Janssen Animal Health), manufacturer of Flubenvet®, has come up with a simple way for small-scale chicken keepers to keep to a regular routine: simply remember that if you have 20 chickens each time 12 bags of feed are purchased, one 60 gram pot of Flubenvet will be needed.

Another useful guide is to dose wormer on a schedule relating to bags of feed purchased and chickens kept*.

Number of chickens kept Approximate number of 20Kg bags of feed required Dose using 60g pack of Flubenvet 1% Number of 60 gram packs of Flubenvet
5 1 every 4 weeks Every 3rd bag 1 (enough for 4 doses)
10 1 every 2 weeks Every 6th bag 1 (enough for 2 doses)
20 1 per week Every 12th bag 1
40 2 per week Every 24th bag 2

[So, according to this, the recommendation is to worm chickens every 12 weeks or 3 months – Ed]

This is an especially useful memory jogger for those who buy their feed in bulk and otherwise rarely visit an animal health merchant or vet. For those that love maths, a quick way of working out the number of feed bags used before wormer is required is:

Number of chickens x number of weeks between worming
Weight of feed bag in Kg

Poultry of all kinds can pick up parasitic worm eggs from the soil or invertebrates, such as worms and beetles infected by the parasite and even from wild birds. Each worm species has a pre-patent period – the time between infection and passing out an infective form of the parasite – which is around 20-40 days for most common poultry worms. Birds kept on the same piece of ground for long periods can easily become infected as the number of parasitic worm eggs builds up in the soil. Regular treatment keeps the number of egg laying adult worms within the bird to a minimal level and that, in turn, reduces infection of the environment where the animal is kept. This lowers the ‘infection pressure’ so birds are less likely to become infected.

If there are lots of birds in a small space then infection pressure can be high, and these birds should be treated every 3-4 weeks initially. Where infection pressure is low, because of regular previous worming or larger spaces, control can be achieved by worming every 10-12 weeks. So, not only does regular worming keep birds healthy, it is also cost-effective too. The next time you pick up feed, think about worming.

There is lots of information about worms and worming on this page: “Worming Chickens and other Poultry“.

* Based on large fowl layer with free range access, needing around 140-150 grams of food per day. Flubenvet® 1% is added to food and fed for a period of 7 days. A 60 gram pack of Flubenvet® contains enough wormer to treat 20 Kg of food. For control of worms 12 week intervals have been allowed for in the calculation.

Flubenvet 1 % Medicated Premixture is produced from Flubenvet Premix containing flubendazole 5% w/w Vm 00242/4056
Always seek advice on use from a veterinary surgeon, pharmacist or Suitably Qualified Person (SQP)

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Susan McKay BVM & S, MRCVS, MBA

Managing Director at Companion Consultancy
Established Companion Consultancy in 2002 to provide copywriting and PR services to the veterinary industry. We also provide freelance journalism to a wide variety of publications.

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