Too many earth worms?

deidreg

Crowing
Premium Feather Member
Jul 6, 2020
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Connecticut
My girls are excavating mulch beds for earth worms and are eating lots of them. I know there's a risk of parasites, but is should I be concerned they eat too many worms? I haven't been concerned because they'd be eating then if they were free ranging. They do get proper chicken feed.
 

jher77

Songster
Nov 19, 2020
527
578
196
I think that is where mine keep getting large roundworms from. Earthworms are the most plentiful, then roly-poly and millipedes are next in numbers. I've had this problem since day 1.

If you didn't really have a roundworm problem to start with, then you might be ok, but the more they eat they bigger the chance. Really I wouldn't worry about it since there is nothing you can really do to prevent it short of bringing your chickens in the house and keeping them there.
 

JedJackson

Crossing the Road
Premium Feather Member
5 Years
Jul 6, 2016
7,051
21,507
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NW Washington state
Earth worms and pillbugs can both pass on parasites. As far as their diet goes, earth worms and bugs are high in protein. So if you plan on letting them continue to eat a lot of worms, then maybe keep the protein content in their feed a bit lower, like 16%, or supplement with more greens. But any way you look at it, their nutrition will be imprecise, meaning there will be know way to know if they are getting the right balance of nutrients. That is the advantage of sticking with a balanced feed with only occasional treats.
 

Dephora

Songster
Apr 30, 2020
279
318
141
Southern Oregon
It has a lot to do with where you are as well. Some areas are more parasite prone than others. Mine free range and I have never had a problem with worms in my chickens, now, that doesn't mean they don't have them, I am pretty sure most free ranging chickens have some small load of worms... to a certain extent a healthy chicken will never get a worm load bad enough that you can tell they have them. But first time they get stressed or sick the worms can quickly impact the chickens health.

If you are very concerned about it, you could always start a de worming regime.
 

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