chicken-and-egg - page 48

Chicken & Egg. Welfare and Food Together.
Animals and birds are capable of hosting
various internal parasites, including
worms. Chickens are no different,
therefore worming is part of caring for
your pet chicken’s health to implement
prevention and control. Some species of
worm can affect your chicken’s health if
not treated.
There are four species which can be found
in chickens:
Ascaridia (round worm) is the largest (up
to 7cm long), inhabiting the small intestine.
It burrows into the gut and large burdens
may cause a blockage, resulting in damage,
inflammation and a reduction in the
absorption of nutrients. This leads to weight
loss, diarrhoea, fewer eggs and anaemia if
left untreated. These worms are very
The Chicken Vet
Alison Colville-Hyde
explains the importance of
worming your chickens
Capillaria (hairworm), the smallest worm
(pictured above), about 1.5mm, can be
particularly damaging and commonly
colonise in the crop. These worms use
earth worms in part of their life cycle.
Hairworms typically cause diarrhoea,
anaemia, weight loss, loss of appetite and
the birds can look depressed and dull.
Heterakis gallinarum, or the caecal worm,
is found in the caecum of chickens. The
worm is relatively harmless, however it can
carry ‘blackhead’, another parasite, which
normally affects turkeys but can occasionally
affect chickens. Blackhead burrows into the
caeca, leading to inflammation and yellow
droppings. The parasite migrates to the liver
causing damage which can result in death.
Unfortunately there is no specific licensed
treatment for blackhead, so worming is the
preventative option.
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