"To Worm Or Not To Worm- That IS The Question"!!!

By Violetear.

Title with apologies to Bill - one of the 'hottest' topics in the world of finches is that very same question. Do I do it or not? Why should I bother?

Some time back one of our members suggested that we do something on worming as he had found that worming was one of the commonest questions that both old and new members asked him about.

Being an advocate of regular 3 monthly worming I guess I agree with Rob so here goes nothing!


Well, in the 'good ole days' when it was possible to get free autopsies through the agriculture department one of the commonest causes of death found by the vet was by parasitic worms of one sort or another.
Maybe some of the key check factors for worms might scare you a bit.
Do you have a compost bin on the floor, have a dirt floor, have numerous ants in your aviary, have wet, damp areas in your aviaries, feed live food or have slaters and the likes on your floors, not change your shoes upon entering your aviaries, feed green food grown outside the aviary, do you actually go inside your aviary........scared yet!!

If you answered yes to any or all of those you need to worm!!!

Here's a few facts about these guys for you: each parasitic worm is basically a giant reproductive organ capable of producing a multitude of eggs, most require what is known as an  intermediate host to infect your bird (usually an insect of some kind!!), worming just once will kill most of the worms but a follow up treatment is recommended around 2 weeks after the initial treatment to treat for eggs that may have escaped the initial worming, don't simply rely upon one brand of wormer as resistance may be built up which will make your worms harder and harder to kill..................they've been around since the dawn of time unchanged so don't be too quick to disregard them or dismiss them out of hand!!


Basically the Round and the Tape worm (the gizzard worm is a type of Round worm I believe!!) are the main internal parasites and the mites making up the external pests. Oh, and of cause one of the nastiest is the air-sac mite which inhabits the airways of many finches.

We'll leave the protozoal parasites for another time - don't want to scare you too much in one go!!

In an ideal world all your birds would not be nesting or have young and ready for worming......fat chance!!
So what to do as most wormers taste very, very bad indeed!!
The night before you intend to worm you might try removing the water bowls and place your wormer in them first thing in the morning.
Try and remove all sources of moisture like Cucumber and succulent veggies for the duration of worming -however you may have to make that call based on what birds are breeding at the time.

Apparently many finches will discover the joys of consuming fly pupae when worming time comes around - another source of moisture!!
Never worm in metal containers (non-stainless steel) as there may be a reaction with some metals.

Stick to the dosage rate of the wormer as it is set for the maximum killing effect and any reduction in strength will lead to resistance.
Try to avoid worming on unseasonably hot (yes, even here in Tassy!!) days as this drastically effects the consumption of water.
Guess the next bit is what and for how long!!


Just a short disclaimer that these products are mostly NOT designed for birds and user beware but they do work and have been trialed by many club members.

Cydectin Plus
- often called Moxidectin Plus and is a great treatment for most worm types. Sheep & Goat strength is the one used. 5mls/litre for 5 days and is very bitter and a sweetener is essential. Straight Cydectin is a good product for air-sac mite but doesn't treat for tapeworm.

Ivomec - is a great wormer especially for air--sac mite if added to alcohol and applied to the back of the neck - 2 drops only or you'll have a very inebriated bird!!
If you have the sheep and goat strength one add 3.1 mls of Ivomec to 25mls of isopropyl alcohol (from chemist or a friend that dabbles in chemistry!!). If you have cattle strength Ivomec then add 0.5mls to 25mls of alcohol at the same dose rate.

Never used it in the water but it may be difficult to dissolve from my experiments. Ivomectin is the active ingredient.

Equimax - Liquid all-wormer for horses!! This product came from a mate in Queensland and was recommended by their vet and appears to be a fine wormer. 2mls/litre for 3 days.

Panacur 100 - Yep, you read right!! 0.5mls/litre for 5 days. This has a tendency to settle out so avoid using in hot weather and ALWAYS replace daily (as with ALL wormers)
Avitrol Plus - strongly advise against use in aviary water bowls but is great for individual bird direct to the beak treatments. NEVER in an aviary situation!!!!!  Ask anyone!!
You may have noticed the deliberate avoidance of one well-known range basically because they are rubbish!!  Also advise against using Valbazen as it has caused birth defects in animal species.

For more information please visit my website as there are other wormers listed there.
We are hoping to get a bulk order of Cydectin Plus which we will make available to members so let me know what you need!!