If you raise chickens and engage in poultry farming, there are numerous conditions and health issues that can affect your chickens. It’s very common for chickens to get worms as a result of poor living conditions or overcrowding. Likely the most noteworthy worm is the cecal worm, which may create some additional health problems if not treated quickly.
What Are Cecal Worms?
Cecal worms are internal parasites that specifically infest the ceca, which is located nearby the upper intestine. While this chicken parasite isn’t necessarily harmful to chickens, it can spread to other poultry and is especially fatal in turkeys. If the cecal worm spreads to a turkey, the turkey could develop blackhead disease, which can be fatal in 1-3 days following the initial infection. Although significantly less common, blackhead disease can also develop in chickens. Even though cecal worms are common in chickens, they can’t spread to humans.
There are numerous reasons why cecal worms can develop in a chicken, the primary of which involves overcrowding issues in your chicken coop. Overcrowding tends to worsen sanitation, which can facilitate increased development and spread of this chicken parasite.
Your chicken could also catch cecal worms by eating earthworms or contaminated feed. If the chicken’s water supply has been contaminated, this is another way that cecal worms could infect the chicken in question. It’s also common for cecal worms to spread when new chicken are introduced to the chicken coop from another flock. Keep in mind that heightened stress is known to cause cecal worms to infect chickens.
Symptoms of Cecal Worms
Even though cecal worms aren’t always harmful to chickens, it’s still important to identify symptoms of the infection so that other poultry won’t be infected. However, chickens don’t always show signs of cecal worms, which can make it difficult to detect the presence of these worms. The primary symptom of cecal worms that you should be on the lookout for is that worms may show up in feces.
Treatment and Prevention
Once you’ve detected the presence of cecal worms in one or more of your chickens, there are several treatments that you can use to get rid of these worms. Medications like Fenbendazole and Ivermectin can help eradicate cecal worms and similar internal parasites. Even if cecal worms are only detected in one chicken, the entire flock should be treated to ensure that the worms don’t spread.
There are numerous preventive measures you can take if you want to avoid the development of cecal worms in the first place. First of all, it’s important that you clean out bedding on a regular basis, which should facilitate better sanitation.
It’s also important that you use a hygienic drinking station that doesn’t allow chickens to stand in their drinking water. This measure can help chickens avoid drinking contaminated water. You should also focus on keeping the hen house and chicken coop dry. Consider using a specialized chicken feeder to lessen the possibility of cecal worm spread.