Worming egg laying hens with Wazine. Good idea or bad?

I recently listened to a podcast about worming chickens. One of the speakers was none other than The Chicken Doctor – Peter Brown. This is what he said about worming egg laying hens with Wazine:

So many animal owners (including chicken owners) are not familiar with FARAD. I was on the phone with them again today talking about worming chickens. They are writing an article for the winter issue of Chicken Whisperer Magazine. Just so you know, there is no official egg withdraw period for Wazine in laying hens. Anyone who tells you different is misinformed. So many people say two weeks, and that is simply not the case. That’s why it clearly states on the bottle of Wazine, “Not for use in laying hens.” If you use Wazine for laying hens, it’s an off label use, and by law the administration of these drugs should have veterinarian oversight.

So what does this mean if you suspect your laying hens have worms? It means you should not take matters into your own hands and self medicate your hens. Why? A few reasons.

First, as he stated, Wazine are not specifically labeled with a withdrawal period for laying hens so there is no official withdrawal period given on the bottle.

Second, Because there is no given withdrawal period, there is no proof the eggs will be safe enough to consume, even after the often mentioned 2 week withdrawal period.

Third, if you are selling or even giving away your eggs, you cannot be certain they are safe for the recipient to eat.

Fourth, although not mentioned in his quote, you really do not know if your flock needs to be dewormed without proper testing. Without a fecal float test you do not know if your flock has worms at all.

Fifth, Wazine is designed to control specific worms as stated on the bottle. Without a fecal float test you do not know for sure of the worms being treated for. The medication may not even treat the worms you suspect your hens may have.

So what does this mean to the average backyard chicken owner? Simple, do not follow non-professional advice about treating your flock for worms. Often, people will say “I treat my flock with X product and they have never had worms.” or, “I use X herb to keep my chickens from getting worms”. This is all fine and well if they want to believe that, but unless they can prove their claims, don’t fall for it. Ask them to show you proof. Not their proof, but proof from a fecal float test before and after treatment. Most, if not all, will tell you they don’t need a fecal float test, they just can tell by the way their flock acts and their overall health. So, there is really no proof at all then.

Who ya gonna believe, a veterinary doctor whose specialty has been chickens for nearly 50 years or a self professed expert with no training in chicken health other than their experience? I vote for the true expert.

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