Regular worming is essential to combat the hidden threat of parasitic infections in gamebirds. Liam Bell, NGO chairman and head keeper on a pheasant and partridge shoot in South Shropshire, has been worming birds routinely for decades to prevent any increase in worm burden.
“Our worm burden is kept to a minimum because we keep stocking densities low but, nevertheless, we worm regularly as part of ongoing good practice,” he says.
“We give laying birds a dose of wormer as soon as they go into the laying pens and a second part way through laying, three weeks after the first treatment. It’s important to give more than one dose to break the infection cycle.”
“It’s essential for us to use a wormer suitable for both pheasants and partridge. FlubenvetTM is the only product licenced to do so and kills all worm life stages, including the eggs. It works against all the main worm species that are a particular problem in gamebirds,” says Liam.
For example, gapeworm is well known as one of the biggest challenges to pheasants and partridge and Flubenvet is the only product which is effective against gapeworm eggs, larvae and adults.
Liam is confident in using the wormer in the laying pens and he’s pleased to see good levels of egg production, fertility and hatchability are maintained.
Poults are also treated regularly as part of a robust, preventive approach. Young birds can be particularly susceptible to worms and the risk level depends on the weather. “Counter intuitively, dry summers encourage more invertebrates than wet ones. The invertebrates carry worm eggs, and the birds pick up more of both when it is dry. So keeping them worm-free will allow for better performance.
Flubenvet is administered via feed, which Liam prefers over in-water treatment. “Often, there are extra sources of water in the laying and release pens – including water droplets on grass or foliage – which means intake of treated water is not consistent.”
He also highlights the need to worm for the total recommended number of days every time, to make sure worms at all stages of the lifecycle are killed.
For further information, please contact your feed merchant, vet or visit our website.