Tapeworm Larvae Question


7 Years
Feb 11, 2014
Castaic, California
I'm wondering if anyone can answer this question. There was a day last weekend that I found a wild animal poop in my backyard close to my coop. I'm pretty sure it was coyote poop, but not entirely sure. It looked like it had tapeworm larvae in it (white rice-like specks in it). Today I went out and found another poop with not as many white rice-like specks in it. Each time I have disposed of the poops, but it makes me worried to think that there are more that I didn't see that my chickens would be getting into. Should I worry about my chickens getting into any of this poop for fear of them getting tapeworm?


Flock Master
8 Years
Jan 10, 2013
Don't what type infects coyote or dogs, but the intermediate hosts are certainly bugs chickens could eat. I think, best defense is to try to get rid of the coyote and keep poop cleaned up. There are a lot of animals and birds that can bring in the infection, so we all need to watch our chicken poop for any evidence. Hope this helps:


Below is excerpt form the above listing.


Several species of tapeworms (cestodes) affect poultry. They range in size from very small (not visible to the naked eye) to more than 12 inches long. Tapeworms are made up of multiple flat sections. The sections are shed in groups of two or three daily. Each section of tapeworm contains hundreds of eggs, and each tapeworm is capable of shedding millions of eggs in its lifetime. Each species of tapeworm attaches to a different section of the digestive tract. A tapeworm attaches itself by using four pairs of suckers located on its head. Most tapeworms are host specific, with chicken tapeworms affecting only chickens, and so on. Tapeworms require an intermediate host to complete their life cycle. These intermediate hosts include ants, beetles, houseflies, slugs, snails, earthworms, and termites. For birds kept in cages, the most likely host is the housefly. For those raised on litter, intermediate hosts include termites and beetles. For free-range birds, snails and earthworms can serve as intermediate hosts. There are no approved medications for use against tapeworms, so controlling the intermediate hosts of tapeworms is vital in preventing initial infections and reducing the risk of reinfection. If you get a laboratory diagnosis of tapeworm infection, always ask which tapeworm species is causing the infection and which intermediate host is involved in the parasite's life cycle. Because the intermediate hosts for tapeworms vary greatly, it is important to identify the tapeworm species to target prevention efforts toward the correct intermediate host.

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