We recommend that you worm your hens regularly. We agree with many other poultry keepers out there that a really effective and cheap way to keep worms away is to treat your hens monthly with Apple Cider Vinegar diluted in their water (10mL per litre). Our hens slurp it up quickly as if it’s a tasty treat!
It's also a great tonic and keeps them in fine feather, in good lay, helps them cope with periods of stress, such as moulting or when they move to their new home.
If you have persistent worm problems, they can be eradicated with herbal treatments (such as Verm-X) or chemical treatments (such as Flubenvet).
Pumpkins are a wonderful veg to feed to your hens. Feed them your leftover carved pumpkins, not forgetting the insides you took out when carving, or just make the most of the wonderfully cheap pumpkins after the hallowe’en rush!
Pumpkin seeds are said to be a natural de-wormer. The skin of the seeds contain an amino acid known as cucurbitin which paralyses the intestinal parasites and allow the chicken to pass them under their normal digestive action. For the sceptics amongst you, treat the pumpkin as a lovely healthy snack for your hens - they'll love you for it.
If you can’t get hold of any pumpkins throughout the year, you can feed ground raw pumpkin seeds to your hens but they really love the whole pumpkins and they look so wonderfully healthy after eating it.
The first time, I introduced it to our flock they ignored the orange fleshy chunks that I had thrown into their pen and I had to tempt them by picking out the seeds and throwing them about. Once they’d taken their first inquisitive peck, they were hooked and whole pumpkins are gorged in a matter of minutes, leaving just the thinnest skin!