UK poultry producers facing worm problem after floods
With the UK in the grip of the wettest, wildest winter on record, flocks are prone to infection from an upsurge of parasitic worms that can hit production hard. Wet weather increases the likelihood of survival of worm eggs in the environment and can cause a serious burden on poultry health, even on those that appear fit and healthy.
One consequence of very wet weather is that worm eggs don't dry out, as mud provides the ideal environment to allow them to survive for longer, increasing the worm challenge to poultry. Once a worm infection is established in a flock, the whole environment will be heavily contaminated with infective worm eggs so the importance of a regular strategic worming program should not be under estimated.
"For free range flocks the risk for worm infection is always there whatever time of year it is, but worms will multiply best when conditions are warm and wet. Historically winter has been a quiet time for worms, but we are now experiencing worm problems in the normally quieter winter months,"explained Stephen Lister of Crowshall Veterinary Services.
"Since it's important to keep the range dry in these exceptional weather conditions it is more important than ever to be vigilant and aware of possible worm burdens. The solution to this is to discuss with your veterinary surgeon and adapt your worming program accordingly. This may mean a reduction in the time interval of worming in feed with Flubenvet Premix."
On farms with a proven heavy worm burden and high infection pressure a strategic deworming programme, with frequent treatment in line with the parasite's pre patent period is advocated. It's essential that all incoming birds are treated before entering the flock as controlling worms can result in improved productivity and egg quality.
So this spring make sure your flock can weather the parasitic storm by routinely worming and reducing exposure to mud where possible, to stay one step ahead in the battle against worms.
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