The Wriggly ProblemWorms may become a problem in conditions of overcrowding and inadequate nutrition,particularly a deficiency of vitamin A which will make birds more susceptible. The best defence against worms is good management and good diet. We have an organic vitamin and mineral supplement available that we have had excellent reports on.... please see our bird section.
When worms are present the most efficient way to control them is to break the life cycle in some way and so prevent constant reinfestation. Since worm eggs are either ingested by birds directly or via an intermediate host infestation can be significantly reduce by preventing contact between birds and droppings. Keeping them on wire will remove a lot of faeces.
The worms that may be seen in domestic and exotic birds are: Roundworm (Ascaridia spp), Caecal worm (Heterakis spp), Threadworm (Capillaria spp), Gape worm (Syngamus spp) and Gizzard worm (Acuaria spp).
Worms live in the intestine of the bird and the eggs are lost in the faeces and go on to infect other birds. When infected ,a bird shows symptoms such as to diarrhoea, weight loss, malnutrition and death.
It is often assumed that if a bird is alone in a cage it won't get worms. If other birds visit while the cage is outside they may bring worms in their droppings. Insects (grasshoppers, cockroaches & earthworms) are the intermediate hosts of many worms so if your bird/s is exposed or fed these they can become infected. When treating birds for worms with any other wormer it is important to sterilise the cage at the same time to prevent reinfestation following treatment from a contaminated cage.Treatments
Avitrol: (Levamisole & Praziquantel) this is an all round excellent treatment for roundworm and hairworm. This is administered in the birds water and is left in for a 24 hour period. Excellent results for most birds.
Aviverm: (Levamisole Hydrochloride) - used for poultry and where a lot of birds need to be dosed. Drinking water for medium to large parrots and parakeets. Withhold water 2 hours before end of day and put the dosed water into the aviary in the morning - leave for the duration of the day then remove.
Other methods of worming are available - please email us for information.Aviary treatments for worms:
Once a year, birds should be removed from the aviaries and the ground sprayed with Bleach (sodium hypochlorite - 37.5g/l domestic strength) , mix 1 cup bleach per 5L water and spray apply over 5m2. After three weeks, turn the dirt over to ensure that the worm eggs are inactivated.
It is important to introduce young birds onto clean ground that has been disinfected after being used with old birds. Young and baby birds have little resistance to worms and will quickly become infected. Areas around water troughs are most dangerous as they can provide moisture for the worm eggs to survive.
Worm and quarantine new arrivals as they must be assumed carriers of worms until proven clean. It may be difficult to prevent birds having contact with the intermediate hosts of tapeworms but removal of breeding places for flies will help. Remove damp dark areas - sunlight is an effective sterilant of soil also.