Backyard chicken flock

Asked June 5, 2019, 10:26 PM EDT

Hi there,
We have a backyard flock of 6 hens, which range in age from 1ish-6 years. A few have had frequent diarrhea (very watery) for the last 2 months, so I purchased a microscope to inspect for parasites. They eat, drink, and lay just fine. Their tails are maybe a little droopy, and their crest maybe slightly pale, but they otherwise act normal.

Through a few fecal float tests, I was able to see eggs, parasites, and maybe larvae which I believe to be from roundworms? I am also concerned gapeworm could be a culprit as 1 hen stretches her neck and kind of gasps for air. She also does some strange circular head movements once in a while (but this could be related to crop issues, or simply a long blade of grass). We have never found a worm in their droppings (based on eyesight alone).

We have kept their coop/run in the same area for 5 years, as we don't have a good place to move it. They have quite a bit of space, but it has always been the same space. We do periodically turn over the ground. We have never de-wormed the flock.

I'm hoping you can provide thoughts based on the attached photos. Unfortunately, I am not skilled in the art of measurements, but most of these photos were taken with a 10x, and a couple with a 40x. I also didn't get a solid count of how many worms & eggs per specimen per gram, but there were quite a few of the worms that looked like the one in photo 3244. I also saw what I thought to be different types of egg specimens, but have only attached 1 to this thread.

We think we may need to de-worm, and if so are hoping you can provide the name of the proper wormer.

Thanks for your time!

Garfield County Colorado

1 Response

Animal health, including worming animals is an area where I feel a relationship with a Veterinarian should be developed. I don't have the expertise to identify the worm or eggs.
I will forward your message to the Colorado State University Veterinary Teaching Hospital and see if they can help. I do recommend you talk with a local Veterinarian. They will be more likely to know the parasites in your area.
As soon as I hear from the Veterinary Teaching Hospital, I'll send you their information.