Wormwood as a Herbal Wormer for Poultry?
Answered by: Kerry Hackett
Question from: Marj
Posted on: November 04, 2006

I’ve read that wormwood (the plain variety) can be used as a natural wormer for animals. If so, would you please tell me how it should be used in this way for backyard chickens? Do you give them some foliage to eat? (I’ve heard it is dangerous for humans to consume).

I am not an expert in the care of chickens so cannot speak to this question from experience. However, I would say that your question raises a number of other queries. First, it is important to know with which kind of worms you are dealing or were you thinking of employing herbs in a preventative capacity? Second, I am not sure to which plant you are referring: did you mean Artemisia absinthium or Artemisia annua (both have been known at one time as Wormwood). In addition, both of these plants carry compound which can be deemed as neurotoxic in humans as well as other living creatures. I would therefore be concerned that your chickens might not do well consuming this herb and/or that these constituents might accumulate both in the chicken and their eggs. Instead, perhaps you might want to look at preventative care by making sure your chickens have access to clean areas (both yard and house) and employ yard rotation as part of your strategy. I have also heard that allowing chickens to graze on Lamb’s Quarters (Chenopodium album), Epazote (Chenopodium ambrosioides), Burdock (Arctium lappa), Comfrey (Symphytum officinalis), Dandelions (Taraxacum officinale), Peppermint (Mentha piperita) and Nettle (Urtica dioica) may be useful in the prevention of some worms.

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