For those considering feeding non-farmed earthworms/roaches etc.

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by dlhunicorn, Feb 29, 2008.

  1. dlhunicorn

    dlhunicorn Human Encyclopedia

    Jan 11, 2007
    Chart : (MERCK veterinary Manual)
    (this is a chart showing which insect hosts infect your birds with internal parasites/worms)
    For those considering feeding your birds earthworms/roaches etc. I have posted this information in the hope to discourage you. I know one cannot prevent free ranging chickens from gobbling up insect goodies (after all what could be more natural? HOWEVER , this is also the reason why 80% of free range flocks have worms infestation compared to cagelayer systems (and NO I do not and am not in favor of the caged system practice but it is a fact that this is one of the "benefits" of a closed caged system utilized by the poultry industry~ many think there are so little "approved" wormers for poultry because the makers dont want to put out the money for tests for the "lowly" chicken but in truth >>>it just is not such a problem in commercial (closed/caged) systems.) It IS however a problem for the small backyard free-range flock because the worm infestations / internal parasitic disease is directly related to the ingestion of specific insects which are carriers/hosts for the organisms which in turn (once the insect is ingested by your birds) give your birds worms. Parasitic disease obtained through such insect hosts is called HELMINTHIASIS ....the insect hosts these HELMINTHS and even though you cant avoid your bird free ranging them you CAN avoid giving them specifically as treats or encouraging your birds to places where they are in abundance) ...Here are a couple articles on it:

    (Note: farmed insects (mealworms etc ) raised in a sterile controlled environment will not be problematic)
    Last edited: Feb 29, 2008
  2. Churkenduse

    Churkenduse Songster

    Jan 1, 2008
    dlhunicorn Thanks for the heads up, I was not aware of all this. Mine are in a closed system and seem very happy.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
  3. SeaChick

    SeaChick Songster

    Apr 25, 2007
    Southern Maine
    I have been wondering about this.

    Real (as opposed to just using the label) organic free-range chicken farmers must not use the commercial wormers, right? I have not heard of any "real" wormers that are approved for organics..... And their birds are out free-ranging all the time. I wonder if they have lots of causalties from worms and parasites?

    It can't be THAT bad, though, since 75 years ago that's what everyone did (free ranged, no wormers). And it's not like all the chickens died or wasted away.

    Is it more an issue to those of us with pet chickens that we care about so much... having optimum health for them?

    And if so..... is being wormless a happier state for a hen than a free-roaming life out in the sunshine, gobbling leaves and insects like her instinct demands?

    I don't know.... my chickens don't free range all the time so this is just musing, really....... but I do wonder.......
  4. digitS'

    digitS' Songster

    Dec 12, 2007
    ID/WA border
    Thanks for the information, Dlhunicorn.

    There's quite a bit of "eeehhhh" factor to the articles but it sometimes helps to look at that. Farmers rotate their crops - I think this parasite information would be a good argument for doing that with our poultry as well.

    It's hard to imagine a parasite from the list living in a bird's gizzard . . . darn thing!

    And how to protect them from tapeworms when house and stable fies are intermediate hosts?? If our birds are outdoors at all, there's the droppings of wild birds. Many of us even have quail and other Galliform species right in our backyards.

    Composting with worms has moved to a serious industrial level in certain places. And, I kind of doubt whether even farmed worms are tested for parasites . . . I've read that earthworms are "processed" by some companies using large fans to dry them. Somehow, I doubt if that would be complete assurance that parasites are killed.

    Nevertheless, here's a very suitable protein source just not one without some risks.


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