It is normal for chickens to have worms in their poop. Chickens are susceptible to attack by different types of worms like red worms, roundworms, and cecal worms. Worms can easily infect your chickens when they eat infected insects, slugs, and contaminated droppings.
To get rid of worms in chicken poop, deworm the infected flock. Then discourage them from roaming around freely to reduce the infection rate. Keep the chicken coop clean, disinfected, and in excellent condition to safeguard it from worm attacks.
Worms in chicken poop should be identified and treated as soon as possible. If your chicken gets a worm overload, its life may significantly be threatened as it is deprived of essential nutrients.
Table of Contents
- 1 What do worms in chicken poop look like? Types + Pictures
- 2 Cecal worms in chicken poop
- 3 Causes of worms in chicken poop
- 4 What to do if you find worms in chicken poop
- 5 How to protect chickens from worms
What do worms in chicken poop look like? Types + Pictures
The most common worms in chicken poop are cream, white, or brown, depending on their species and class. Worms in chicken poop look differently depending on their species and how they were acquired.
Roundworms in chicken poop
Roundworms are the most common parasitic worms in chicken dropping. Scientists and researchers call them Ascaris Galli, which are classified under the nematodes group as worms. Adults can measure up to 3 inches long and can easily be noticed if they are present in chicken drooping.
Those worms are cream white. In some cases, they may be colorless but it is still easy to spot them. This type of worm hide in the chicken’s gastrointestinal tract. Once they multiply, they can be easily passed out while the chicken passes stools. Normally they are covered and stained with chicken poop.
While living in the chicken, they lay eggs which are passed out as chicken poops. Those eggs can survive in the soil for a long time, sometimes even a whole year. While uninfected chickens eat any food on the soil, they can easily pick the eggs and get infected. They can spread very fast when chickens are free-ranging.
While adult chickens can comfortably live with a few worms in them, a serious infection can cause weight loss, loss of blood, and severe diarrhea. Those worms can hurt baby chickens and should be controlled as quickly as possible.
It has been observed that grinding some garlic and mixing it in chickens drinking water can help manage the spread of roundworms in chicken poop. However, this should be used as a preventive measure since it is ineffective when terminating or managing a serious infestation.
When dealing with roundworms in chicken poop, an avian professional may recommend Piperazine, Aviverm, or Ivermectin. Do not give those without seeking their advice on how to give it to them. It is difficult to manage an infestation independently because an avian will also need stool samples from the chicken before getting an effective control measure.
Red worms in chicken poop
Gapeworms are also known as red worms because of their distinct red color. Usually, red worms attach themselves to the throat of your birds.
When the infestation is excess, gapeworms may trigger attacks by Gapes. That is a disease that impairs the normal breathing mechanism of your chickens. Hence, your birds will gasp and stretch out their necks a lot.
Young chickens are more prone to attack by red worms, especially if they share space with any of the popular wild birds.
Cecal worms in chicken poop
Also known as Heterakis, cecal worms attack your bird’s ceca. The cecum is an important part of the digestive system of a chicken. It is useful for further digestion of food moving across the intestine. And the organ helps in further re-absorption of water found in the undigested food.
The worms are commonly found either on the ground or in the droppings of birds overcrowded in an enclosure. Adult cecal worms lay eggs while hosted inside your infected chicken. Thus, cecal worms can be passed through poop.
The worm is a leading vector for the transmission of histomoniasis (blackhead disease). Your chickens may not show other signs of infection except the presence of the parasite in droppings. It has also been observed that it is dangerous to turkeys as compared to chickens.
To your naked eye, some worms may look like tiny white hairs. To see some worms like Protozoans, you may need a microscope. While it may not be fun to look for poop worms, it is still essential if you do not want to gamble on the health and safety of your birds.
Causes of worms in chicken poop
The first cause of worms in chicken poop is direct contact with sick birds or ingesting worms. Chickens can get worms from infected insects like grasshoppers, cockroaches, or flies. Free-ranging chickens can also eat things like snails, earthworms, or slugs that are loaded with worms. It is those worms that are later seen in their dropping.
When a bird infected with worms poops, the little parasites are left to spread around and can lay where they are for years, waiting for a host. Because your free-roaming birds like to peck around, ingesting the worms without their knowledge occurs too easily. Later, the ingested worms find themselves expelled in small amounts via poop.
Another potential cause of worms in chicken poop is the ingestion of secondary hosts. Since chickens are opportunistic eaters, they are known to eat anything on sight.
Your birds love ingesting bugs and insects like earthworms, flies, and slugs that may already be infected with worms. As a result, the chickens will also be infected. It is usually said you are what you eat. The same applies to chickens.
The first cause of worms in chicken poop is direct contact with sick birds or ingesting worms. Worms, in a way, behave like cockroaches. You may think you have eliminated all worms from your chicken coop, but with time, they come back in thousands.
What to do if you find worms in chicken poop
If you find worms in chicken poop, the immediate step should be to deworm them, even though eliminating them is impossible. At the very best, deworming is meant to reduce the population of worms in your chicken poop so that they are not capable of causing harm.
Dewormers are capable of killing and or paralyzing parasitic worms. Then the affected worms are released from the body via poop.
Avoid excessive deworming since the worms may develop resistance against the dewormer. Fortunately, your chickens having a few internal worms may not be that bad as the immune system may further be enhanced. Chickens tend to develop immunity to a small infestation of parasitic worms.
Medications you can use for treating worms are ivermectin and albendazole. Other potentially effective organic dewormers may include dried wormwood leaves, apple cider vinegar, garlic, and vitamins and electrolytes.
How to protect chickens from worms
Most backyard birds are not susceptible to attack by uncommon parasitic worms. Because of that, if you observe excellent chicken coop sanitation and care, you will significantly reduce the chance of worm infestation and overload.
Remember that, apart from worms in poop, you can also identify an ill chicken by observing other signs and symptoms, like watery droppings and undigested feed. If you do not want to deal with a poultry worm problem:
Appropriately manage your birds
For instance, Avoid putting too many chickens in a small space, which may promote worm transmission and attack.
Do not mix new chickens with the existing flock unless they have undergone quarantine and deworming. Chickens get infected by worms when they ingest sick insects, including snails, millipedes, cockroaches, and beetles. Try and control pests around the coop.
Stay away from keeping birds that are prone to worm infestation. If you see that worms often attack a particular breed, separate it from the rest of the flock. Instead of sprinkling food on the ground, provide it using chicken feed containers.
Manage well the environment of your chickens
For example, Frequently house your chickens in different areas of your home. A site that has hosted your birds can be left to rest for months or years.
Safeguard your flock from wild birds that are known to cause infestations via their droppings.
If you have recently plowed your garden or yard, do not let your chickens eat exposed insects and earthworms.
Have an effective approach to controlling insects and worms in your environment. Before using a chemical solution, try using environmentally friendly options, like mechanical pest control.
Maw your lawn regularly to expose the dormant parasitic worms to the destruction capability of the sun’s UV rays. This is important because if there are infections in their droppings, there are high chances of finding worms in your chicken eggs as well.