Parasitic disgustingness and nice wholesome leeches

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by fowltemptress, Oct 28, 2008.

  1. fowltemptress

    fowltemptress Frugal Fan Club President

    Jan 20, 2008
    I was digging up a section of yard to build a tunnel for training terriers and finding tons of those big white grubs. I was tossing them to the chickens as I found them when I came across one that seemed to be tangled in a clump of roots. I started trying to pull the clump of roots off it when I realized they weren't roots . . . they were some sort of parasite spilling out of the grub. They looked like huge white nematodes. I flushed the grub and its parasites down the toilet because I was too disgusted to think to do anything else with it (including, stupidly, to take a picture). I would like to know if anyone has a clue what these parasites were, and if they affect chickens in any way.
    I also wanted to ask if anyone feeds leeches to their chickens. I catch leeches all the time, and even though I see other birds eating them I've been hesitant to see how my chickens like them. They aren't exactly as wholesome looking as other bugs I grab for the hens, but then again, I've never seen a leech with repulsive root looking nematode maggots exploding from its belly. [​IMG]
    If you can't tell, that thing traumatized me slightly, which is saying a lot since I adore bugs.
  2. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Overrun With Chickens

    May 8, 2007
    The natural world is kind of revolting at times, isn't it??? :aww
  3. LindaN

    LindaN Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 28, 2007
    Too bad you flushed that grub! Those were likely beneficial nematodes.

    Japanese beetles are a big problem for many gardeners, and they overwinter in the soil as those big fat grubs. One of the ways to control the beetles is to apply beneficial nematodes to the soil. The nematodes basically attack and eat the grubs.

    Nematodes look just like what you describe: they are typically stringy, white worms. They don't bother other animals like chickens. I'm sure the chickens would eat them, too, but they won't likely get to them on their own as the nematodes live so deep in the soil.
  4. fowltemptress

    fowltemptress Frugal Fan Club President

    Jan 20, 2008
    I had thought the beneficial nematodes stayed much smaller . . . I've never seen pictures of them that size. I'm glad to know they probably aren't something that could infect my chickens.
  5. RockyToggRanch

    RockyToggRanch Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 22, 2008
    Upstate NY
    Perhaps nematodes can swim?? The septic probably goes right back to where you found them.

    Question chickens eat japanese beetles? Scarf 'em up before they make grubs?
  6. LindaN

    LindaN Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 28, 2007
    Will chickens eat Japanese beetles? HAH! What do you think?

    They would INHALE them!

    Well, at least mine would. I just don't have any in my yard to give them. *sniff* *sniff*
  7. cjeanean

    cjeanean Can't Decide

    Mar 5, 2008
    would anything worse than nematodes be feeding on the grubs like that???
  8. The Chicken Lady

    The Chicken Lady Moderator Staff Member

    Apr 21, 2008
    West Michigan
    Oh, YUCK. I realize all these insectoids are a necessary part of the ecosystem, but anything slimy and wormy gives me the creeps (except snakes... I like snakes!).
  9. Morning Dove

    Morning Dove Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 13, 2008
    Eastern Shore MD
    Quote:Well, that's cause snakes aren't slimy! I used to have a ball python....


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