Press Bulletin No. 51.
[BY CHARLES F. DAWSON, Station Veterinarian.]
There are few persons who are aware of the great ex-
tent to which poultry is infested with worms. An old
saying is, that when one does not know the cause of sick-
ness and death in his fowls, the best thing to do is to
clean up the chicken-house and treat for lice. To this
should be added, look also for worms.
Every fowl harbors worms. Most of these are harm-
less when present in small numbers. All of them are
harmful when present in large numbers. Most of them
do harm by plugging up the bowels and preventing the
proper digestion of the food. Others do harm by absorb-
ing the digested food, thereby robbing the fowl. Still
others do harm by biting the intestines, which causes ir-
ritation and consequent loss of function of these parts.
Fowls acquire parasites from each other, either
August 15, 1904.
directly or indirectly; hence, the more closely confined
they are, the greater is the chance of this mutual infesta-
Although there are a dozen different intestinal para-
sites of fowls, those most commonly found are two spe-
cies of round-worms. The first, and largest, named
Heteralcis ii'il/, 1r, is found in the small intestine. It
does little harm, except when present in sufficient num-
bers to cause a stoppage of the bowel. This worm is
round, shiny and translucent. It is pointed at both
ends, and has little or no movement; hence, the specific
The other species, named Heterakis papillosa, is
much smaller, being about one-fifth the length of the
H. inflexa. It also is a round-worm and is found in
enormous numbers in the two blind pouches known as
the coeca. As many as 800 have been counted in these
The age of the fowl has much to do with its power of
resistance to internal as well as external parasites. The
younger the fowls, the more severely they suffer.
The .ii,'!"i ... caused by worms are dullness, weak-
ness, emaciation, I ;! --, diarrhea and sometimes con-
vulsions. The fowls' feathers are roughened and their
appetite remains fairly good. In some cases these symp-
toms develop rapidly. and an acute disease is suspected.
The presence of worms can be detected by cutting
open the bowels of a dead fowl, or. by killing, for exami-
nation, one of the sick ones.
After we have determined the cause of the sickness,
we are then in a position to apply the remedy. There are
many of these; hut the practical poultryman has no
desire for experimentation, preferring to leave that to
specialists in poultry diseases. .
The remcedy which gives best general results, be-
cause of its effectiveness against all kinds of worms, is the
oit of turpentine. It should, however, be diluted with
another oil, as it is irritating to mucous membranes. It
should be given in teaspoonful doses, along with an equal
quantity of olive or cotton seed oil, once daily, for three
days, and then twice weekly till the fowl recovers.
Meanwhile, give soft, ground feed. The drinking water
must be kept clean, and the droppings should be collected
daily, placed in a barrel and sprinkled heavily with lime.
Other measures, such as scraping the yards, removing
the coops or houses to a distant locality, and burning
those that die, are indicated.
*iFState papers please copy.