Types Of Worm Infestation In Chickens


Roundworm is one of the most common parasites found in poultry. Adult worms are about one and a half to three inches long & they can be seen easily with the naked eye.They can be found not only in the intestine but also in the crop, gizzard or oesophagus.


Heavily infected birds may show droopiness, weight loss, diarrhoea and a drop in egg production.

Life Cycle Of Round Worms

The life cycle of this parasite is simple and direct. Females lay thick heavy-shelled eggs in the intestine that are passed in the droppings. A small embryo develops in the egg but does not hatch immediately. The larvae in the egg reaches infective stage within two to three weeks. Birds become infected by eating eggs that have reached the infective stage.




Tapeworms are flattened, ribbon-shaped worms composed of numerous segments or division. Tapeworms vary in size from very small to several inches in length. The head or end is much smaller than the rest of the body.


All poultry tapeworms apparently spend part of their lives in intermediate hosts, and birds become infected by eating the intermediate hosts. These hosts include snails, slugs, beetles, ants, grasshoppers, earthworms, houseflies and others. The intermediate host becomes infected by eating the eggs of tapeworms that are passed in the bird droppings



The gapeworm is round and red, it attaches to the trachea (windpipe) of birds and causes the disease referred to as “gapes”. The term describes the open-mouth breathing or gasping characteristic of infected birds. Heavily infected birds usually make a grunting sound because of the difficulty in breathing and many die from suffocation. The worms can easily block the trachea, so they are particularly harmful to young birds.

The life cycle of the Gapeworm is similar to that of the roundworm.The parasite can be transmitted when birds eat fertile parasite eggs or earthworms containing larvae. The female Gapeworm lays eggs in the windpipe, the eggs are coughed up, swallowed, and pass out in the droppings.  Eggs are infective when eaten by birds or earthworms. The earthworm, snails and slugs serve as primary intermediate hosts for the gape worm. After being consumed by the bird, gapeworm larvae hatch in the intestine and migrate from the intestine to the trachea and lungs.


Infected birds will “Gape” and appear to gasp for air. Also look out for birds that become listless and loose weight.

The best treatment for worms is to prevent them!

You can protect your flock from serious worm infestation by:

  • feeding them a well-balanced diet
  • preventing feed and water fouling
  • keeping the birds off fouled or damp ground or litter (as worm eggs survive for long periods in damp, shaded areas)
  • cleaning and disinfecting your poultry house regularly and thoroughly (particularly before you introduce a new batch of chickens)
  • separating chickens and adult birds
  • raising chickens on wire mesh to reduce contact with worm eggs in droppings, and with insects or other animals carrying parasites.

Worm parasite carriers include:

  • earthworms (hairworm carriers)
  • grasshoppers, weevils and beetles (gizzard worm carriers)
  • slugs, snails, flies, ants and beetles (tapeworm carriers)
  • cockroaches (eyeworm carriers).
  • FLUBENVET is an effective treatment for worms in chickens —————>

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