Not sure what to make of these worms...

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by billygoat162, Mar 18, 2017.

  1. billygoat162

    billygoat162 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 19, 2016
    American Southwest
    I have a spring in my backyard that flows into a small pond, and my chickens have a strong preference for drinking from the spring instead of their water bucket. The other day I noticed some nasty-looking worms in the spring, right where the chickens like to drink from. Could these be parasites? I've heard dirty water can spread their eggs, but I haven't heard of roundworms actually living underwater in the mud.

    They stick up about 2-3cm usually and wiggle around with the current. When I disturb the water or stomp near them on the ground, they shoot back into the mud and stay hidden for about 5-10 minutes. My dog also drinks from the spring, and I've seen cats and raccoons drinking from it at night. I'm wondering if I should be worried.

  2. junebuggena

    junebuggena Chicken Obsessed

    Apr 17, 2015
    Long Beach, WA
    Probably just baby earthworms.
  3. billygoat162

    billygoat162 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 19, 2016
    American Southwest
    I hope so! Someone mentioned Horsehair worms to me, which at least can't infect dogs or chickens (or people), but are still a bit repulsive.
  4. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri

    Not horsehair worms. They are like giant nematodes. Horsehair worms of size you depict would be inside an insect living as a parasite.
  5. Jacob Duckman

    Jacob Duckman Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 4, 2016
    Lehigh Valley
    Ive kept fish tanks and ponds for over a decade. A wide range of worms are very common. They may or may not be parasitic, absolute identification is hard to do.

    The bottom line is that in any natural body of water, these are unavoidable. They are most of the time completely harmless to birds, BUT, and this is a BIG butt- you should never EVER handle standing water with bare hands. Always gloves and always wash hands well afterwards. People can and do get sick like that. Not just worms but fungal infections etc... Same goes for any outdoor livestock... Wash your hands.. Dont get too close. Hygene and safety first.
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2017
    1 person likes this.

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