ETA: Just Feather shafts! :) Is this Tapeworm or just shedding dander/feather shafts? Caution: Poo

chxmama

Chirping
Jul 14, 2015
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Lost a chicken today. She's been quarantined for 4 days and just never turned for the better. Not sure what happened. Didn't seem to be respiratory b/c we didn't notice any labored breathing, etc. No odd or stinky smells. She wasn't eating or drinking on her own, but her crop seemed fine. Noticed this shed feather shaft/dandruff looking thing both today and yesterday when I was tending to her and wondered if it could be tapeworm? Maybe that was her demise?

Of course, had to check the healthy chickens droppings and though I see lots of shed feather casings/dandruff, this looked a bit different. Only found it on one healthy chicken poo. It has segments which I think can be seen in the pics.

Is this normal shedding of feather shaft material or is it tapeworm . . . or something else altogether?
Thanks for your help!


Sick chicken poo - segment in question is white and just a bit lower than center.


Healthy chicken poo with similar segmented thing


Normal shaft/dander shedding as I understand it
 
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chxmama

Chirping
Jul 14, 2015
143
10
59
I've scoured BYC for all tapeworm threads containing pics and I'm not seeing anything segmented like the pics I posted, only long tapes shed whole, which look very flat or broken worm segments still wiggling (or not) which look like rice. I'm not noticing any "rice" in the girls droppings. No wiggling either, but that may be because I'm seeing the tapes about noon from overnight droppings.

I'm thinking that what I'm seeing in my pics is the shedding of feather shafts/sheaths/dander, but don't understand the segmented look to it?
 

Eggcessive

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If you do a search at the top of this page for "tapeworm" scroll down to the third entry called "tapeworms." Look at post number 4 by me, and it will give you a link for a video of tapeworms moving in the droppings. You can have a sample of your droppings checked by a vet for tapes. Zimecterin Gold is supposed to be a good treatment for tapeworm.
 

chxmama

Chirping
Jul 14, 2015
143
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Just google worms in chickens...You may find your answer...
Yes, I spent a good part of the evening doing this and am coming to the conclusion that what I am seeing may just be shed feather sheathing? Was hoping someone with tape experience might be able to confirm?

If you do a search at the top of this page for "tapeworm" scroll down to the third entry called "tapeworms." Look at post number 4 by me, and it will give you a link for a video of tapeworms moving in the droppings. You can have a sample of your droppings checked by a vet for tapes. Zimecterin Gold is supposed to be a good treatment for tapeworm.
Found that video a bit earlier this evening. Very helpful. :) Not what I'm observing in my chickens, only seeing this short segmented section, so am unsure? Was hoping someone experienced with tape might be able to confirm tape (or not tapeworms) with my pics. Wormed with a broad spectrum (valbazen in the fall) for roundworm which was confirmed in the flock, but wet conditions and chicken loss has me asking questions and investigating possible causes.
 

Eggcessive

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Dawg53 has numerous posts on BYC about tapeworm, but he hasn't been on here for quite some time. Maybe by doing the search again, you can find people who have dealt with this in the past, and PM them. Those photos of yours do resemble pics of the the tspeworm chains that I have seen online, and I do feel that during molting the feather shafts and material found lying around can look like the tapes. I like to Google subjects like tapes and then click on images to look at the many pictures posted.
 

ClaireDL

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Nov 7, 2015
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Do you have a vet that can perform a fecal test?.. I know they found a type of worm in my flock..that is now in the ground...So either I deworm on regular basis my flock or I would have to move my coop..I 've got so " wet" issues too in the winter.
What would be the risk anyway to deworm for tape worms?..I'd go ahead and do it.
 

Eggcessive

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Here is an image of tapeworm segments from Flytes of Fancy and below it is one from Everything-Poultry:

tapeworms.jpg

tape-worm_large.jpg
 

rebrascora

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Sorry to hear you lost a chicken.

My opinion would be that the segment you are seeing on the poop you posted is clean and dry looking and therefore more likely deposited on top of the poop after it exited the body rather than have come out with the faeces themselves. I also think that the segmented sections of a tapeworm illustrated in the picture above have been magnified to quite a high level and are not actually visible to the naked eye or certainly not clearly enough to see the segments, so I would be inclined to assume that you are seeing feather sheathing which has landed on the poop after it has evacuated the body or possibly even been blown in the wind and stuck to it.

I'm not sure if it is the same for chickens as it is for horses but a faecal worm egg count will not indicate a tapeworm problem in horses as the segments are relatively few in number and large in themselves so may not show up in the sample taken and looked at under the microscope, but my understanding is that each segment contains thousands of eggs which disperse at a later date into the pasture.

It might be worth considering getting a necropsy done on your chicken to determine the cause of death if you haven't already disposed of her.
 

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