Chickens love worms, but they may also get exposed to worms. Worms can be serious problems for chickens, so that every chicken owner needs to be aware of the symptoms.
The worms in the chicken’s body are processed through the digestive tract. All of us know that chickens spend the time hunting and pecking in the same places they poop. The poop of the infected chicken spread hundreds or even thousands of tiny worms and eggs.
The eggs lay dormant in the ground for years. The worms from the other animals or from the same life cycle are regenerated through the chickens.
Some other worms are even clever to hide in hosts like earthworms, slugs and snails. These tasty treats will make the worms easily infest the chicken.
Worms can infect chickens all year round. The risk of worms is the highest during summer months. It is because the eggs and larvae grow quicker in warm and moist conditions.
Be mindful of the following ways to tell that your chickens have worms. Be quick to consider the presence of worm once you notice the following symptoms:
- Weight loss
- Reduced egg production
- Lethargy – chickens appear hunched over or exhibit wing dragging
- Breathing problems
- Diarrhea and foul droppings (green droppings)
- Poor growth
- Increased susceptibility to diseases
- Pale egg yolks (not plump)
- Coughing and head shaking
- Loss of feathers
- Lack of shine to feathers
- Puffing while sitting
- Less active
- Stop laying eggs – spend time reading more about 5 signs your chicken will lay egg
If you wish to have better assurance whether your chicken has worms, you can simply take a feces sample to a vet. Your vet will analyze some specific parasites from it.
You can also purchase a specialized kit, such as a Worm Count Kit. It will let you know what kind and how many worms you are dealing with.
After knowing that your chicken has worm, the next step would be treating it. Worms can even cause death to your chicken, especially if it is left untreated. There are some ways of treating the chicken with worms. Here they are:
- If your chicken is still active, plum, healthy with shiny feathers, and is laying copiously, then you don’t have to be worried and just give it a dose of deworming product.
- If your chicken is bound to an enclosure and is eating and eliminating in the same small area, then you should prevent an outbreak of worms.
Also read these practical treatment for eye worms in chicken.
How to Prevent Worms in your Chicken
Let’s take a look at the ways to prevent worms in your chicken.
- Change the Bedding Regularly
For your information, even a single chicken dropping can contain a thousand worms. Make sure to keep your bedding clean as it will be helpful to break the life cycle of the worms.
- Keep Your Chickens in a Dry and Healthy Condition
Worms are happy to live in wet and muddy conditions. Make sure not to keep your chickens confined in dampness or mud. Try to create a dry and healthy condition for your chickens.
If you notice any weight loss, diarrhea, gurgling sounds, odd behavior, lethargy or other unhealthy conditions in your flock, then it may be the time for you to deworm your chicken.
- Use Lawn Rake to Dry Rake the Ground around the Coop
By doing this, you can carry the droppings away from the coop to your compost pile. It will defend against infestation. Cut tall grass and weeds so that UV rays will naturally kill worms and their eggs.
Watch out for the other signs from the eggs too. If you observe that your egg yolks are no longer bright orange and seem less plump, then it may also be the time to deworm your chickens.
- Use some of the Natural Remedies
Apple cider vinegar, for instance, is believed to maintain a more acidic environment in your chickens’ GI tract. Worms hate an acid environment. You can add a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to every gallon of water you feed your chickens.
You can also add some garlic into the water supply along with the apple cider vinegar. Some garlic chunks can be fed to the chickens as treats or you can also mix garlic flakes or powder into the food. By adding garlic, it will help an infestation and can even be used to remove worms.
Save your chickens and their eggs with good worm prevention! Get to know the signs of sick chickens too. Prevention is much better than cure, isn’t it?