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Tape Worms in Poultry

By Karen Johns


These are tape worms from chickens a little over 4 months old. (Click on picture for larger image) I got a bit lapse in worming my birds, usually i do them every 6 to eight weeks, especially the young birds, and in the summer months. But i thought the weather was too dry for them to be a problem, and due to that, the time flew by without me noticing. So until birds were starting to get jaded appetites, listless, a couple with sever diahorrea, some with indigested seeds in droppings, it really didn't occur to me.

I always check the droppings because they all go onto fresh newspaper at night when pened in small cages. After talking to a friend about worming it suddenly ocurred to me to actually check when i last wormed. Oh dear, i was a month behind and the next morning, tape worms in a cross breds droppings. Well out with the panacure, Hence these dead tape worm photos.

you cannot stop bitds getting tape worm as they get them from all kinds of arthropods that they love to eat. arthropods (insects etc) carry an intermediate stage of the tapeworm, a larvae that develop into the adult form after the chicken has eaten it. It lives in the intestine and the adult sheds segments full of eggs which are passed through the droppings to the outside world where they are picked up by the relevant host.

I am not going to give you the dosage rates I use for my wormer as i can recommend a book which is Australian and very very good in illnesses of birds. Remember chooks are birds. This book gives dosage rates and all sorts of useful stuff. I alternate my wormers because some wormers are ineffective on certain parasites. Also some parasites become resistant to some wormers. The book is:-

"A basic Guide to Basic Health & disease in Birds" by Dr michael J Cannon and published by ABK Publications.

The same people who publish the excellent Australian Bird Keeper Magazine. This book is inexpensive, around $30 and i say it is a must for every chook keeper and bird keeper, this is because it is very hard to find a vet who is interested in these things PLUS they (the vets) are very expensive. This book is not a cheap way out, it is an educational source that is a MUST KNOW to every bird keeper. Also a lot of books on poultry disease are very expensive, very in depth, not relavent to Australian conditions, symptoms can often be any disease - many of which are not in australia.