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Are earthworms good for my chickens..have heard they can be bad??

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 

I have bushels of earthworms around my house..should I feed them to my chicks???

post #2 of 16

They are best!!!

 

 

Practicing Sustainable Agriculture At The 45th Parallel

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Practicing Sustainable Agriculture At The 45th Parallel

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post #3 of 16

Chickens love earthworms or squigglers of any kind. If the area where the worms are has ever been contaminated with gape worm, watch for signs and symptoms in your birds. Once an area is infected with gape worms, the parasite survives in the earthworms for a few years and can reinfect the chickens throughout that time. I feel certain they should be OK though, just an FYI.

I live with my partner and our daughter in the foothills of NC. We LOVE our critters!
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I live with my partner and our daughter in the foothills of NC. We LOVE our critters!
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post #4 of 16

If they were free ranging you bet they'd be eating them.

"Born to hunt and fish, forced to work"

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"Born to hunt and fish, forced to work"

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post #5 of 16

I've read that earthworms  can carry a worm called gapeworms that is bad for chickens. But I am sure that free ranging chickens eat plenty of earthworms on their own. I wouldn't overdo it though...

My Chicken Blog
My NEW coop!
germophobic farmwife and mom to 3 homeschooled kids, 1 dog, 2 cats, 2 rabbits, and 15 chickens (5 red stars, 5 silver laced wyandottes, and 5 easter eggers)

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My Chicken Blog
My NEW coop!
germophobic farmwife and mom to 3 homeschooled kids, 1 dog, 2 cats, 2 rabbits, and 15 chickens (5 red stars, 5 silver laced wyandottes, and 5 easter eggers)

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post #6 of 16

I would think free ranging they find them all the time. Bad, I don't see how.

post #7 of 16

My chickens got gape worms this year. It is also the first year they were free ranging behind the tiller. I think it was the earthworms. I did have to worm them and they do come back. Read a post about using cayenne in the feed about once a week or if you see a gape and this works for my girls so far. Haven't had symptoms since it got cold. Will I still free range? Absolutely. Do watch for symptoms as I lost 2 before I realized what it was.

post #8 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by GardenWeasel 

My chickens got gape worms this year. It is also the first year they were free ranging behind the tiller. I think it was the earthworms. I did have to worm them and they do come back. Read a post about using cayenne in the feed about once a week or if you see a gape and this works for my girls so far. Haven't had symptoms since it got cold. Will I still free range? Absolutely. Do watch for symptoms as I lost 2 before I realized what it was.


What symptoms were you seeing in the birds you lost?

Get your work finished first and then you can play!

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Get your work finished first and then you can play!

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post #9 of 16

Closest I can describe is like they are yawning with their head all the way vertical or gasping for air. The gapes are in their throat. Tails are down and less interested in treats. Hope that helps.

post #10 of 16

There used to be posts that botulism was a slight risk with earthworms. I don't remember details, but thought I'd throw that out there, in case it helps.

Imp

 

 

If all the beasts were gone, men would die from a great loneliness of spirit,

for whatever happens to the beasts also happens to the man.

All things are connected.
Whatever befalls the Earth befalls the sons of the Earth.

 

       ― Chief Seattle

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If all the beasts were gone, men would die from a great loneliness of spirit,

for whatever happens to the beasts also happens to the man.

All things are connected.
Whatever befalls the Earth befalls the sons of the Earth.

 

       ― Chief Seattle

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