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

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by CLUCKER65, Nov 11, 2011.

  1. CLUCKER65

    CLUCKER65 Hatching

    Sep 7, 2011
    I have bushels of earthworms around my house..should I feed them to my chicks???

  2. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Crowing Premium Member

    They are best!!!
  3. nurse_turtle

    nurse_turtle Songster

    May 28, 2011
    Foothills of NC
    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.
  4. Baymen Moe

    Baymen Moe Songster

    Jan 17, 2009
    Pembroke, Ma.
    If they were free ranging you bet they'd be eating them.
  5. gale65

    gale65 Songster

    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...

  6. Ole rooster

    Ole rooster Songster

    Jun 25, 2011
    Milner, Georgia
    I would think free ranging they find them all the time. Bad, I don't see how.
  7. GardenWeasel

    GardenWeasel Songster

    Feb 23, 2009
    Henry, TN
    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.
  8. mcjessen

    mcjessen Songster

    Mar 22, 2011
    Coeur d Alene ID
    Quote:What symptoms were you seeing in the birds you lost?
  9. GardenWeasel

    GardenWeasel Songster

    Feb 23, 2009
    Henry, TN
    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.

  10. Imp

    Imp All things share the same breath- Chief Seattle

    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.


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