Need help identifying worm infestation

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Schmay, Dec 9, 2018.

  1. Schmay

    Schmay Chirping

    Dec 9, 2018
    Adelaide, Australia
    One of my chickens suffered dehydration when we had a hot day here in Australia so I separated her and bought her inside, then later discovered she has a massive worm infestation and would like help identifying the type of worm. I am new to having chickens so all advice is welcome.

    Attached Files:

  2. Louisetho2

    Louisetho2 Chirping

    Nov 27, 2018
    NSW, Australia
    Wow! Never seen that before.
    Were they in her poo?
  3. Cragg Klefor

    Cragg Klefor Crowing

    Apr 14, 2017
    County Kilkenny, Ireland
    They look more like maggots. But I don't know anything about worms.
    Wyorp Rock and Eggcessive like this.
  4. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble

    Nov 27, 2008
    Glen St Mary, Florida
    They ARE maggots. Your hen may have fly strike.
  5. rebrascora

    rebrascora Free Ranging

    Feb 14, 2014
    Consett Co.Durham. UK
    You need to inspect her vent area closely or get her into a bath of warm Epsom salts and be prepared for a very unpleasant shock. She will be full of maggots that are eating her alive. Many will come out and float in the water whilst she is soaking, but it will be a slow process over a period of days to get them all out and you will need to use tweezers to pick some of them out.... I hope you have a strong stomach as it really is gross. Usually there is an underlying issue that causes poop to stick to the vent feathers.... it may start with a prolapse or some other reproductive issue causing swelling and poop builds up in the feathers and flies lay eggs in the poop and the eggs hatch and the maggots start to eat into the chicken. If they have breached her abdominal cavity she may need to be euthanized. If you can get her cleaned up and trim her butt feathers right back and take a photo we may be able to assess how bad it is, or take her to a vet if you have that option. This is way more serious than simple dehydration.
  6. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Enabler

    Apr 3, 2011
    southern Ohio
    I agree with others that those look like maggots, not worms. Look at her vent for an injury or prolapsed vent. The Epsom salts soaking would be good to do a few times, and until you get that, you may use dish soap or some betadine or mild salt water. I would buy some Chlorhexidene (Hibiclens) in your first aid aisle at stores, and mix it with water in a spray bottle according to the label. Vetericyn wound spray from the feed store is also good, but more expensive than a small bottle of Clorhexidene (Hibiclens.) Here is a good article to read about flystrike maggot infestation:
  7. Schmay

    Schmay Chirping

    Dec 9, 2018
    Adelaide, Australia
    Hey guys thanks so much and quick replies too, I've been trying to tend to cleaning the area, but it's been a process trying to determine the cause. I have coated her in diatomaceous earth which seems to have killed most of them but I need to treat the cause to prevent it getting worse/ happening again
  8. Schmay

    Schmay Chirping

    Dec 9, 2018
    Adelaide, Australia
    Also are these contagious? From what I've looked up it's just flies laying eggs in a damaged area/wound, but I have other chickens and also cats at home.
  9. coach723

    coach723 Crowing

    Feb 12, 2015
    North Florida
    Yes, it is flies laying eggs in the wound. You need to move her to a place where no more flies can get to her until she's healed. The maggots will eat her alive, and they also will excrete toxins that can make her very, very sick or kill her. You should check her several times a day for up to a week to make sure that no new maggots have hatched, and remove any that are found. Fly strike commonly happens with droppings built up around the vent, vent prolapse, or open wounds.
  10. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Enabler

    Sep 20, 2015
    Southern N.C. Mountains
    Photos of the wounds/damage?

    Have you checked her over really well for the source of the maggots - look at her vent and check the whole body for any wounds, pus or seepage.

    If the maggots are not taken care of, they will damage tissue and depending on where the wound is breech/enter the body cavity.
    The maggots need to be killed and/or picked off. Whatever they were feeding on needs to be treated - you received good, detailed info in the previous posts.

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