Most of us who are keeping caged birds are always concerned about the Bird worms which affect the health of birds if not treated in time. So we have to understand the following basic concepts about the worms in birds:
Firstly, the types of worms affect birds and the signs of a worm.
Protection from worms.
How often should birds be wormed?
Lastly, we should know how you deworm birds.
Now we will discuss the above concepts in detail which will help bird owners to understand the worms and how to protect their birds from worms.
What types of Worms affect Birds and what signs of worms: There are several types of worms that can potentially cause problems for birds out of which a few common worms are as follows:
These worms are also known as nematodes and can be found in many of a bird's internal systems. It impacts the bird's intestinal tract. They are white and are normally 1 inch to 1 inch long (3 cm to 4 cm), although they can be up to 4 inches (10 cm). Normally it is from an intermediate host such as insects or earthworms or roundworm eggs are passed in a bird's droppings, then passed from bird to bird as they come into contact with these infected droppings.
The problem starts when a bird eats eggs that can be on contaminated food, soil, toys, and water. After the eggs hatch, the adult worms produce more eggs which are passed through the bird's feces and cause further contamination. These eggs can be ingested by another bird or the original bird and the cycle starts again.
Signs of Roundworm:
The bird eats a normal diet but loses its weight due to the roundworm absorbing all the available nutrients. It has slightly ruffled feathers and poor feather condition, picking or scratching at the stomach area, messy vent, diarrhea or straining to pass droppings if infested heavily (a severe blockage can lead to death), and poor development in young birds.
Fine and threadlike living in the crop or intestine. Many types are ranging in length from inch to 2 inches (1 cm to 6 cm). Threadworms are also known as hairworms. Threadworm eggs are passed in a bird's droppings, then passed from bird to bird as they come into contact with these infected droppings.
Signs of Threadworm:
Loss of appetite, weight loss, anemia, disinterested in its surroundings, vomiting, and diarrhea with blood in it, may cause death.
These types of worms normally affix to the wall of the intestine and vary in type and length, ranging from less than an inch to 12 inches (1 cm to 30 cm). Tapeworm eggs are passed in a bird's droppings, then eaten by small insects. Birds then eat the insects. For this reason, tapeworms are more commonly found in insect-eating birds, rather than seedeaters.
Signs of Tapeworm: Loss of appetite, weight loss, anemia, droppings containing mucus orbits of tapeworm.
Protection from worms:
Prevention is better than cure proverb is highly applicable here also. You should keep your aviary hygiene as much as possible. This is the key formula to protect your birds from worms. You must maintain a strict cleaning regime, with regular and thorough cleaning.
Aviary birds should be treated for worms regularly. An aviary with a natural environment like greenery and dirt floors is more prone to a build-up of parasites, so requires more attention to cleanliness and regular worming of the birds.
Keep seed and water dishes free of droppings and do not place them under perching areas.
Also, maintain quarantine protocol strictly for newly acquired birds before introducing them to existing birds. These protocols help to protect existing birds from worms.
How often should birds be wormed:
There are many theories about how often you deworm your birds. Numerous worming formulas can be tried based on the type of worm and your species of bird. It will be better to consult your avian veterinarian to identify the best method for you to try.
Normally as per the Indian environment and practical experience, we can suggest Vetafarm Wormout gel for deworming your birds. It is safe to use as an all wormer in all types of caged birds. You can apply once every three months to deworm your birds.
Wormout Gel effectively kills all intestinal worms including Thread Worm, Tapeworm, Roundworm, Caecal Worm, Hook Wormin caged, and aviary birds and pigeons. Completely safe and can be mixed with a small amount of orange juice for fussy drinkers or in water also.
Lastly, we should know how do you deworm birds:
As we have already discussed Wormout gel in the above paragraphs is the safest way to deworm your birds. Now the question arises how do you deworm birds which are as below:
Drinking water dose:
Dilute Wormout Gel with water at recommended dose rate and provide this as the sole source of water for 2 days. Repeat once every 3 months.
All aviary birds: Add 2mL of Wormout Gel to 160mL of drinking water. US conversion: Add 2 pumps to 2/3 US cup.
Pigeons: Add 2mL of Wormout Gel to 320mL of drinking water. US conversion: Add 2 pumps to 1 1/3 US cup.
Crop Needle Dose:
Use a small syringe for accurate dosing. Carefully dilute 1mL of Wormout Gel in 9mLs of water to make 10mL of stock solution. US conversion: 1 tsp in 9 tsp. Give 0.5mL of stock solution per 100g body weight. Give treatment once only. US conversion: Give 0.5cc per 100g bodyweight. Repeat once every 3 months.
So it is clear from the above discussion how to protect, deworms from various types of worms in birds. At the same time in case of heavy infestation of the respiratory or intestinal tract, killing many worms at once can cause a blockage and lead to the death of the bird. Consult your vet who may recommend treatment with smaller doses of medication until the problem subsides to a degree.