Small white worms in water

feather13

Songster
Sep 4, 2012
537
722
241
southern california
Hi all,

I've been noticing small (less than half an inch) fragile white worms in my chickens' waterer. They are kind of translucent and I'll take a photo of one next time I see it. What do you think this might be? I clean out the waterer regularly and I've found maybe four in the last month. I was thinking maybe gape worm, but none of the birds have typical gape worm symptoms.

For reference, we have two six-year-old hens, eleven nineteen-week-old pullets (none are laying), and a nineteen-week-old cockerel. In the past three months, one of the pullets had coccidiosis (all of the birds were treated) and one of the older hens had roundworms (all of the birds were treated). Otherwise, they seem healthy, although they're molting normally and no one is laying eggs.

Thanks for any help you can give!
 

feather13

Songster
Sep 4, 2012
537
722
241
southern california
Thank you so much for your quick replies! I will take a photo of the worms when I see them again. I've only found one at a time and they don't look like mosquito larvae. They do look like the attached gape worm photo, only white. But I don't know how common gape worm is in southern California where I live and none of the birds have any of the typical symptoms.
 

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dawg53

Humble
Premium Feather Member
Nov 27, 2008
27,039
11,851
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Glen St Mary, Florida
Worms cannot survive outside their host. They are either dead or dying. Gapeworm stay in the trachea.
By your description they almost sound like cecal worms. Have your birds been pooping in the waterers?
Here's a pic of cecal worms for comparison:
cecal worms.jpg
 

feather13

Songster
Sep 4, 2012
537
722
241
southern california
@dawg53 --thanks for your reply. The waterer (from Rent A Coop) has a covered top and two cups that the chickens can't poop in, plus it sits up on a brick. So there's no way the chickens can poop in it and no way worms can crawl into the cups.

Is there any way that gape worm can come out of a chicken's trachea when it drinks? I haven't seen any worms in the chicken's feces, but there has been a little bit of red stuff/intestinal liner I think (though not worms).

If I find a worm and get a photo of it, I'll post it tomorrow. Thanks again
 

Dephora

Chirping
Apr 30, 2020
183
183
70
Southern Oregon
hmmm I have only seen this with roundworms before. And it is in my birdbaths, they were from the droppings of wild birds. Have you seen wild birds coming for a drink? Unless you are using water from a puddle, the worms have to be coming from an outside source. Pics would be helpful.

I would clean out the waterier and take off the cups, put nipples on instead.

I have a rentacoop water container, you can easily change the cups for nipples, they use the same size holes.
 

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