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June 6, 2013

Taking a strategic approach to poultry worming could be profitable

It’s been a miserable old winter for poultry and their keepers. Many producers are familiar with the idea of regular or routine worming but this spring could be the time to review whether that routine is not all its cracked up to be. Even birds that look healthy can be infected with parasitic worms that can lead to poor egg production, so treatment can be highly cost effective.  In fact, so cost effective that one trial showed that regular treatment with flubendazole (Flubenvet 5% w/w Premix) could increase egg production by 20 eggs per hen over the standard production period – equating to an extra £10 in egg sales for every £1 spent on treatment.1

So what’s the ‘ideal’ worming regime?  Frequent treatment is desirable on infected premises, but vets at Elanco Animal Health say for most commercial poultry producers a regular 6-week worming is going to produce the best results, as this treatment interval is based around the prepatent period of the worms,with more frequent treatment desirable in infected premises. This more strategic approach contains worm burdens in the birds and minimises environmental contamination.

All of this is highly relevant to those in both indoor, and more especially, free-range- operations. An infected bird can produce many infectious worm eggs that build up in the environment. After a few years, or months in some instances, the soil can become contaminated with an increasingly heavy worm burden. In most cases you won’t see this with the naked eye and it’s only when a high worm egg count is detected in the droppings or birds become ill, that the problem will become obvious.

This contamination leads to a high infection pressure, which in turn can increase worm burdens carried by the birds. In these circumstances more frequent worming will be needed to get on top of the worm problem and break this cycle of continued heavy contamination.

This year, the problem of parasitic worms may be even more acute: NADIS parasite forecasts have highlighted that rainfall has consistently been running well above average for the last quarter.2 This means it’s likely that worm eggs in the environment have been protected in mud and not destroyed by desiccation or exposure to sunlight, potentially allowing more infective worm eggs to survive into the spring this year. Being more strategic about worming could be the most profitable decision producers make this year.


Flubenvet 5% w/w  Premix for Medicated Feeding Stuff contains flubendazole 50 mg/g Legal category


For full details on the use of these products please refer to the insert or SPC

Advice on the use of these, or alternative medicines should be sought from the medicine prescriber

Please read the product insert before use.

For further information contact Elanco Animal Health, Lilly House, Priestley Road, Basingstoke, Hampshire, RG24 9NL, Tel 01256 353131, Fax 01256 779510 Email elancouk@lilly.com


  1. Trial      conducted by Janssen Animal Health 2010
  2. NADIS      parasite forecast February 2013