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Not sure what to make of these worms...

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

I have a spring in my backyard that flows into a small pond, and my chickens have a strong preference for drinking from the spring instead of their water bucket. The other day I noticed some nasty-looking worms in the spring, right where the chickens like to drink from. Could these be parasites? I've heard dirty water can spread their eggs, but I haven't heard of roundworms actually living underwater in the mud.

 

They stick up about 2-3cm usually and wiggle around with the current. When I disturb the water or stomp near them on the ground, they shoot back into the mud and stay hidden for about 5-10 minutes. My dog also drinks from the spring, and I've seen cats and raccoons drinking from it at night. I'm wondering if I should be worried.

 

post #2 of 5

Probably just baby earthworms. 

post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by junebuggena View Post
 

Probably just baby earthworms. 


I hope so! Someone mentioned Horsehair worms to me, which at least can't infect dogs or chickens (or people), but are still a bit repulsive.

post #4 of 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by billygoat162 View Post


I hope so! Someone mentioned Horsehair worms to me, which at least can't infect dogs or chickens (or people), but are still a bit repulsive.

Not horsehair worms. They are like giant nematodes. Horsehair worms of size you depict would be inside an insect living as a parasite.

Make every effort to understand your chicken's biology and the environment that supports it.

 

 

Reminder to self: August 2021 Check Post #15852 in Show Off Your American Gamefowl

Reply

Make every effort to understand your chicken's biology and the environment that supports it.

 

 

Reminder to self: August 2021 Check Post #15852 in Show Off Your American Gamefowl

Reply
post #5 of 5
Ive kept fish tanks and ponds for over a decade. A wide range of worms are very common. They may or may not be parasitic, absolute identification is hard to do.

The bottom line is that in any natural body of water, these are unavoidable. They are most of the time completely harmless to birds, BUT, and this is a BIG butt- you should never EVER handle standing water with bare hands. Always gloves and always wash hands well afterwards. People can and do get sick like that. Not just worms but fungal infections etc... Same goes for any outdoor livestock... Wash your hands.. Dont get too close. Hygene and safety first.
Edited by Jacob Duckman - 3/22/17 at 4:37pm
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