Worms can be very helpful in fertilizing our soil. But, this kinda worm will never bring benefit to anything, especially for your chicken. Finding parasites in your farms, moreover in the animals that will produce foods for us surely make us anxious. Even lice in our cattle can be a turn-off. That’s why, you need to learn the best treatment for eye worms in chicken.
Eye-worm in chicken is called Oxyspirura mansoni. This worm attacks the eyes area of the chicken, sort of a given by the name. They will crawl into your chicken’s eyes and lay eggs there. For worst cases, this infection can cause death, too. Really awful.
What Causes Eye-Worms Infestation
Eye-worms infestation starts from the insects, mostly from Surinam Cockroaches. They act as intermediate host of the worms, which means that the worms live inside their body until they reach immature or non-productive forms.
These insects usually consume the chicken’s feces which act as definitive host or secondary hosts. It means that the parasites will reach the final stage of their life cycle, including sexual maturity. So, their sexual reproduction happen in the body of the secondary hosts.
If the feces are already contaminated by worms eggs, these worms will live in the body of the insects. And if you let your chicken wander around, and they certainly will eat insects also, there might be a big chance that they will get infected. This kinda cycle can really go on and on, without we ever realize.
And these worms are also pretty smart, too. Once they get into your chicken’s body, they will crawl up the bird’s esophagus to their mouth and pass through the nasolacrimal –or tear– duct. From here, they will go to your chicken’s eyes.
The result is, your chicken will begin to scratch their eyes, sometimes until they hurt their eyes and can become blind also. You can also observe constant blinking of the infected eyes, there are also redness and swelling around the eye, sometimes it makes the eyes shut down. You can also see white substance inside the eye lid and the cornea becomes cloudy white. To build a farm chicken, you need to understand every little thing that’s going on with your animals. This condition also apply for building other farm, like cattle farm.
Even though the worms seem harmless, it’s actually have a very severe impact for your chicken. Not to mention the intense scratching that can lead into blindness, these worms also can kill the definitive host. Below, I will explain 3 best treatment for eye worms in chicken.
Piperazine is the most common treatment for the eye worms in chicken. It’s approved to be safe for your chicken also and relatively non-toxic. But, you gotta understand how to give it to your chicken, so the drugs will be efficient. The doses of piperazine itself must be calculated based on the chicken’s age. For the chicken which is younger than 6 weeks old, the single dose of 50 mg/chicken should be enough. While the chicken with the age older than 6 weeks, the dose increased into 100 mg/ chicken.
This medication must be given within a few hours to eliminate the worms effectively. And you can mix it in your chicken’s feed at 0.2%–0.4% or in the drinking water at 0.1%–0.2% amounts. Anyway, US government doesn’t approve this medication for chicken that produce eggs for human consumption. We need to know the do’s and don’ts when we raise the animals for the livestock. For instance, we need to know the detail on how to breed dairy cows, because we need to know whether it will be safe or not for us to consume the product later.
VETRx is not as effective as piperazine, but it can work well for the chicken, too. Besides, you can do home treatment with this kind of medication because it’s easy to do, even though it will need your patience.
To administer this VETRx to your chicken, you may open the chicken’s mouth while tilting the chicken’s head until you can see the cleft in the roof of their mouth. Then, you dip the swab into warm VETRx and press it into the cleft. That’s ought to do it. Usually, the VETRx will come out from each side of your chicken’s beak and pus. If it happened, the you can clean it up and remove the excess.
Of course, you can’t expect the immediate result. You gotta do it several times before the VETRx give you the result.
3. Manually Remove the Worms
Sometimes, the medication is not enough, we need to help to get rid of the excess of the infestation. VETRx works very well to get rid the early stage of eye worms, but not so much in more advanced stages of the eye worms. That’s why, sometimes we need to do manual approach to get rid these eye-worms. All you need is just a little patience.
The best way to do this is pressing your chicken’s eyes gently on the left and right side of the outside part, then put tiny sprinkle of Food grade DE on the inside of your chicken’s eyelid. You can do this manual treatment every other day for 3 days.
I always say that prevention is the best medicine. Of course, with these prevention, you can keep your chicken healthy. Medicine, right? Preventing eye-worms maybe a little bit tricky since we never know when the chicken consume insects. Observing them 24/7 where ever they go is almost impossible because who has that much time to spend? But, there are few things that we can do to avoid these infestation.
- To maintain the body endurance of your chicken, you need to provide well-balanced diet as well as the fresh ones and the fresh water, too. If your chicken’s body endurance is good, the worms or any other parasites will have some trouble to attack them.
- Keep the litter clean and dry because worm eggs thrive in damp areas. Other parasites may like to live in the damp litter, too.
- Cleanliness is important for every living things, whether it’s clean cage for mouse-like pets like hamster or the livestock animals like chicken. By cleaning the house regularly and disinfect it, you can prevent your chicken getting infected by any parasite.
- Put the mesh floors so your chicken don’t step on their droppings. Remember that the worm eggs lay in the chicken’s dropping and who knows your chicken can accidentally consume them.
- Provide the screen that prevent any insects go into the poultry house. Not only cockroaches that you need to be cautious of. Any other insects and flies can be intermediate host of parasites, too. By limiting the contact between these intermediate host with your chicken, you can avoid the infestation of the eye worms.
These 3 best treatment for eye worms in chicken will help you to treat the eye worms in your chicken. Of course, each infestation parasites in your chicken has different medication, so you can consult to your veterinarian to get the best advise on it.