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Long worm from baby chick

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

These chicks are only about a week old. In their little water trough I find a clear/translucent worm, about 1-1/2 inches long, and I'm freaked out. I called the Co-Op where I bought them; they said wormer medicine is for hens, not chicks, who are not known to get worms. Well, what am I supposed to do? They are not acting sick, but yuk! Any ideas? Anybody?

post #2 of 10
Are you absolutely certain it was a worm and not thick mucus or any other possibilities? are they brooding inside or outside of the house? if inside, I'm guessing it's a rope of mucus. watch the chicks make sure no one is coughing or sneezing or wheezing. it would be almost impossible to know which chick it came from without other symptoms but I'm doubting it's a actual worm. even if chicks could have the worms they usually would be in the feces. I'm assuming you keep their water clean and free of debris?
post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 

Hi.Yes, I change the water a few times a day, and they are inside the house in a box with a heat lamp. They all seem healthy and happy, with nobody coughing or any other signs of distress. I hope you're right; I hope it wasn't a worm. I took pictures but they were all awful. It had a big bumpy-looking "head" on it, and with a glass I could see inside of it, and it had white lumps inside it, and at the top, near the head, I could see two tiny black dots, like eyes on something. I'm getting really creeped out writing all this. Anyway, I just gave them some pumpkin puree, but they haven't figured out how to eat it yet. Pumpkin is supposed to be a natural wormer. Hopefully it is, indeed, mucus, as you said. If they produce any more horrors, I'll post them, hopefully not around dinner time. Thanks again for your input.

post #4 of 10
I hope it's not a worm either! could it have been in their food possibly if it is a parasite or worm? any treats given fruit or vegetables? so strange? could have somehow been in the food?? After you described it it does not sound like mucus, YIKES!
post #5 of 10
I'm going to guess that what you saw was likely shed intestinal lining instead of a worm if it came from one of your chicks. Because of the lifecycle of the common visible worms that can infest chickens, you really won't see any before the chick is minimally at least 3 weeks old. And none of them have eyes. :-)

So, good news for your chicks at least! It could have come from somewhere else though?
post #6 of 10
Thread Starter 

No, I had not given them any treats since they are so young. All I gave them was the chick feed from the Co-Op, until now, when I gave them the pumpkin puree...which they finally discovered and are loving it! I guess the worm might have come from the cedar shavings I put in for bedding; may have come in from outside, but it didn't look like an earthworm. Anyway, no more have appeared, so maybe it's over. Thanks.

post #7 of 10
Cedar shavings? In the chicks' bedding?

Cedar gives off toxic fumes. You need to empty those shavings out of the brooder immediately!

Use pine shavings or straw or sand, but NOT cedar!

Edited to add: perhaps the "worm" was mucous from one of the chicks. They could be developing a respiratory reaction to the cedar.
Edited by azygous - 3/17/16 at 6:42pm
post #8 of 10
Thread Starter 

My mistake. My husband says they are Douglas Fir shavings. Is that toxic, too?

post #9 of 10
As long as they've been dried properly, nope.
post #10 of 10
Oh my! What a relief!

Do you still have that "worm"? I was thinking that if you let it dry out, it might then be something you would recognize. Some debris that falls into water, swell up and can appear very scary looking.

Also, next time you encounter something mysterious like this, obtain a magnifying glass, or better, a hand lens like biologists and geologists use and look at it under magnification. You would be very surprised what you can see. I was able to do this when I discovered grain mites the first time. They look like condensation with the naked eye, and under magnification, you can see their disgusting bodies and legs and see that they move around.

I recommend every chicken first aid kit have a hand lens.
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