Worms

Worming Peafowl

Worms in peafowl is one of the most serious health concerns. Young peafowl are especially susceptible to worms and are less able to deal with the strain the parasites put on their bodies.

Peafowl are susceptible to a wide range of internal and external parasites which

Treating a peacock with fenbendazole for wormssap their strength and even kill juvenile peafowl.

Although there is some debate whether worming peafowl is a necessity, many who raise large numbers of peafowl find that it is and I do fall into this group. So Even if you choose not to implement a worming routine, it is wise to keep an eye on your birds’ conditions and be ready to worm them if necessary.

After many years of rearing poultry, game birds and peafowl I have come to believe that internal parasites are the most common way of infecting your birds with many of the main diessiess you will encounter.

I have based much of how I treat my peafowl for internal parasites on how I and many of my friends rear their game birds i.e Ring neck pheasants, gray and french partridge. Many people who rear peafowl and some of these breed hundreds of birds a year recommend that peachicks should not be put on dirt until they are at least two months old. I would not go so far has to say this, but then again I worm all my peachicks at 14 days old. To many people this is to young and there is no need at this age. The reason I do it is that I hatch pheasant eggs that are taken from hens that that are kept in large laying pens. Some of these pens are used year after year and I have found that treating for worms at the start of the laying season then not treating again until the season is over, is just to long of a gap and the laying hens have all picked up and have been reinfected again. This is due to a build up of worms over the years.

When I first started worming very young chicks I really could see how much better they did compered to untreated chicks. From this I can only think that internal parasites are pasted on from the hen birds to the chicks through the eggs.

So when considering worms and peafowl, there are a few things to keep in mind:

There is no wormer made especially for peafowl, so many peafowl owners have experimented with a variety of products to develop routines that work for them.
If your peafowl appear thin and listless, worms may be the culprit. Check their droppings for any signs of the parasites and consider starting a worming routine.

One would think that any wormer marketed for chickens, would be the best choice for peafowl as well. However, most only kill roundworms, and not the capillary, cecal, tape and gape worms that peafowl are also susceptible to. I have personally never used them on peafowl. Just because I cant see the point of paying for something that just isn’t going to do the job I’m treating for. However, it will not hurt peafowl and can be safely used if that is all you can get to treat for worms.

Most peafowl owners in the UK worm with flubenvet mixed in the feed. I have used it in the past for both peafowl and pheasants. I can’t say it does a good job and unless you buy it in the feed it is more work mixing it at a time of year that I have a enough work on my hands. That’s not to say I wouldn’t recommend it if you are just feeding a small number of birds.
They do now do flubenvet for chickens. It’s half rate of the flubenvet for turkey and game bird. So remember to double up if you use it on your peafowl.

Before I go any further here I should point out that it is against the law in the UK to use any drug on an animal that it has not been passed to use it on. That is unless you have a prescription from your vet to say you can buy and use the drug on the animal you are going to treat.

In the USA Ivermectin is used by many peafowl owners because it kills the larval stage of parasites as well as mature worms. Although it should not be considered a miracle cure that will kill every type of worm, it is a powerful enough wormer to work well unless your place has a severe infestation. Brand name ivermectin is sold as Ivomec, but generic stuff works just as well and will save you some money. Mix 1 cc of 1% injectable cattle ivermectin per quart of water (4 ccs per gallon) (these are USA rates and I have still to convert to metric) and give it to your peafowl as their only water source for two days. Since the peafowl will probably be able to tell that the water is different and not like it, it’s best to remove all water for a period of time before you give them the wormer. Obviously, if it is hot you shouldn’t leave them without water for more than a few hours, but if it is cooler they can go a day without any ill effects, and it will help ensure they drink the treated water. If they finish it off, add fresh treated water until the two days are up. If worms are a nasty problem or you want to dose a particular sick looking bird you can also catch them and use a syringe to administer a few drops in their mouth. Month old peachicks can be given two drops, and the amount can gradually be increased until they are six months or older and can be safely given seven drops. Ivermectin can also take care of external parasites. Put a drop under each wing to keep away lice and mites.

Tramisol (levamisole hydrochloride) soluble pig wormer can also be used. Other companies market Tramisol as Levasole-this is an identical product. Just be certain that it’s Anthelmintic Hydrochloride pig wormer. It is white/yellow powder in a bottle that you fill with water. Do not buy the capsules for sheep. Follow the instructions on the bottle to mix with the appropriate amount of water, and then mix an ounce of that solution with each gallon of water and give that to you peas as their only water source as described above. This is okay for chickens as well. It is important not to overdose with Tramisol because it can be harmful.

A third type of wormer is Panacure (fenbendazole). Panacure comes in paste and liquid form in the UK. The liquid can be mixed with water like ivermectin and tramisol. The paste can be individually administered to birds orally or blended with milk and then mixed with twenty kilo of feed.

I worm my birds twice a year with, ivermectin or Panacure once in March before breeding season starts and once in September after it is over. Occasionally I vary the routine and worm with tramisol instead. There is some debate over whether wormers affect fertility of eggs. Although it is often said that they do, some who use ivermectin worm right through breeding season without any problems. Because worms do not seem to bea huge problem here I avoid worming during breeding season just to be safe. Although I do treat my peachicks at a young age to catch any cross over from breeding stock.

When considering what sort of worming routine you’d like to implement, you should keep a few things in mind. How often you should worm your birds depends a lot on the conditions of their home. I worm older birds twice a year and haven’t had any problems. Some lucky folk never worm their peafowl at all and don’t have problems. Also, think about other animals on your farm. If you worm your chickens, your goats, your horses even your dogs, and whatever else you raise, then you probably should be worming your peafowl as well. If worming’s never crossed your mind, and you’ve never had an issue with any of your animals, then it might not be necessary. Still, I suggest worming at least annually. Your peafowl will probably look better for it and will live longer. Even if they don’t have enough worms to seem unwell, they could still be infested.

When choosing what type of wormer to use, consider alternating between at least two types. No wormer kills all types of worms at all stages of development, and using one wormer too often might lead to worms building an immunity against it. Even if you have a favorite wormer you use most of the time, consider using a different product every once in a while just for a change.

Worms can be a major problem, but they don’t have to be. With a little extra time and expense you can keep you birds healthy and worm free.

 

The following information has been gathered over many years of raising peafowl and game birds. Use this information with the understanding that most of these medications are not labeled for use on peafowl. This information is provided as a resource for treating peafowl with different kinds of ailments. Brow Farm Ltd does not accept any responsibility for the use of this information by others than Brow Farm Ltd.

Wormers:

Flubenvet 5%
Use at dose rate of 60ppm in the feed for 7 days, which is either:
Flubenvet 5% at 1.2kg per tonne of feed

Panacure (Fenbendazole) Suspension 10%. 100mg/mL. 1000 mL.
1 ml per litre of drinking water for 2 or 3 days.
1 ml (bird over 1 year) as a drench down the throat for 3 days.
1/2 ml (bird between 3 mo and 1 year) as a drench down the throat for 3 days.
Pancure will not kill eggs so you should repeat again in 10 days.

Ivermectin for cattle (brown box). Ivermectin will kill all internal and any blood sucking parasite.
½ ml (bird over 1 year) given as shot under the skin or as drench down the throat.
2/10 ml (bird under 1 year) as a shot or as a drench.
6ml per 5lts of drinking water.
¼ ml (bird over 1 year) given as a shot under the skin in the scruff of the neck between the shoulder blades.

Tramisol drench for sheep (a 13 gm. Packet). Tramisol will kill most all of the internal parasites.
Mix one packet of Tramisol in 1lts of water.
Mix 30ml. (2 tablespoons) of this solution to 5lts of drinking water.

Tramisol for pigs (a 500 ml plastic bottle). Tramisol will kill most all of the internal parasites.

Fill the plastic bottle of Tramisol with water and shake up thoroughly.

Mix 5ml of this solution per 5lts of drinking water.

Levasole drench for cattle and sheep (52 gm. Packet). Levasole is very effective wormer.

Mix 1packet of Levasole with one gallon of drinking water.

Mix 1 oz. (2 tablespoons) of this solution per gallon of drinking water.