Deworm your birds, between veterinary products and natural methods

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Not easy to find information on deworming! I offer you here a summary of my research …

First of all, why deworm your birds?

The deworming of our birds is an action not to be neglected. Our birds living outdoors are the most exposed to parasites and unfortunately infected birds tend to waste away with no real visible signs. Acting in prevention is essential. It is recommended to deworm, as a preventive measure, twice a year, in spring and autumn, that is to say before and after the breeding season.

What should we warn about?

There are several parasites that can be classified into 2 categories: internal parasites and external parasites.

Internal parasites are generally responsible for digestive disorders such as diarrhea, decreased appetite, weight loss or even respiratory problems. A particular distinction is made between roundworms of the nematode type and tapeworms such as cestodes. There are also protozoa that generate coccidiosis or even trichomoniasis. Finally, certain fungi of the genus Candida can also be at the origin of symptomatic digestive disorders.

Then we have the external parasites which can even be seen with the naked eye. They are known to cause wounds, hemorrhages and anemia as well as severe skin irritations, in addition to being vectors of possible diseases. Among the external parasites, we often find fleas. We can also get lice such as mallophagous lice, also called gray louse, which feeds on skin and feather debris causing some itching. The red louse is also well known, it is particularly active at night. Finally, our birds can be affected by mites, particularly responsible for scabies.

What dewormers can we use?

Several products are available on the market. For the most famous we find:

  • IVOMEC

This broad spectrum treatment is known to control both internal and external parasites. It is applied directly to the body of the bird which then requires the capture of the individual beforehand. The use of IVOMEC can then be difficult to apply on a large scale.

  • ORAMEC

ORAMEC contains the same molecule as IVOMEC, namely ivermectin. This product treats both internal parasites and external parasites like its counterpart. However, their strategies are different: ORAMEC acts from the inside while IVOMEC acts from the outside. In fact, ORAMEC is distributed in the drinking water, making it easier to use on a large scale.

Like ORAMEC, CAPIZOL is usually administered in drinking water. The distribution of this treatment is then easy even in large farms. This product is mainly used against coccidiosis (which is an internal parasite, found particularly in the digestive system).

The products listed above are certified unlike the more natural recipes that I will present to you below. Indeed, it is important to underline that the marketing authorization guarantees a certain safety: these products are frequently used in breeding and it is therefore important, in the interests of food hygiene and human health, to have healthy animals. These dewormers are therefore tested and adapted upstream. They are scientifically proven and guarantee a result.

Thus, to deworm your birds, it is strongly recommended to use certified products in order to obtain a certain result.

I therefore invite you to check with a veterinarian in order to choose the dewormer that best meets your expectations and the needs of your birds.

There are indeed some recipes of grandmothers to protect against parasites. Of course, we are talking here about prevention and not treatment. Indeed, it should be kept in mind that, unlike the products listed above, these recipes have not been scientifically proven… Maybe they work, maybe not… Indeed, there is here, no proven guarantees whatsoever in terms of results or adverse effects.

Here is a list from my research. I am showing transparency here, but it is by no means a question of proven and approved treatments.

Garlic drinking water : 3 cloves of garlic, peeled and cut for 1.5 L of water. Leave to macerate for 24 hours, stirring occasionally. You can then filter and serve your birds every day for 1 week.

Garlic : It seems possible to season the daily diet with chopped garlic, at the rate of 1/2 clove of garlic for 2 birds. To distribute on the seeds directly or to mix in the germinated seeds, in the fruits, in vegetable puree …

Pumpkin seeds: Squash seeds seem to be an excellent natural dewormer. Rich in nutrients, they are known for their use in human herbal medicine but also as a dewormer for dogs, cats and horses.

Thyme : This plant also seems to have antiparasitic virtues and it is found in many products intended for animals. Some use it in fresh branches, others in essential oils in drinking water or in diffusion in the room.

….

These natural products seem to be good “repellents” but would have absolutely no effect if your bird is already infested. In any case, I did not find scientific articles on the subject and they seem that the dosages differ according to the bibliographical references …

Are there any risks in deworming?

Deworming, from natural products or not, aims to eliminate parasites, whether internal or external. If the dosage is not respected, and as with all products, the action of the dewormer can have consequences. Indeed, over too long a period or at too high doses, it can completely upset the intestinal balance of our bird. It is essential to use an effective dewormer over a short period of time (usually no more than a week). The effectiveness of the product used and its dosage are then extremely important.

In conclusion, what to remember?

Deworming your birds remains essential. It is important to act preventively with an effective deworming treatment. For this, there are validated and certified products, clearly recommended to prevent parasites. There are also more natural methods, which for the moment are not approved and whose dosages are still being groped.

References

AloeVera-Ginkgo.com Blog, Pumpkin seeds as a dewormer and pest control, Available online: https://aloevera-ginkgo.com/graines-de-courge-comme-vermifuge-et-antiparasitaire/, consulted 03/07/21

Boehringer Ingelheim, IVOMEX pourable solution, Available online: https://www.boehringer-ingelheim.ca/fr/bovins/sant-animale/ivomec-solution-verser, consulted 03/07/21

Dr B. Hivin, 2016, Bird parasites, Available online: https://www.wanimo.com/veterinaire/sante-des-oiseaux-oiseaux/medecine-generale-de-loiseau/les-parasites-des-oiseaux.html, consulted 03/07/211

P.Malburet, Aromatic plants and their uses for our birds, Available online: http://carduelis.carduelis.pagesperso-orange.fr/OCI/Articles/GP/Plantes%20aromatique.htm, consulted 03/07/21

R.Maillet, July 2020, Facebook post in the group Parrot our passion and comments, Available online: https://www.facebook.com/groups/perroquetpassion/permalink/3047599828690599, accessed 03/07/21

Nimo, 2011, Deworming: dewormers for parakeets and parrots, Available online: https://nimo.fr/forums/1330074-la-vermifugation-les-vermifuges-pour-perruches-et-perroquets/, consulted 03/07/21

Birds2volieres, Vermifuge, Available online: https://oiseaux2voliere.superforum.fr/t2137-vermifuge, consulted 03/07/21

Birds Mania, Pest control exotic birds, Available online: https://www.oiseaux-mania.com/elevage-et-sante-oiseaux/soins-hygiene-oiseaux/pharmacie-antiparasitaires.html, consulted 03/07/21

S. Paturance, CNRS research engineer, passionate and capable, Telephone interview on 03/07/21

Ornithological Society of the Paris region, Deworm your birds, Available online: http://www.sorp.club/3elevage/soins/vermifuger.htm, consulted 03/07/21

– © Morgane Virapin – March 2021

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