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Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by CLUCKER65, Nov 11, 2011.
I have bushels of earthworms around my house..should I feed them to my chicks???
They are best!!!
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.
If they were free ranging you bet they'd be eating them.
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...
I would think free ranging they find them all the time. Bad, I don't see how.
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.
Quote:What symptoms were you seeing in the birds you lost?
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.
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.